From conservative commentator S.E. Cupp on Fox News’s Fox News Watch this past Saturday:
S.E. CUPP: Just asking the question, I think, reveals a whole mindset that I think is really problematic. For all of their interest in tolerance and freedom of speech and freedom of religion, the liberal thought police are out in full force to tell you that you cannot have certain opinions, that you cannot – that there’s a line you can cross in a debate, that you can’t have one belief, or you’re Islamophobic, or racist, or nativist. I mean, it’s absolutely – it’s intimidating and it’s akin to censorship.
Note to Ms. Cupp: Please look up, in your local dictionary, such terms as “freedom of speech”, “freedom of religion” and “censorship” before making such moronic pronouncements. No-one is being censored, least of all by some nonexistent “thought police”. No-one is saying that people can’t disagree with the placement (or even the existence) of the proposed Park51 Islamic cultural center. In fact, those doggone liberals will usually be the first ones to assure you that you can rail against it all you want, and even with all the bad arguments and falsehoods that you wish to use.
The thing is, they also say that there are no good reasons (legal or ethical) for which the center shouldn’t be built there, two blocks north of Ground Zero, and more notably, that trying to equate the peaceful Muslims behind Park51 and the Cordoba Initiative to the extremist fringe that includes al-Qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers is not just profoundly ignorant, but also offensively bigoted.
Asking if a growing portion of Americans are displaying increasing Islamophobia is not “liberal thought police”. It’s a perfectly valid question being raised as a result of numerous telling incidents, not just in New York City but also elsewhere. And so, yes, though you have every right in the world to say all the dumbass things that cross your mind, freedom of speech does not mean that you won’t be called a bigoted ignoramus for it (contrary to what people like Laura Schlessinger and Sarah Palin seem to believe). That’s just others using their free speech rights to criticize you.