Iran had to turn off the internet. Angela Merkel, formerly assigned the role to distribute East German agitprop (when it was East Germany), proclaims hate speech requires the state to control speech. And here in New Hampshire?
Several of my State House reps and a few you’ll be familiar with from our reporting, want to limit speech directed at public officials. We’ve not seen the text of the bill, but we don’t have to because Chancellor Merkel has framed it for us using similar left-wing narratives.
“… freedom of expression has its limits. Those limits begin where hatred is spread. They begin where the dignity of other people is violated. This house will and must oppose extreme speech. Otherwise our society will no longer be the free society that it was.”
Merkel’s plea is wide-reaching, but at its core is the idea that “we can’t be truly free unless we let the government constrain speech.” We must limit opinions that the government decides are too extreme, inappropriate, or ill-placed. And to use government force to punish people who cross a line that is subject to the whims of those drawing them.
If that Sounds Familiar it is Because…
Nashua Democrat Jan Schmidt lifted and shared without attribution a 2016 quote from Steven Rosenbaum at Forbes.
In this past year, something changed. … Free speech morphed into hateful speech. Vile, angry, threatening, racist, misogynist epithets fired like weapons at political opponents.
What Janice Schmidt means to say is freedom of expression is a threat and should have limits, and she’s going to do something about that. Along with Francesca Diggs, Debra Altschiller, Sherry Frost, Nancy Murphy, and Wendy Thomas.
But the entire purpose of the speech protections in the First Amendment of the US Constitution exists to prevent legislators from enacting laws that might silence speech directed at them. Full stop. Congress shall make no law… applies to legislative exercises at every level of government.
I mentioned Iran and Germany, but China is also on the list. In England, which is at least historically closer to the American experiment, you can get arrested by the thought police for putting the wrong words next to each other on Facebook. None of those places has the First Amendment, but we can see from here why they need it.
The State is inclined to suppress expressions that protect the government at the expense of the people. And it is never pretty.
It is Part of the Package
Look. I get that you may not have signed on for the negative attention, but it comes with the territory. I’m not always showered with love and praise. Democrats are relentless in their insults, lies, and smears. I don’t care. That’s who they want to be fine, I’ll write about it.
You may not know this but we rail on Republicans constantly. More so because we expect better from them. They have tried to get me fired from my job for opinions or reporting they didn’t like. What did I do? I wrote about it.
They aren’t whining or pretending that any of this is harassment or stalking. No Republican is proposing legislation to create safe spaces on social media for legislators. Maybe because they understand where that leads and why we have the first amendment.
Oh, and that it would quickly fail almost any court challenge and we’d never let them live any of that down. That applies to every other attack on individual rights. If you insist on ignoring constitutional limits on government power we must insist on calling it out.
If that bothers you find another hobby.