Charles C. W. Cooke:
This again, and from a former governor no less:
Hate speech is not protected by the first amendment. https://t.co/DOct3xcLoY
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) April 21, 2017
This is incorrect, and dramatically so. There is no such thing as “hate speech” in American jurisprudence, nor is there any associated or comparable principle that comes close to it. Whatever moral determinations an individual might make about the hatefulness of a given set of words, there is simply no mechanism by which the government can back him up with force. In the United States, there is speech, and then, at the bleeding edge, there are incitement, obscenity, and libel. Contrary to Dean’s implication, none of this country’s “beyond-free-speech” categories are defined by subjective judgments such as “hatefulness,” “cruelty,” or “divisiveness, and for good reason: If they were, we would all suffer under an effective Heckler’s Veto, and there would be no point in our having protections in the first instance.
It is often lost on the uninformed just how extraordinary are this country’s free speech protections. The stupidity of her comment notwithstanding, Ann Coulter is entirely free in America to say that she wishes the New York Times had been bombed, and she is free to do so without fear of recriminations or ill-treatment by the government. Indeed, Coulter is free to say far, far worse things than she has. With impunity, she could say that she thinks that slavery was a good idea; that the Holocaust didn’t happen; that blacks or Hispanics or Jews are genetically inferior to whites; that Iran has the correct policy toward gays — and that America should adopt it; that Asians should be ineligible for immigration; that the Nazis had it right, all told; and, even, that it would be a good thing if Americans staged a revolution.
Seems Dems have raised saying stupid things to an art form. Jaw dropping WTF moments abound.
If there were laws against “hate speech” then liberals would not be able to say Trump is racist because he wants to enforce immigration laws already on the books, that citing FBI statistics that there are a lot of criminals coming in illegally across our borders is the same as saying all immigrants are criminals or that halting immigration of people we cannot thoroughly vett is a Muslim ban.
But there are no such rules and liberals are allowed to be as racist, hateful and inciting of violence as they like. Yet liberals feel they are allowed to declare any statements that give lie to their ideology as “hate speech” and ban it. But, this is what socialism does.