The Boston Rally Exposed the Left’s Intolerance of Free Speech

Andrew Sullivan

Here’s a question: At last Saturday’s massive rally against “hate” in Boston, what were 30,000 or so people actually protesting? The event in question was not organized by a neo-Nazi group, the KKK, or any other recognized hate group, but by an outfit called the Boston Free Speech Coalition. Its Facebook page claims they are “a coalition of libertarians, progressives, conservatives, and independents” aiming to “peaceably engage in open dialogue about the threats to, and importance of, free speech and civil liberties.” In the days before, the organizer, 23-year-old John Medlar, had insisted that “contrary to a lot of the rumors out there, the purpose of the rally is to denounce the kind of political violence that we have seen, a sort of rising tide throughout the country and particularly most recently in Charlottesville.” He said his group is small and young. At 23, he says he is the oldest.

If you want to check him out some more, here’s an interview he gave to the radio station WGBH: “I describe myself as a Libertarian, so I’m very much a small government guy. I think that it’s … I’ve also had a very Catholic upbringing, so my parents raised me to put a very strongly … emphasis on personal responsibility and virtues. And I think that you can’t have virtue when, you know, the government is compelling you to do things. I think society is better off when individuals take it upon themselves to build themselves up and to be the best possible people that they can be rather than, you know, that and shirking those responsibilities and leaving it to government bureaucrats who are less efficient at everything.” Not exactly elegant, but you get the drift.