Disagreement, debate, and discourse are critical principles that have resided at the center of the American experience for over 200 years. But these foundational components of free speech are under real threat today. Cancel culture runs rampant on social media, and it has now left the digital space and crept into all facets of American life so that virtually no corner of the nation has gone untouched. This is a cancer on our democracy, and it is not just reserved for people of note. Americans are now collectively afraid to raise questions, speak their minds, and share many of their views — even if well intentioned — for fear of a woke-mob coming for them, their families, their livelihoods, and their privacy.
As a society, we must address this omnipresent threat, because a genuine marketplace of ideas — where facts, reason, and divergent strains of thought can be discussed and questioned without fear of significant reprisal and personal consequences — is what enabled our nation to genuinely be great, innovate, and a leader in the world.