A defense of line-drawing
From what I understand, Traldi is saying that reframing the debate as two groups of people who both care about free speech but just differ in degree is not very meaningful. It obscures the fact that their differences *are* the result of differences in abstract principles, not merely them arbitrarily drawing a line somewhere on a continuum of unacceptable vs acceptable speech.
It's like saying "the difference between capitalists and communists is really just the the degree to which they believe the government should control and distribute resources." It's technically true, but it obscures the fact that these are two groups *generally* committed to discretely different principles. The capitalist wants to maximize the free exchange of goods and services, while the communist wants to minimize inequality.
Similarly, there is a group of people *generally* committed to the notion of the free exchange of ideas and a group of people *generally* committed to the notion that language is a source of oppression and must be actively policed. People are imperfect and contradict themselves, and not everyone is arguing in good faith, and both groups *generally* respect the other idea to some extent, but that isn't enough to not recognize that these are fundamentally different groups with, in practice, irreconcilable differences.
There is -- or should be -- no line. Not in law. If one wants to object to someone else's expression in some non-physically-aggressive manner (in the libertarian sense) then they are welcome to do so on the principle of equal liberty. Congress shall make NO law abridging the freedom of expression. All the supposed exceptions to free-speech absolutism are equivocations that attempt to make legitimately outlawing physical force accompanied by some form of epiphenomenal expression equivalent to legitimately outlawing expression. Hurting someone's feelings or offending their sense of propriety is not harming them in any way they cannot avoid by merely discounting the offending expression. This is all so obvious that it is only the totalitarian mentality that can refuse to see it. Such a mentality does so for obvious reasons: Without thought control there can be no suppression of the individuality that demands personal sovereignty -- the death knell of all forms of collectivism.
I'm more in the Grossman camp than the Traldi camp. There are few (no?) true absolutes in social principle. Everything is a line drawing exercise. What's shifted recently is the ever expanding definition of "Harm" along with the rejection of the concept of forgiveness. The "Harm" boundary used to be a fairly bright line...and certainly something able to be adjudicated. But now? Once "Harm" was broadened to "it hurts my feelings", and everything became a function of individual perception, it lost all defining principle.
But still... social shunning was always the libertarian fallback to how to enforce social norms. As an example, many who argue against the CRA because of it's intrusiveness into private spaces, counter argue that social shunning would have eventually overcome embedded racism. But social media changes the social shunning dynamic. Does the ability to create large mobs quickly negate the utility of social shunning? idk