Ann Coulter’s visit (or attempted visit) to Canada has already been given far more publicity and time and energy than she will ever deserve. But I wish to make one tiny comment more.
Call it a vocabulary lesson, if you will.
After her speaking engagement at the Unversity of Ottawa was cancelled, Ms. Coulter’s comments was that “Free speech in Canada leaves much to be desired.”
We realize, Ms. Coulter, that you feel the need to ridicule certain places because they speak a language you do not, but last I checked, “free speech” was still very much an English phrase, which begs the question why you do not understand its definition.
Main Entry: freedom of speech
: the right to express information, ideas, and opinions free of government restrictions based on content and subject only to reasonable limitations (as the power of the government to avoid a clear and present danger) esp. as guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
Oh! U.S. Constitution, you say? Well, as I am merely an ignorant and probably scary Socialist Canadian and you are a wise and learned American, then surely you would better understand that than I.
First Amendment definition
An amendment to the United States Constitution guaranteeing the rights of free expression and action that are fundamental to democratic government… The government is empowered, however, to restrict these freedoms if expression threatens to be destructive
Can we focus for a second on that last phrase… if expression threatens to be destructive.
What would you call comments such as the following if not destructive?
“The University of Ottawa is really easy to get into, isn’t it?” she said in an interview after the cancelled event. “I never get any trouble at the Ivy League schools. It’s always the bush league schools.”
In my opinion, Canadian and Francophile though it may be, Ms. Coulter needs to take a break from writing punchy blogs and from stomping around university campuses and maybe go back to kindergarten and learn some basics.
You know, like why name-calling just isn’t nice. Or necessary. And why it’s definitely not free… of cost or of consequence.