George Will On America’s New Entitlement: Freedom From Offense

On Fox News Sunday, George Will was asked about the fallout from the Duck Dynasty controversy. Specifically, a question was posed to him from Twitter about whether or not Americans were losing freedoms to the forces of political correctness.

The new biggest American entitlement is the entitlement to go through life without being offended.”

That is a great way to put it. People have come to expect a certain protective coating around them that is absurd and untenable. Being offended by white Santa is extremely dumb. But expecting to “replace” white Santa to spare someone’s feelings is borderline sinister. As discussed elsewhere on The Right Scoop, it is the oppressiveness of citizen fascism rearing its ugly head. We’re replacing tyranny of the majority with the tyranny of the squeaky wheel.

Here are Will’s remarks in the segment above, transcribed by RCP:

No, our freedom is really quite secure. Look, this is a big complicated country. This is a week in which New Mexico and Utah became respectively the 17 and 18 states to acquire, by judicial decisions, the same sex marriage. In the same week, Walmart’s supply of “Duck Dynasty” merchandise sold out like that as a sign of support for Mr. Robertson. So, we’ve got people on both sides of this. His First Amendment rights are not in danger. The First Amendment protects individuals from government action that would either prior restrain speech or punish speech after it’s uttered. This is an argument between him and his employer. Let them sort it out.

What we do see here, and this goes to the viewers’ question about political correctness, the new biggest American entitlement is the entitlement to go through life without being offended. People think they have a right not to have their feelings hurt, not to have their sensibilities in any way exacerbated. I’d refer them to Jefferson who said, it does me no harm if my neighbor believes in 20 gods or one god, it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. We have forked for millennia to get to a point where we say the law will protect our possessions and our persons, but not our feelings and people just have to get over it.

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