Free speech is not just for those whom you like

Let’s put aside the fact that I will never vote for Trump. Ever. 

Let’s put aside his ignorance of policy, economics, diplomacy, and national security. 

Let’s ignore his delusional claims that he would defeat Hillary if he got the nomination. He wouldn’t just lose. He would lose in a Mondale-Reagan type landslide. 

Let’s put all that aside and look at the events of last night. 

Trump was supposed to have spoken at a rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The usual conglomeration of loud, angry supporters gathered there last night (probably to raise their right paws and swear allegiance to the Hemorrhoid) to have him tell them how his administration would be tremendous, how our economic growth was going to be YUUUGE, how he would force sovereign nations to pay for our national security, and how he would force manufacturing back to the United States by threatening high tariffs. 

I expected the usual garbage, but instead what we saw as we watched horrified on CNN, was a bunch of protesters literally shut down the rally by causing so many security concerns, it was no longer safe to allow Trump to speak to the crowds. 

I watched Occutard savages rip up campaign signs. I watched BLM thugs block attendees from passage. I watched Bernie supporters yell in the faces of Trump supporters. I saw fist fights break out. 

To be sure, I saw a few peaceful, quiet protesters as well, but they were outshrieked by the angry mobs on both sides. 

After the event was canceled, many of these cretinous loons took to the streets to celebrate the fact that they shut down a Trump event

What is it, exactly, they were celebrating?

The fact that they prevented thousands from exercising their constitutionally protected right to assemble?

The fact that they prevented a presidential candidate – no matter how abhorrent – from addressing potential voters?

The fact that they prevented thousands of people from getting more informed about a candidate firsthand?

The fact that they prevented those with whom they disagree – even vehemently so – from exercising their right to free speech?

To be sure, last night was a victory for no one but Trump and his frothing supporters. 

By using violence, rhetoric, threats, and bullying to shut down his event, they have shown themselves just as ignorant as the Trumpanzees who physically assaulted protesters at Trump rallies. 

By preventing the rally from taking place, they have given Trump the media attention on which he thrives and probably pushed thousands of angry, on the fence voters to Trump – not away from him. 

And their threatening, in your face tactics have proven they’re willing to use force to shut down opposing views and speech. 

This is the scariest part of all. 

I blogged yesterday about Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski assaulting a reporter, then lying about it, then assassinating her character publicly, and then denying a scheduled interview to a Washington Post reporter who witnessed the incident. 

I expressed my concern that a Trump Administration would use similar tactics on a grander and more powerful scale to shut down media scrutiny and cast out reporters whom it felt were adversarial or not friendly enough, endangering the freedom of the press enshrined in the First Amendment. 

 
This is no different. This is no better. These “protesters” used violence, threats, and aggression to shut up those with whom they disagreed. They forcibly gagged those whose views they find abhorrent. They celebrated publicly their “victory” over those with opposing views – not victory over hate, and certainly not victory over ignorance, for their goal was not to change minds, but to close them – to bar access to opposing thought and to shut down WrongThink with force. 

Think about it. Is this the kind of country we want?

Freedom of speech is for everyone – not just for those with whom we agree. 

There are a lot of policies – most, in fact – with which I disagree in the movie “The American President,” but there’s one quote I use that is superlative in expressing my views on freedom. 

America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.

That is America, and that is what these protesters – and really, the safe space demanders and Special Snowflakes who have taken over our universities lately don’t understand. 

Freedom of speech is for everyone, their precious feelings be damned. 

They seem to have forgotten that little fact in their zeal to shut down speech they don’t like. And I guarantee you they will be the first to complain and demand action when it invariably happens to them. 

How much of a tyrannical asshole do you have to be to make me defend Trump?

Last night we got he answer to that question. 

45 responses

  1. The infantile tantrum candidate brings out the same from the other side.

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  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    IMO too many “Liberals” believe in “Freedom for me but not Freedom for you”.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s “Freedom of Speech”, “Freedom of Religion” or whatever.

    They have it and “those bad people” don’t have it. [Frown]

    Of course, there is the danger that the opponents of the Left will fall into that trap. [Sad Smile]

    Sadly, those who talk about “banning Hate Speech” never consider that the government might ban their Speech.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nicki, there is a storm coming. We had a good run for over two hundred years but it’s time to reset. Either for tyranny or for our founding ideals, there will be nor will there be any middle ground. Those days are gone because we are repeating history circa 1859 with an election that, no matter who wins, will be the cause for war.

