Thursday, January 08, 2015

Je Suis Charlie

I don’t speak much French. Two days ago I probably would have bungled, “Je Suis Charlie.” 
But now I know “I am Charlie.” 
That is to say that I now not only know how to say “I am Charlie” in French, I know “I am Charlie.”

Since the founding of the Free State Foundation in 2006, we have proclaimed at the very top of our website that our purpose is to promote understanding of “free market, limited government, rule of law principles at the federal level and in Maryland” and to protect “individual and economic liberty.” 
On a day-to-day basis, our work primarily involves promoting reform of communications law and policy in free market-oriented ways; defending the First Amendment rights of U.S. media companies and other speakers; supporting the intellectual property rights of authors and other creators of intellectual property; promoting a global Internet governance model that is free from government interference and control; and, occasionally, urging more efficient, less burdensome government in Maryland. These are important issues all. 
But today it is most important to take a stand on what is of utmost importance to the survival of the Western values embodied within the “rule of law” principle we proclaim. It ought to go without saying that freedom of expression is at the very core of the rule of law principles we proclaim at the Free State Foundation. That is why, over the years since our founding, we have devoted significant attention to promoting an understanding of the First Amendment in our own constitutional context. 
So, for me, when I say today “Je Suis Charlie,” I mean to say forthrightly that there no longer should be equivocation about the threat the U.S., France, and others confront from radical Islamic terrorists who are waging war on core values that we profess to hold dear. It is time to stop sending mixed messages that can be interpreted as condoning the silencing of speakers in the name of not offending those who profess to be offended. Because the hard, cold truth is that there is no easy off-ramp on that road counseling self-censorship that doesn’t involve the ultimate surrender of freedom of expression and the rule of law. 
That is what I mean to say today when I say: “Je Suis Charlie.”