The Instapundit quoted from and linked to a blog post about freedom of speech that reinforces the point I have made here before: the First Amendment is often misunderstood. I’m not going to link to that blog post. If you want to read it, go to Instapundit and follow his link. The point I want to make is illustrated in this snippet (which was not included in Instapundit’s quote) from that blog post:
Freedom of speech does NOT give you the right to offend, to insult, to disrespect, to oppose human rights, to argue against the common good, to voice approval of totalitarian ideologies, to perpetuate toxic systems of privilege and oppression, to promote ideas which have no place in a modern democratic society, to be provocative or incendiary, or to express opinions which are unacceptable to the majority of people.
If you think that statement is consistent with the First Amendment, you flunk American Government 101. The dead giveaways should be the author’s suggestion that it’s ok to ban “ideas which have no place in a modern democratic society” and “opinions which are unacceptable to a majority of people.”
Ideas which have no place in a modern democratic society? You mean like the ideas of the American Nazi Party, whose right to march in Skokie was upheld by a unanimous decision of the U. S. Supreme Court?
Opinions which are unacceptable to a majority of people? You mean any opinion that will get less than 50% support in a poll, such as that Elvis isn’t dead? Is that an opinion that is unacceptable to a majority of people, or just one that a majority of people disagree with? Is there a difference? If so, who gets to decide which is which?
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