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    1. I can only hope you’re wrong.

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  4. I saw a bit of that on the news last night. I did wonder just how far the protesters would go. Were they going to start fires, jump up on cars and yell ‘Burn this bitch down’ like they did at Ferguson?

    I do have strong recollections of Mayor Daley giving the ‘shoot to kill’ order at the 1968 Democrap convention, because the draft dodgers were protesting the Vietnam War outside the convention center. It did get ugly, but last night could have been a lot worse.

    This is America, not a commie dictatorship. Not a dictatorship, period. WE ALL HAVE A VOICE. WE ALL HAVE A VOTE. Period.

    If we don’t exercise those rights, WE fail this country, not the Bozo who gets elected to office. We have the right to hire and fire these elected officials. Everyone should be obligated to vote. The press always used to make note at election times about how the voter turnout in the Soviet Union was ALWAYS 100%, even though there was only one candidate to vote for. I guess you voted, or else.

    This loud, bullying campaign rhetoric is most likely going to be toned down by fall. Trump won’t address real issues until he has to. But if your choice is Shrillary as opposed to Trump, what are you going to do? Staying home, refusing to vote, is NOT the answer. That’s pouting like some spoiled little kid.

    No. YOU GO VOTE. If you don’t, you have only yourself to blame for Shrillary.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @Sara: Your hidden premise is that Hillary is even worse than Trump. I personally tend to agree with that… but it makes *no sense whatsoever* to condemn someone who thinks they are equally bad for refusing to make a choice between the two.

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    2. Actually, I’d submit that Trump would be a worse result than the Hildabeast. Why, you ask? Trump, like W, would have all the Republicans support his big government BS, simply because of the (R) after his name. They’d full court press Clinton.

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  5. Personally I don’t see the rhetoric and bullying being toned down by fall unless something truly heinous occurs. If anything I see it escalating. And I’m hoping that it doesn’t escalate to the point that something truly heinous occurs. I wasn’t born yet during the ’68 riots, but I was hoping to never see anything like it. I don’t want to see riots in the streets where people are being raped and murdered simply because they support a different candidate or policy. Since most of the candidates have only emboldened them through their acquiescence I do see these types of ‘political demonstrators’ trying to shout each other down and possibly some fist fights before November.

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  6. […] Nicki Kenyon, a friend of mine, and categorically not a Trump supporter in any way, shape, or form, weighs in for us: […]

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  7. Here’s a better quote for you. “When you listen to fools, the mob rules” and THAT ‘protest group’ was a mob full of willfully ignorant fools

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “He would lose in a Mondale-Reagan type landslide.”

    I’m thinking more along the lines of a LBJ/Goldwater landslide. (a lot more in common there)

    Nicki, I agree mostly with what you say, except for the following:

    First of all, this IS Chicago, for crying out loud. Earlier in the day it was St. Louis. Soon it will be Cleveland. What do these three cities have in common? They are all still dealing with the “Black Lives Matter” stuff. What was Trump thinking when he chose these venues? I have a theory I’ll explain in a moment.

    Second, you mentioned the “right to assemble”. Trump supporters have the right to assemble, BUT SO TOO DO THE PROTESTERS. Protesting is the purest form of “free speech”.

    But Nicki, that “right” to assemble is only directed towards the GOVERNMENT, not the people. The GOVERNMENT can’t restrict your rights, but Trump had every right — and reason — to shut down the event. I think he planned this all along.

    Here’s my theory:

    Trump is employing a strong man tactic where he creates a problem and then offers himself as the ONLY person who can “fix it”. This isn’t new — just new to the US.

    Follow me on this: Trump deliberately goes “over-the-top” on his rhetoric concerning Mexicans raping and stealing, Muslims who need to be banned, He has pretty much scapegoated everyone other than white American Christian males in all of his rallies, KNOWING that this is going to get a negative response from ALL of these different demographics.

    Protesters start appearing at these rallies on cue. Attendees are told before hand how to respond to protesters — shout “USA USA USA” or “TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP” and hold up your signs while security escorts them out. During which, Trump will acknowledge the fact that HE is strong enough to eject protesters.

