“I think that in a free society, you can’t demand that people not have the right to fire you if they don’t like what you say”
Uhhh No. Freedom of association between individuals is all well and good, but it has absolutely nothing to do with a “right to fire you if they don’t like what you say”. This is something that we need to be very clear about.
The truth is that in the USA (and most of the West) we do not have freedom of association when it comes to hiring or firing people. For instance it is illegal to refuse to hire, or to fire, people who fall into one of the “protected classes” for a list of specified reasons. In fact, to fail to hire or fire someone in one of these protected classes is quite risky for a business to do.
In a union job it is not allowed (at least in theory) to fire someone for anything other than “just cause”. This is a principle that should apply to all employees, even the hapless European American who fails to fall into one of the protected classes. Is there a more fundamental right than to be secure from intimidation and blackmail with regards to one’s livelihood? No employee should ever fear being replaced in their job save for just cause. Just cause meaning either some dereliction of duty on the employees part or some change of circumstances which make one unable to fulfill the duties of one’s position. Such a principle places no undue burden on any employer and does not restrict any legitimate rights of the employer.
Once you allow people/corporations/companies/government to threaten people with the loss of their employment and ability to earn a living simply for exercising their political rights, such as freedom of speech, then you have effectively quashed those rights and they cease to have any real meaning. Why should an employer have a right to intimidate employees in an effort to suppress their right to freely express their views, particularly on political subjects?
Is such a position not the antithesis of democracy? Does it not assign yet further political power to wealth at the expense of the individual citizen? Does it not have the direct effect of minimizing the influence of the electorate in favor of the powerful?
No, I am all for freedom of association, but one cannot legitimately argue that such a freedom confers upon employers a right to suppress the political speech of their employees through intimidation and blackmail. The employee/employer relationship is a purely economic one and it should remain as such.