April 27, 2023

Blogger’s New Book Spotlights Worrisome Trend That Is Chilling to Free Speech

Nothing is more un-American than imposing a specific viewpoint on others with little regard to the other person’s standing or failing to even respect their right to express themselves.

A friend recently suggested I check out Tim Urban’s new book, “What’s Our Problem?: A Self-Help Book for Societies.” Its impact was chilling because it touched upon a critically important and ominous topic: the silencing of free speech by those with differing views.

The book was written by a left-wing progressive whose perspectives might seem unlikely to resonate with me. But the author’s observations and assessments resonated.

In the book, the popular blogger-turned-author explores some of the most worrisome trends that we are seeing in this country, including increased partisanship and a lowering of the intellectual bar.

Urban also does a good job of introducing an interesting concept where political thinking isn’t plotted along an X-Y linear axis but actually extends up vertically as well. The extremes he discusses are not just far-left and far-right but low-rung and high-rung thinking.

It’s a compelling way of explaining how our country has been dragged down by people on both sides. Factions are cheapening public discourse and making it less about the arguments and a free marketplace of ideas and more about being beholden to the most extreme viewpoints.

Times are changing, and not for the better. Years ago, Washington, D.C., was a place where legislators could disagree vehemently on the right path forward for this country and still be able to maintain friendships with those who held opposing views. The two sides could agree to disagree. No more.

I personally have always maintained deep and abiding friendships with people whose political philosophies and views differed from my own. I have always been happy to engage in debate and discussion with them based on the merits of an argument. I never took our differences to heart. But increasingly, the free marketplace of ideas in America is being shut down by those who want to drown out everyone who does not fall into line with the loudest and most strident voices.

At the end of the day, I believe most Americans want to live in a country where we can openly debate issues and share beliefs. A country that celebrates the free exchange of ideas and thoughts so the best policies and philosophies can prevail. But that does not appear where we are headed.

Urban’s book warns very clearly against the nefarious influence that extremists are having in our colleges, universities and schools. Take the recent student mob victory at Stanford Law School that occurred in March when a crowd of students shouted down a conservative U.S. judge because they disagreed with his stance on several social issues. The judge had been invited to present at the school, but was unable to speak due to students’ heckling.

Nothing is more un-American than imposing a specific viewpoint on others with little regard to the other person’s standing or failing to even respect their right to express themselves. This is being done every day by a group Urban refers to as the social justice fundamentalists.

Neither politics, current events nor personal choices should be a zero-sum game where you are either on our side or you are not.

Urban’s book also does an excellent job of explaining shocking developments within our educational system where an orthodox viewpoint, highly slanted to the far left, is forced upon students, largely due to a lack of diversity in terms of viewpoint and one-sided political leanings among professors. True learning must come from all corners, and we have to be unafraid to challenge students’ thinking and always be willing to open our minds and consider new information.

Studies have repeatedly shown that our campuses have become more stridently partisan. To that point, Urban recounts numerous examples of teachers who feel completely silenced and afraid to speak their minds or to share any perspectives that run counter to a hard-left radical viewpoint.

In fact, part of what makes this book so compelling is that the author is a lifelong progressive who takes issue with some of the very illiberal tactics being used by those who profess to champion liberal values.

It is a scary state of affairs anywhere, but particularly in America. Urban’s book highlights not just where we are but also paints a picture of where we should be and what it will take to get there.

The author simplifies complex arguments in ways that are relatable and understandable, whether you lean left or right. However, I suspect it will be the high-rung thinkers who will get the most out of this book. The low-rung thinkers may be quick to dismiss and pay it no heed — which is really the point.


Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Join us in prayer for our nation, that good and righteous leaders would rise and prevail, and that division would be healed so we can be united as Americans. We pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans and First Responders, and for their families.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.