Remember when you could talk about anything in America without fear of retribution, shaming, harassment?
Do you recall when media was a plural noun, implying a multitude of voices?
What about speech codes? Can you remember a time before they were imposed on college campuses?
Advertisement - story continues below
How about the internet before Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google set the rules for what you could say and what you couldn't say?
A generation ago, America was celebrated for its free speech, its free press, its freedom of religion.
But consider the topics today that you can't talk about, write about or dissent about.
Let's take a look at the top 9 topics that are basically off-limits in our formerly free society:
Advertisement - story continues below
- Evolution: We went from a time when God's Creation was accepted as fact to a time when public schools can't even teach about it as a legitimate "theory" – a possibility. Evolution has gone from a theory to a fact in academia while the evidence has gone the other direction. While the scientific world is in near total agreement now that the universe had a beginning, as well as a time when life sprung up in abundance all at once, America's most powerful cultural institutions continue to push the evolution line exclusively without second thoughts, second looks. Are we better off without the debate, the dialogue, the discussion? Are we more learned, more advanced as a society without dialectics?
- Man-made climate change: Some "news organizations," CNN comes to mind, are no longer interested in sources they characterize as "deniers," those who are skeptical about the urgent need to reorder the world's economic and political systems around the priority of lowering carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. It's unlikely you could have a debate at a major university about the evidence against impending doom from catastrophic, man-made climate change. Does that make us more informed or less? Does it make for open political discussions? Are we a healthier, more open society as a result?
- Donald Trump: We now have a president of the United States for whom it is unsafe in many venues simply to show support. Just wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat is considered provocative. Despite his demonstrated Midas touch on all matters economic and better poll ratings than his recent predecessors, the gatekeepers of media, Big Tech, academia, the entertainment industry and the Democratic Party continue to hound him like an unindicted co-conspirator, a war criminal, a "fascist" authoritarian, an unregistered foreign agent, a "white supremacist" or worse.
- Illegal immigration: You can't have a free and open debate about controlling it without being called names – hater, bigot, racist. The sovereignty of America is at stake, but the cacophony of denial about a simple border barrier is hysterical, maniacal, completely over the top and one-sided, full of misinformation, disinformation and fake news.
- Muslim terrorism: Nearly 20 years after Muslim terrorists declared war on America by hijacking airliners and crashing them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and an open field in Pennsylvania, killing more people than in any foreign on the homeland in American history, incidents and evidence of Muslim terrorism is systematically covered up by the media. Instead, the real problem, according to the thought police, is Islamophobia.
- Roe v. Wade: It is, according to the cultural institutions that serve as our morality cops, "a settled matter of law." Anyone who opposes this Supreme Court decision, which denies the right to life for preborn babies, will find a hostile environment in the media. Even restrictions on abortion for the purpose of sex selection are considered threats to "a woman's right to choose." But what about freedom to dissent? What about free speech? What about a free hearing on the sanctity of life?
- Gender: Can you believe we can no longer identify men and women based on biology without fear of "discrimination" and accusation of "bias" and "bigotry"? It's true. Meanwhile, judges and activists are promoting gender dysphoria as well as irreversible surgical disfiguration and chemical castration even for children. It's a new and brave new world – but don't try too hard to dissent unless you're ready for the consequences. Prepare to be called a "hater," a "homophobe," just for the crime of disagreeing.
- Guns: Just as America is quickly watering down its commitment to the First Amendment, so too is it continually compromising on the Second Amendment. And you won't get a fair hearing in the media or though social media or through the search engine that commands a nearly worldwide monopoly yet ignores legal requirement for political impartiality in the way it serves and controls content. The anti-gun propaganda never stops. There's a war on private ownership of guns like never before.
- The family: Everyone knows the family unit, with a father and mother at the center, is the building block of a self-governing, healthy and prosperous society. Or do they? Who is making that case in America today? Government follows policies that are hostile to families, as is our corporate culture. But just try making that case in a public forum that counts. Kudos to Tucker Carlson for bravely making the effort.