Democracy Dies with a Heckler's Veto

Democracy Dies in Darkness was the Post's grandstanding response. But it's the heckler's veto that truly kills free societies. Whether it's Muslim terrorists who hate cartoons or leftists who reject free speech, the blackmail of violence, real or threatened, brings the marketplace of ideas to a halt.

Berkeley was once renowned as the home of the Free Speech movement. Increasingly it's becoming the place where free speech goes to die. The shadow of the heckler's veto is spread by an institutional left that is eager for the excuse to impose it.

Not all hecklers are created equal. The hecklers of the left always have special privileges. And when the heckler's veto is exercised, we must look beyond the hecklers, their bats and pepper spray, to the institutions that aid and abet them.

If a society means anything, it must have the ability to maintain public spaces free of the heckler's veto. Without it, a society is little more than violent Socialist blackmail with a human face.