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THE HORROR: Majority of Democrats–and an Increasing Percentage of Republicans–Support Criminalizing Free Speech

campus-censorship

John Sexton reports: A new poll shows that a majority of Democrats want to limit free speech with laws that would prohibit so-called “hate speech.”

The YouGov poll published Wednesday found that 51 percent of Democrats favor imposing legal limits on free speech while just 26 percent of Democrats oppose the idea…(more)

YouGov-free-speech

A clear example of this desire to limit speech can be found in the New York Times free-hateeditorial board’s reaction to the attack in Garland. In a piece titled, “Free Speech vs. Hate Speech,” the Times criticizes Pam Geller, the organizer of the cartoon contest and the intended victim of the attack. Speaking of Geller, the Times wrote, “she achieved her provocative goal in Garland — the event was attacked by two Muslims.”

The Times goes on to argue that no amount of violence—not the Charlie Hebdo attacks, not the theatrical brutality of ISIS, not even 9/11—can justify “provocations” (i.e. cartoons) of Islam. This is the severely limited view of the 1st amendment the left-leaning NYT has already embraced.

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In contrast, the opposing view, held by most Republicans and independents according to this YouGov poll, is probably best exemplified by a piece Eugene Volokh published at the Washington Post:

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Eugene Volokh writes:

I keep hearing about a supposed “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment, or statements such as, “This isn’t free speech, it’s hate speech,” or “When does free speech panic-bettystop and hate speech begin?” But there is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment. Hateful ideas (whatever exactly that might mean) are just as protected under the First Amendment as other ideas. One is as free to condemn Islam — or Muslims, or Jews, or blacks, or whites, or illegal aliens, or native-born citizens — as one is to condemn capitalism or Socialism or Democrats or Republicans….(read more at Washington Post)

The 1st Amendment protects all speech, but there is no doubt the left is increasingly comfortable with limiting this…

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editor-commen-deskUnmentioned in John Sexton‘s analysis however, is that Republicans and Independents, not Democrats, are increasingly warming to the idea of free speech bans, while Democrat support is relatively unchanged. For example:

At Hot Air, Allahpundit writes:

Democratic support for banning hate speech hasn’t increased at all; on the contrary, Dems are a bit more likely to oppose a ban than they were seven months ago, a rational reaction to the creepy spectacle of western media outlets self-censoring images of Mohammed cartoons after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. It’s Republicans and independents who are slowly warming to hate-speech bans. Indie opposition has dropped 12 points, with an increase of eight points in support. GOPers are now 12 points more likely to support hate-speech bans than they were last year.

Allahpundit‘s exit question:

I can understand why progressives would want a legal cudgel to silence their enemies but I can’t understand why conservatives increasingly would. Even if you don’t value free speech enough to abhor that sort of cudgel on principle, surely you understand that the “politically incorrect” will be the main target of prosecutions. Why on earth would you enable this?

…Hillary Clinton has said that overturning Citizens United is a priority for her if elected President.

That decision found that a film critical of Hillary could be shown on TV prior to an election. Hillary says she would support a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision…(read more)

John SextonBreitbart –  Eugene Volokh, Washington Post – Allahpundit, Hot Air

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One Comment on “THE HORROR: Majority of Democrats–and an Increasing Percentage of Republicans–Support Criminalizing Free Speech”

  1. […] an Increasing Percentage of Republicans–Support Criminalizing Free Speech,” By Pundit, May 22, […]


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