John McCroskey: Liberals want free speech, just not for everyone


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the college rioters, canceling student debt (which, again, just transfers it to others and cancels nothing) and questioned the value of college and its costs. 

Since then, a couple of letters to the editor writers provided thoughtful differences of opinion which, although they didn’t change my mind, were worth reading, unlike some of the online remarks I saw.

One writer, Phillip Wiltzius, who I don’t know personally, gave me reason to pause and think about his comments, specifically his reaction to my feelings that the government is well on its way to protecting this kind of bad and criminal behavior, on campus and off.  That’s the case especially if said behavior leans a certain way.

I still believe it is dangerous.

For example, if you believe abortion up to the point of delivery is reproductive health care and in fact not the deliberate murder of a baby, it’s within your right to think that way, even if it’s despite evidence, images and biology that suggest otherwise. 

In fact, in some cases, people who murder a pregnant woman are also charged with murdering the unborn baby. Some are even referred to as a “baby” in charging documents, which is weird if they really aren’t one.

But, if I believe otherwise — it’s not reproductive health care, it’s a baby and it is being deliberately killed for any reason the mother chooses — and I say so, should I be silenced?  Should I lose my job, get doxxed and be destroyed for saying so?

Some loud critics would — and will — say “yes.”

So when I hear liberals shriek about the constitution, freedom of speech, that disagreement is “fascist” or anything similar, I know what they mean: only their speech should be heard.

Or how about the COVID-19 “science?” We now know a lot of real scientists did not agree with the notorious Dr. Anthony Fauci and his ever-changing comments, where the virus came from and how to treat it. At a time when we should all be having meaningful, healthy public deliberations, many were suppressed. Credible scientists were maligned, their reputations hurt  and their views hidden.

Of course, we now know this and more and some of what they were concerned about has proven true.

So some speech really wasn’t free at all.

More recently, a young NFL player, Harrison Butker, of the Kansas City Chiefs, was asked to speak at a commencement service at a Catholic college. His speech was met with the hate we’ve come to expect from the liberal left, not by the graduates, mind you, just the liberals in the media and those they could find. 

Someone in the city government of Kansas City doxxed him, letting people know where he lived. I wonder why they’d do that? Certainly not in an attempt to intimidate him, scare his young family or silence anyone else who might agree? Naw, that’s not it. And right on time, they parade out differences of opinion to ridicule what he said. One writer even called for the Chiefs to fire him and replace him with a woman kicker. Not a better kicker or a qualified kicker, just a woman kicker. 

That would teach him a lesson for sure. 

True to form, the NFL felt the need to clarify he wasn’t speaking for them. Of course he wasn’t.  A league that's full of “men” with criminal histories and bad behaviors, they couldn’t possibly endorse the ideas of a young man who was none of that.

If, as they say, diversity makes us stronger, certainly diversity of ideas should be included, right?

College is a great place to debate ideas and maybe learn something. It doesn’t seem like diversity is welcome there, but it should be. Instead, far too frequently, it’s just a place to groupthink, which is really an oxymoron. 

Groupthink isn’t really thinking at all. 


John McCroskey was Lewis County sheriff from 1995 to 2005. He lives outside Chehalis and can be contacted at