Arthur Milikh writes for the Federalist that speech controls based on identity politics could have drastic negative long-term impacts.

Much evidence suggests that freedom of speech may be banned in the coming years under the guise of regulating “hate speech.” Many on the left who demand and welcome this development do not foresee the broad consequences of their actions. Nor do many defenders of free speech sufficiently examine the left’s reasons for banning it.

Just in the past few years, U.S. senators proposed to outlaw words they deem offensive; New York City attempted to fine residents $250,000 if they say “illegal alien”; Big Tech companies continue to ban certain kinds of speech from their platforms; deeply embedded regulatory and judicial precedents, originating in civil rights laws and the sexual liberation movement, have expanded their reach into the private sphere, permitting bureaucrats and activists to regulate speech; and denunciations of individuals and institutions who speak contrary to identity-politics dogma are commonplace.

These are not isolated instances of far-left overreach. Rather, as an earlier generation’s liberalism is subsumed into identity politics, free speech, in conflict with identity politics’ central claims, becomes its first and most important target of attack.

To understand the political and moral consequences of losing freedom of speech, we should examine its original purposes, of which there are three: political liberty, freedom of the mind, and the formation of republican habits of character. For Benjamin Franklin, these purposes were related: “Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.”

Political liberty is not possible without freedom of speech. On the one hand, arguments about the common good and public policies must be presented to citizens if they are to rule themselves — and to do this, citizens must be free to discuss “the Propriety of Public Measures and political opinions,” as Franklin says.