who decides proper manners? a century ago it probably wasn't "proper manners" for a woman to you know... speak. or wear pants. but that's off-topic.
i'm a bit more liberal than the average american, but i'm of the firm belief that all speech, all expression no matter how offensive should be protected from and by the law. It scares me that if i speak the wrong words, i might ruin my life,
Free speech has limits. Your free speech does not include the right to make terroristic threats. If you threaten to kill someone, then I have absolutely no idea any place where that would not be considered a threat to harm a person. Good manners or not, I recall early on, my parents told me "Never never ever threaten to kill someone." Must have made an impression on me, because I gave my son the exact same advice.
Which is all to say, if you threaten harm to a person, and harm comes to that person, guess who's going be knocking on your door to chat with you? Better have a good alabi.
that if i contribute to the wrong political philosophy or campaign, i could ruin my life.
That is certainly not in the mix here, that's way overstating what I've said. Normal discourse is protected.free speech. We can call each other names all day.
I could ruin my life with a single tweet.
Yes you could. You could threaten violence upon someone, disclose company or state secrets, admit infidelity or write something ridiculously stupid about your employer. On there and other services, people have bragged about or shown items they have stolen or about mistreating others. Yes, a stupid single tweet could be a life altering experience. And people have altered their lives.
Which by the way, is why I always strongly advise against using Twitter. The format simply encourages ill thought out texting and responses.
And the thing ruining my life is the judgmental, vicious and gleeful masses.
Or your wife, or employer, or Government as the case may be. Or you.
Regardless, that isn't even involved in what I'm talking about. I'm talking about matters that would get you in legal trouble if you said it in someone's presence. I don't know if you are married or not, but if someone threatened to kill you or whoever you loved, you would just not care or do anything about it? Or not do anything about it?
I cannot imagine anyone not having astrong visceral response to someone threatening non-consensual violent forced sex upon their daughter, and if you can say you'd meet with that person - well good for you. Perhaps not so good for your loved ones if the person threateing the violence carries through on the threat.
I like to think that i try to be excellent to others... but that in some very small part entails being excellent to those that are not excellent to me.
You and I have quite a different idea of what entails "not being excellent" I think. I love a good discussion with different ideas, even where people might call each other silly or stupid or petty, or ofter such comments.
But threats are indicative of a person losing control. And people losing control sometimes carry through on those threats.