Steve Simpson Responds to Critics on Freedom of Speech

“We’ve gotten a lot of criticism lately from Trump supporters who accuse us of being part of the ‘leftist establishment’ or of supporting the ‘mainstream media’ because we’ve criticized Trump,” said Steve Simpson, the Ayn Rand Institute’s director of Legal Studies. “It’s interesting because we are typically viewed as ‘right wing.’ ”

Simpson’s latest op-ed, “Free Speech Is a Right, Not a Political Weapon,” published at The Hill on December 6, 2016, has generated more than 600 shares and 150 comments on that site (not to mention the scores of comments at ARI’s December 6 Facebook page entry), many of them negative.

“The criticisms of my article from Trump supporters remind me a lot of criticisms I’ve gotten for years from supporters of campaign finance laws on the left,” Simpson said. “They claim that I support a government run by corporations. Now the Trump supporters claim I support a government run by the ‘mainstream media.’ Both sides see their respective candidates as fighting these ‘corrupt’ institutions. Both have very flawed views of the institutions they are criticizing (business or the media) and of free speech and the role of government. So I wanted to comment on this and elaborate on some of the points I made in the article.”

Simpson decided to respond with a Facebook Live video that’s watchable here: