TOS Blog: Daily Commentary from an Objectivist Perspective

Piers Morgan May Not Recognize Rights, but He Has Them

Piers Morgan is a citizen of the United Kingdom currently working in the United States on a green card as a CNN television host. After Morgan advocated stricter gun laws and called Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America “an unbelievably stupid man,” more than 44,000 Americans signed petitions calling for the Obama administration to deport him, reports USA Today.

Whether Morgan was right or wrong in his policy proposals is irrelevant to the question of whether he has a right to remain in the United States. Morgan has not violated anyone’s rights; he has only exercised his right to freedom of speech. Whether he stays here should be entirely up to him. (Whether he remains employed by CNN should be entirely up to CNN. Whether people continue to watch CNN should be up to them.)

As Craig Biddle summarizes in his article “Immigration and Individual Rights,” the legal “prohibition [on immigration] . . . is un-American and immoral. The basic principle of America—the principle of individual rights—demands a policy of open immigration.” Read Biddle’s entire essay for the reasons supporting this position.

Morgan has a moral right to live here, and he has a moral right to freedom of speech. The best way to protest Morgan’s proposals to infringe people’s liberties is to unwaveringly defend Morgan’s liberties on principle. Whether Morgan understands the principle of individual rights is irrelevant to the validity of the principle. His case is an excellent example of why the principle must be embraced and upheld.

To paraphrase Voltaire, I may not like what Morgan says, and I may not like him living here, but I will defend his right to speak his mind and live where he chooses.

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Immigration

Comments are welcome so long as they are civil.
  • http://twitter.com/John_R_Shepard John Shepard

    Amen!

  • Anonymous

    Ari you might have a grammar issue. Did you mean to say individual rights instead of just individual in your sentence “Whether Morgan understands the principle of individual is irrelevant to the validity of the principle.”?

  • John Gold

    Voltaire didn’t say that.

  • Anonymous

    I never claimed to be directly quoting from Voltaire. The quote was originally written by a biographer of Voltaire, not as a direct quote, but as a summary of his views. Hence my term “paraphrase.”