    But notice lately his tactics have changed a little. For the past month, he has been talking about wanting to punch the protesters in the face, he has lamented the “old days where protesters are taken out on stretchers” and how it would be nice to return to those halcyon days of yore. The FINAL touch has been where he has said in these Trumpfests that he would “pay everyone’s legal fees” if they would start assaulting protesters.

    So the other day, a 78-year-old bigot did just that: He got up out of his seat, walked 25 feet to sucker punch a black protester already being escorted out by ten uniformed police officers. Strangely, the cops told the guy to sit down and they went and tackled the black guy to the ground and handcuffed him.

    Granted, the cops waited until the next day to arrest the bigot at his home, where he now sits in jail on a $2500 bail — and Trump is nowhere around to give him his promised legal fees.

    Trump chose both St. Louis and Chicago deliberately. He knew that there would be MUCH more massive protests at these events than anywhere else. He NEEDS the place to blow up so that he can prove there IS a problem and that only HE can fix it.

    This is a classic political tactic that is common in Europe and elsewhere but is just now being used in the US.

    Don’t you think it’s interesting that Bernie Sanders, who gets far bigger crowds at his rallies, doesn’t have any problems with protesters?

    None of the other Republican candidate have these kinds of problems. ONLY RUMPT.

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    1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      So are mobs taking disruptive actions now “peaceful protests” in your world?

      While this might be a first against Republicans this campaign season, such disruptive actions are all too common on College Campuses toward Conservatives.

      No, our host doesn’t like Trump (and neither do I) but such disruptive actions by non-governmental groups is far from “real free speech” as it can get.

      IF you support such shitty actions against people you dislike, then “you’re asking for” such actions against people you like.

      By the way, when it comes to what Trump “might have done” to “provoke” such actions, sadly I find it very hard to believe the News Media.

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    2. Listen, I agree with the premise that the protesters have the right to assemble, and I NEVER said otherwise. What they did, though, and what they were proud of doing is silencing those with whom they disagree. The First Amendment refers to GOVERNMENT infringements, not private citizens and entities, and I absolutely agree with that. What makes me angry is that these people want to silence dissent and they use force and intimidation and violence to do so.

      As for Trump’s strategy, it does make sense, but I hesitate to give him that much credit for being THAT cunning.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. At the risk of going full frontal Godwin here (I don’t actually think Trump would be as bad as Hitler), Hitler just loved it when people violently attacked him and his supporters during the 20s and early 30s; he’d even pick fights. It made him look like he was the only person willing to stand up against various bad actors. So…whether or not the resemblance is planned or accidental, it is there. The same psychological dynamic that Hitler exploited is probably going to operate here.

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      1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Nod, in pre-WW2 German Leftish Mobs were very common even before Hitler became a factor.

        Plenty of Germans supported the “Right-Wing Mobs” because they went after the “Left-Wing Mobs”.

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    4. kevin slattery

      What makes everyone think that Obama is going to leave office? All of these election protests will just get larger and more violent. He has spent the last 7 years gutting the flag officer ranks; he has been making it extremely uncomfortable for white American males to remain in the military. Does anyone think that he wants either Hillary or a Republican to be able to look at the books?

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      1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        IMO He will leave office one way or the other.

        I really doubt that he has corrupted the Joint Chiefs of State enough that they’d obey him after his final term of office is over.

        For that matter, I doubt that the Democratic Party is so lost that they accept Obama staying in office and I doubt that the News Media is so lost that they accept Obama staying in office.

        By the way, IMO even if the Joint Chiefs have been corrupted, I really doubt very many of the rest of our Military would support Obama.

        Liked by 1 person

    5. Great points DJ. I will point out that the punching incident you cite is another example of MSM editing. Look for raw footage instead of the edited 6 second vine version. The reason the receiver of the punch was taken down by law enforcement is that after realizing that he got forearmed and taking another step or 2, he turned around in an attempt to go after the old guy. He did this just as he was in front of the LEO’s that took him to the ground. Old guy was totally wrong, but I must admit it made me giggle thinking about all of the “knockout game” karma that was in that brief incident.

