Fostering Toleration in Cleveland

Recently, the editorial board of the Toledo Blade laid out the difficult task ahead for the city government of Cleveland as it prepares for the upcoming Republican National Convention.

In the article the board mentions the city’s recently revised speech regulations, noting that “their initial rules restricted so much speech that the ACLU sued them.”

However, the article notes that the reworked rules represent a “reasonably good position for the city,” hopefully allowing conflicting groups to express their speech rights without the use of violence.

As the board observes, Cleveland authorities must ensure that “in preventing people from attacking political speakers, they do not prevent people from being political speakers in the first place.” This balance between defending the free speech rights of some without trampling on the rights of others is a crucial equilibrium which any government must strive to achieve.

The right to free speech does not excuse attempts to limit or smother speech with which one disagrees, especially through the use of violence. To disagree with the content of a message but support the right to peacefully present it is the essence of toleration, and it would be in the best interest of the Cleveland city government to create an environment which fosters such toleration.

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