Not only has free speech become a four-letter word—profane, obscene, uncouth, not to be uttered in so-called public places — but in more and more cases, the government deems free speech to be downright dangerous and in some instances illegal.

When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds it…