Original Link: http://www.marco.org/2014/04/04/political-views
My thoughts on the anti-gay-marriage Mozilla CEO controversy got mostly positive responses in agreement. All others had the same argument: that Brendan Eich should not have lost his job because of his “political views” or “free speech”.
If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.
His right to free speech entitles him to express any opinion he pleases. But it does not shield him from the personal and professional repercussions of what he says.
Our right to free speech entitles us to be vocally outraged, to encourage others to boycott Firefox, or to call for his firing. What Mozilla pressures or forces him to do as a result is solely their decision and their problem, and has nothing to do with anyone’s free speech — it’s a business decision.
So let’s knock that argument right out. This is not a free speech issue, period, and it’s incorrect, misleading, and naive to attempt to make it one. Such distortions are the fastest way to pervert and derail an argument, as we often see from our politicians, and I expect better from intelligent people like Andrew Sullivan.
Let’s move on to “political views”.
Suppose, rather than fund an anti-gay-marriage bill, Eich had instead funded a fringe bill that prohibited black people from getting married. Or suppose he said during a press conference that he believed women shouldn’t have the right to vote.
Would it be reasonable for the public to be outraged and call for his firing then?
Assuming your answer is yes (I don’t think I can really help you if it’s not), why is that different from funding an anti-gay-marriage bill?
Marco’s post on political views is on the money here, and it’s a sentiment that I’ve expressed a few times this past week as discussion about Eich has come up in various forums and meet ups.
It’s been an interesting topic of discussion.