Nothing tests one’s intellectual honesty and ability to apply principles consistently more than free speech controversies. It is exceedingly easy to invoke free speech values in defense of political views you like. It is exceedingly difficult to invoke them in defense of views you loathe. But the true test for determining the authenticity of one’s belief in free speech is whether one does the latter, not the former.
The anti-US protests sweeping the Muslim world have presented a perfect challenge to test the free speech convictions of both the American right and the Democratic party version of the left. Neither is faring particularly well.