No concept is more valuable to a critical thinker than free speech. Without the ability speak freely they would be at constant risk of aneurysms. It is a maddening to know so much and be unable to give an opinion. Although free speech is a right enshrined in the American constitution, it is rarely used properly and to its fullest effect.
To a critical thinker the right to dissent is fundamental. A life time of accumulated knowledge creates a skepticism of authority. Knowing to look deeper at an issue beyond what is present on the surface is part of mindset of a critical thinker. This is necessary because most people are distracted by what society has to offer for pleasure. A negative side effect of constant distractions is a lowering of the collective intelligent quotient.
Looking from the outside is an important position to be in. True objectivity is impossible, but setting emotions aside is vital to intelligent free speech. Setting emotions aside helps us create arguments that make sense. Most people base decisions on emotions; that is why it is important to effectively merge logic and emotions.
Free speech is needed to change minds and hopefully society. However, this has largely proven to be a fantasy. In America, there is an undercurrent of anti-intellectualism that is often celebrated. When it comes to free speech rights many believe hat the loudest voice has the moral authority. Because in America, might makes right.