David Harsanyi writes:
She claims that hate speech should be banned because it has “been linked to cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and requires complex coping strategies.” Nearly every censor in the history of mankind has argued that speech should be curbed to balance out some harmful consequence. And nearly every censor in history, sooner or later, kept expanding the definition of harm until they shut down the rights of their political opponents.
When I was young, liberals would often offer some iteration of the quote misattributed to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” This was typically in defense of artwork that was offensive to Christians or bourgeoisie types; a soiled painting of Mary or a bad heavy metal album, or whatnot.
You don’t hear much of that today. You’re more likely to hear “I disapprove of what you say, so shut up.” Idealism isn’t found in the notions of Enlightenment but in identity and indignation.