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Historian Allen Guelzo on why free speech matters

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Protesters with Constitution
Protesters paraded the Constitution through the streets of St. Paul.
Caroline Yang for MPR News file

A speech by Gettysburg College historian Allen Guelzo makes an ardent plea to all Americans to value the First Amendment, stand up for free speech and be life-long truth-seekers.

Guelzo says "free speech is an indispensable ingredient in the recipe for preventing tyrannies .... of the left, or the right."

He also said, "no one is authorized in the great forum of the republic's life to silence another. The strongest retort to an offensive speaker is an empty room. The strongest retaliation to a neo-Nazi parade is a curb full of people turning their backs."

Guelzo says truth is a weapon, and we should not be "seduced by the silencers."

Guelzo is professor of history at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He gave this talk November 20, 2017 at an Abraham Lincoln Foundation event at the Union League of Philadelphia. He is the author of "Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President."

To listen to the speech, click the audio player above.