The actor Sean Penn, speaking on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, defended Venezuelan Communist dictator Hugo Chavez, accusing the American media of being biased against left-wing causes. He complained, that “every day, this elected leader is called a dictator here, and we just accept it! And accept it. And this is the mainstream media…there should be a bar by which one goes to prison for these kinds of lies.”
Lecturing in Modern Global History daily at Colorado Christian University, I often refer to Chavez as a dictator, but Sean Penn thinks that should be a felony. However, our Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, so I am free to call a dictator a dictator without fear of prosecution. That isn’t true in any current Communist country, among them Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, or Zimbabwe, and won’t be true here, if the left continues to solidify its control of our country and continues to reinterpret our Constitution any way they want.
We must do all we can to protect our Constitution from so-called “Progressive”, left-wing innovators who advocate a “living constitution”. If we allow them to convince us that the Constitution is outdated, merely the product of “dead white males”, if we allow them to more loosely reinterpret our Constitution, distorting it to fit their own wealth-redistributing agenda, then all of our Constitutional freedoms are in danger of being lost. First they will convince us to give up our right to bear arms, then they will convince us of their right to indoctrinate our children, then they will convince us of the dangers of allowing people to speak freely.
The day may come when people like Sean Penn will insist that my lectures be more “politically correct”. Like political dissidents in Communist and most Islamic countries, I may be carted off to prison for calling a dictator a dictator. One may say, “Watson, you are committing the ‘slippery slope’ fallacy.” However, we have already slipped quite a bit down that slope, and we should begin to consider how far down we have already traveled on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom.”