Making free speech illegal
Many liberal Democrats “have fallen out of love with free speech,” said Jonathan Turley, and are calling for censorship and even criminalization of opposing views. In a “chilling” opinion column, former Time editor Richard Stengel recently called for the U.S. to adopt a “hate speech law,” saying the First Amendment has “a design flaw,” and “should not protect hateful speech that can cause violence by one group against another.” As an example, he cites attacks on Islam, such as burning the Quran. Stengel has plenty of company: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently demanded that Facebook remove any political ad she and her progressive allies deemed “a lie.” Some liberals are even calling for the adoption of European-style “hate crime” laws. Consider what that would mean: A German politician was charged with a crime for calling immigrants “scum,” and in the U.K., a Baptist minister was briefly jailed for denouncing homosexuality. Despite such censorship, neo-Nazi and extremist parties are on the rise throughout Europe. Banning “bad” speech doesn’t work; the best antidote to ugly ideas is good speech. Our basic freedoms should not be debatable.