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    6. Protesters absolutely have the right to assemble and protest. However, if Trump’s campaign has paid for the hall where the rally is taking place, his campaign also has the right to disinvite anyone who is protesting inside that hall, and eject them.

      How many times have you seen Conservatives protesting at Leftist events? Not often, I’m sure. Primarily because Conservatives don’t think in those terms, but mostly because if they try — and I am sure some do — they are discovered, and immediately ejected. Since the Liberal MSM (but I repeat myself) is more in sympathy with the ejection, it never makes the news.

      Above I said Conservatives do not think in those terms. However, Trump does. I am bitterly certain that he has a group of shock troop leaders perusing Rules for Radicals right now and looking for tactics they can adapt to their own ends.

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  9. As an aside (I can’t find a link to email you, Nicky) it seems like random comments have reply buttons on them. Then I thought, perhaps what’s really happening is that every other top level comment is indented some, so it LOOKS like a response to what is above it, but isn’t. Top level comments are the only ones that have a “reply” on them.

    If that’s so then at least now I understand why many “responses” to people’s comments seem off the wall–they aren’t, they’re top level replies confusingly indented because it’s their turn. This is VERY confusing.

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    1. Steve – yeah. This WordPress design is weird that way. You think THAT’S confusing? Try reading it on your mobile app! LOL

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    2. As I look at it more, I note that top level comments have larger avatars while replies to them have smaller avatars with a circle to their left. There’s some visual distinction, but IMNSHO not enough to override the confusion caused by the indenting which everywhere but here indicates a hierarchy of replies.

      I’m waiting to see someone go off because they thought someone else was responding to them, when in fact they weren’t. (I for one have already scratched my head at a nonsensical apparent reply to me on another thread, then decided to ignore it rather than ask for clarification. Probably the best course of action…he might not have been responding to me at all!)

      This is not my blog, of course, but if it were, I’d be looking for a different theme or a switch on this theme to turn this “feature” off.

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      1. Eh…. I’m lazy. LOL I do like the notepad design, though. It’s just pretty. I like pretty. The petty annoyances are worth it, IMO.

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    3. Well now I’ve “broken the code.”

      Meanwhile, please keep on keepin’ on (with whatever theme). You pretty much encapsulate my attitudes on a lot of things. And “shitweasel” has been added to my vocabulary as another word with the very useful “shit-” prefix. (shithead, shitbird, shitforbrains, shiteater, etc.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Roger that, sir!

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  10. In 1968, there were lots of riots during the silly season. As I recall it, the cops kept the opposing groups from fighting with each other. You could shout but no throwing stuff or swinging a bat or a fist. The bullhorn was a fairly new device and was widely used by both sides. Everyone sounded like “blah, blah, BLAH!” followed by lots of cheering but it worked.

    Chicago is a democrat town. Maybe it was suggested to the cops, “this is democrat country and those Trump guys don’t need any protection from protesters …” If not, then how do they explain the fistfights?

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    1. As I recall it, the Chicago PD in defense of the the Democrat Convention engaged in a violent police riot that was the shame of our nation. That same choice of violence against protesters led to the killings at Kent State University in Ohio, Santa Barbara California, Berkeley California and Jackson State College in Mississippi.

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      1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Well too many of the Chicago 68 demonstrators wanted a violent reaction from the police.

        I won’t be surprised if some of the others you mention included demonstrators provoking violence.

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    2. In Santa Barbara, the only death was a COUNTER demonstrator shot by the cops. They said it was an accident – One shot, with a rifle, straight in his chest. Google “Isla Vista Kevin Moran” for the details, it was complicated. At Jackson State, they shot up a girl’s dormitory as an intimidation tactic, the demonstrators were elsewhere.

      Berkeley and Kent State were pretty much as reported.

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  11. Here’s another person’s perspective on this, mostly coming to the same conclusion about Trump but raising interesting questions about Cruz. https://drhurd.com/2016/03/12/58429/

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    1. So having read Cruz’s comments, I don’t think he actually means that Trump brought this on himself. He does, however, suggest that when Trump fosters this atmosphere of threat and intimidation, he shouldn’t be surprised when others respond to it. I think that’s a bit different than actually BLAMING Trump for these violent protests.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. If so, well…Dr. Hurd certainly won’t be the only person such a fine distinction is lost on. I see “Don’t be surprised when this is the response” get confused with “you are morally responsible for provoking the response” all the time.

