Why is is it that so many on the right have NO CLUE what freedom of speech means?
If I call you ugly, stupid, bigoted, or otherwise insult you, that is NOT a violation of your freedom of speech. That is my usage of my freedom of speech. This seems to be the big one for right wingers. "Waaa.... waaa..... waaa..... I was insulted, that's an attack on my freedom of speech!". No it's not. You have the right to speech, and I respect your right to speak, and I have the right to not-respect the content of your speech, I have the right to criticize your speech, I have the right to insult you and your speech.
If I say "shut the fuck up", that is not a violation of your freedom of speech. You still have the right to continue speaking, and I have the right to express my opinion on it, and to say I think you should stop speaking.
I have the right to stop being your friend if I dislike your speech. I have the right to tell other people they shouldn't be your friend. I have the right to avoid you, and avoid spending my money in your business because I dislike you and what you say. And I have the right to suggest to other people that should avoid you and not spend their money in your business. None of that is a violation of your freedom of speech.
What DOES freedom of speech mean?
It means the government can't put you in prison because it doesn't like what you have to say, it means I can't use the government to put you in prison for saying things I dislike, it means the government cannot deny you equal-access under the law because the government dislikes the content of your speech.
You can be a member of the KKK, the Nazi party, NAMBLA, or whatever else. And if a city issues parade permits for activist groups, the city cannot deny you equal access to obtain a parade permit. THAT is a violation of your freedom of speech. I may utterly abhor your speech, but I will fight the government on your behalf, demanding that the government MUST issue parade permits on content-neutral terms. And once you do get that parade permit, I will either stay the hell away from your abhorrent parade, or I will show up at the parade to use MY freedom of speech to shout you down and insult you, protesting against your cause.
honest about not supporting people who have opinions different than your own
I will fight the government on your behalf if they try to imprison you for your speech, or if the government denies you equal access under the law. However beyond that I do NOT need to support cause, I do NOT need to respect you or what you have to say, I do NOT need to assist you in any way. I CAN and WILL oppose you in every way in my power. I will oppose you in every way SHORT of trying to criminalize your speech or deny you equal treatment under the law.
There are a lot of things I dislike, there are a lot of things that offend me, but I am DEDICATED to the position that no one.... not even me.... can use violence merely because we are offended by what you have to say. And that specifically means that no one.... not even me.... can use government-sanctioned violence to arrest or imprison you merely because we are offended by what you have to say. That neither I not anyone else can use the force of government to deny you equal rights under the law, simply because we dislike what you have to say.
Freedom of speech means I strictly reject violence against you for your objectionable speech (including the threat of police), and strictly oppose oppose striping your legal rights for your objectionable speech. But in the arena of speech-vs-speech, in the social arena, I can disrespect and combat your objectionable speech with all vigor.
so that America may one day be of one mind
Today we are nearly all of one mind that women should have an equal right to vote. And in getting to that point, there was nothing wrong with any disrespect that was expressed against opponents, there was nothing wrong with any insults cast against opponents, there was nothing wrong with social stigma against opponents. Anyone today who advocates revoking women's right to vote is going to dear well-deserved insults and social stigma for arguing such noxious ideas. Freedom of speech ensures they CAN pursue that speech, but there's no violation of freedom of speech when the general public loudly and viciously attacks that speech. There no violation of freedom of speech when people boycott that noxious individual.
must be punished into submission and silenced until they think the same way you do
Bad or noxious ideas are SUPPOSED to lose. And yes, loosing can be unpleasant. The point of freedom of speech is that the government cannot forcibly shut down objectionable speech. The point of freedom of speech is that people have the freedom to *try* to win people over to their side. It can get ugly to be right when everyone else is wrong, and unfortunately there's no simple fix for that. It can get even uglier for someone who is dedicated to some wrong or noxious idea, and who is too stupid or obstinate to learn why his ideas are wrong or noxious. And again, unfortunately there's no easy fix for that either. But in that case it's a self-inflicted problem.