About saying certain things

Ladies and gentlemen, honored dignitaries, and especially you graduates, I come to you as an emissary from another time, when men and women were free to come and go as they pleased.

“You’re free to go” — I remember those halcyon days when this was so. If someone were to say, “How can you let someone say such things?” the most likely response would be a shrug and “It’s a free country.”

Voltaire was once quoted as saying — although the evidence is scant that he said this exactly — “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

I remember when people said such things. How long ago was that? It seems a very long time. When did speaking your mind become so dangerous? Or was it always dangerous to say certain things, and it’s only the certain things that have evolved?

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of It's Going to Be All Right, Echoes of Freedom Past, Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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