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  12. We’re just seeing the next logical step after this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWHgUE9AD4s

    If you won’t shut up, they’ll shut you up. It’s why they want your guns – they know you won’t get in the boxcar willingly.

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  13. Nobody has the right to disrupt a legitimate political process by acts of violence. And if this is truly a plan by an organization, and not just like-minded thugs, then they have a bad outcome ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. These asshole rioters are forgetting one thing. The state of Illinois in now a shall issue, concealed carry state. What’s going to happen when one of them picks the wrong “victim” and gets ventilated for his trouble? I know as a 60 year old disabled vet, I can’t stand toe to toe with someone in their 20’s. If attacked, I would defend myself with all necessary means, including deadly force.

    Of course I’m not going to a Trump rally. I trust him about as far as I can throw one of his buildings. I agree with a lot of folks, if the Trumpster gets the nod, Hildabeast will be our next president. In that case we need to elect veto proof majorities in both houses and get a speaker with some balls. Ryan is about as gutless as old weepy was. I weep for where our country is headed, it’s not the same country I swore to defend a s a 17 year old.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. […] The Liberty Zone explains that free speech is not just for those you like […]

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Such a large protest requires a lot of planning and operational strategy. I suspect it is the latest attempt of the Davos crowd to wipe out Trump. If I were Trump right now I’d be wearing two bullet proof vests.

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  17. The lawlessness of the Obama administration has made the Trump phenomenon possible. Obama set the modern precedent for a lawless, tyrannical President, so anyone cheering Obama on for the last seven years has no leg to stand on if they worry about Trump following in the same mold. Obama is just more urbane about it.

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    1. I will disagree with you there. It’s the establishment that has made phenomena such as Trump and Bernie Sanders possible. This has little to do with Obama or anyone else in office but the elite donor class that essentially chooses candidates years in advance.

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  18. Something I’ve always liked about America, Nicki – is the ability to defend someone else’s right to say something you might not agree with, and the ability to also say “I hate you/what you say but this time you have a point.”

    There aren’t very many other places in the world that do that, and I think most people take that for granted over there. They don’t realise what a precious, precious thing it is, to be able to do that without losing one’s life/livelihood/social standing, etc.

    Y’know, like enjoying clean running water and functioning toilets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! No kidding, right? In this craziness, all are forgetting how to listen. It’s crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Hey Nicki! I don’t know if you remember me but we were at AFN around the same time. I was good friends with Matt Beckman.
    Great article. I’m in the news biz in Wichita (no, I didn’t lose a bet!) and the hatred by the Drumpf supporters was astounding to witness. Group of Muslim men and women were chanting “Muslims are Americans too” before the rally and were kicked out. They were pushed and shoved and harassed as they left with people yelling “go back to where you were born!” One woman we interviewed said that she was born here, so where should she go back to? An America that accepted her? We have more churches than bars in Wichita and the majority of Drumpf supporters were from right here. What’s saddening to me is how many went to that rally and felt like they doing something good good for America, acted like that, or worse, didn’t speak up against it, and then went to church Sunday, calling themselves Christians.
    Just had to share. Keep up the good work!
    Jay Harrell

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, good to hear from you, Jay. Hope you and Bonnie are well. I’m nauseated by this Trump phenomenon – as a veteran, an immigrant, and an American. I’m all for national security. I understand what needs to be done to secure our borders. But this… this whole thing is.

      Some of these people genuinely think that Trump would be just fabulous for this country! Some of them are low information, unsophisticated, angry voters, whose understanding of policy and economics is as tenuous as his is. Some of them are true fascists. It takes all kinds, I suppose.

      As a libertarian, my view is that if the rally is being held at a public venue, everyone – supporter or not – has the right to be there. It makes me crazy that nuts from ALL sides are all proud of shutting one another up! As I said in the article – instead of changing minds, they’re simply shutting down communication. That helps no one.

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  20. Roger that! Trump is a chump. But, sometimes the things we most need to hear are the ones we least want to hear. So we have to allow free discourse. “Democracy is the worst of all types of government, except all others.” Winston Churchill.

    Liked by 1 person

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