For the LEFT, Free Speech Means Something Different Than It Does for Everyone Else

Written by Andrew Allen on June 7, 2016

“I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it” — that’s what left-wing America used to uphold as one of their most deeply held liberal principles. Back before left-wing America was overrun by a radical element replete with fascist overtones.

And yes, so that everyone is aware, the left and fascism go hand in hand within our political spectrum. “Nazi” for example was the anglicized abbreviation for “Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei” or NSDAP – the National Socialist German Worker’s Party. In the days between the World Wars when Leninism was brand new, leftists that didn’t agree with everything emanating from Moscow trended towards fascist political organizations. In Germany this manifested as the NSDAP – or Nazi Party. Similar socialist parties existed throughout the west – at least three sprang up in the United States. Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism explains this history very well.

If today’s liberals were intelligent and articulate – and they aren’t – they’d redefine the quote above as something like: “I will disagree with what you say, and by any means necessary I will make sure you can’t say it”.

Crying racism. Demanding that people lose their jobs. Assaulting people in the streets of San Jose at a Trump rally. Joseph Stalin would’ve been proud of the left.

After all, it was Stalin who famously said “Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas”. That quote by chance just so happened to appear in a 2016 high school year book. That’s right. School kids working on the yearbook committee somehow managed to choose a Joseph Stalin quote as appropriate verbiage to commemorate their thirteen years of public education. Mere coincidence? An oopsie moment? That’s always the left’s excuse.

Then it’s “Quick! Look over there!” Glenn Beck had a guest on who speculated about a Trump Presidency and in doing so suggested that someone might be forced to make an attempt on Trump’s life. Oooh, isn’t that terrible? Isn’t that so bad? That mean Glenn Beck and his crazy talk right wing hate speech. Why, he must be suspended from radio immediately – perhaps indefinitely. Evidently no one remembers that ten years ago the 2006 film Death of a President portrayed the assassination of then President George W. Bush. Double standard?

Nah, no way. See, that was just a film. Fiction. Speculation. It was art. Free expression. More importantly, it was part of the discourse the left finds acceptable. Glenn Beck’s isn’t. Remember, Stalin said “why should we let them [enemies] have ideas”. So it went in San Jose.

Has Donald Trump ever said anything stupid? Yes. So what. If I were an anti-Trumpist – and for the record I’m undecided right now – I’d want Trump to speak clearly, loudly, and stupidly as often as possible. In doing so, Trump would make my case for me. There would be no need to head out into the streets to protest. I could sit at home, post Trump audio/video to social media, and achieve all that I wanted with minimal effort. Being an anti-Trumpist, I’d be all about minimal effort – after all, the Bernie Sanders, something-for-nothing handout train keeps chugging along.

That’s not how today’s left works though. Instead, they get their marching orders from two offices in Manhattan (one is at 39 W 14th Street and the other is at 147 W 24th Street; they share 212-633-6646 as a common phone number). The word goes out faster than Katie Couric can edit interview footage to ensure that her “enemies” aren’t portrayed as having any “ideas”. Then they riot, vandalize, loot, and assault ordinary citizens on the streets of cities like San Jose.

There was a time in America when equal protection under the law meant equal protection under the law. That was back when city mayors placed “defending one’s right to say it” above mere partisan interests. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo valued the latter over the former. He didn’t just blame Donald Trump for street violence in San Jose . What’s more telling is that he didn’t seem to have a problem with the Baltimore-esque response by the San Jose Police Department.

To be fair, San Jose Police Chief didn’t pull a Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and admit he wanted to give anti-Trumpists a space where they could destroy. Instead, he said “additional force can incite more violence in the crowd”. Or in other words, had police in San Jose done things police are supposed to do when criminal activity is occurring, the result might have been more crime.

Is this how the San Jose Police Department reacts when some nutcase barricades himself in an apartment and threatens to kill his girlfriend? Would San Jose Police Officers, upon seeing a robbery in progress at a convenience store, wait until the clerk was shot dead and the perpetrator was on the run before they took any action? This is exactly what they did while mobs took advantage of a space within which they could destroy in downtown San Jose.

Democrat and Republican primaries in California will soon be over and gone. Conventions in Philadelphia and Cleveland loom ahead. The far left is going to show up at both locations to do what they’ve gotten away with. In Philadelphia, they’ll try to have a repeat of the Democratic state convention in Nevada – shouting speakers down, stalling the process, etc. In Cleveland, they’ll try to repeat what they see as the success of San Jose.

The time has come for those in positions of power to accept that their duty is to ensure equal protection of all people under the law because, in fact, everyone has the right to speak and everyone else ought to be adult enough to defend their right to do so, even if what’s said is stupid or objectionable. If municipal regimes in Philadelphia and Cleveland aren’t willing to uphold this fundamental principle, they need to understand that there are Americans that will fill the void created when police exercise undue restraint. One side of our political equation isn’t going to sit idly by and accept beatings by the other just because those in City Hall cast their vote a particular way.

In a pluralistic form of government, silencing one side or the other is a recipe for wholesale disorder. We’re sitting on a tinderbox and it will explode this summer if we don’t conform to our core, founding principles. Cleveland, Philly, all eyes are going to be on you.

Image: shutterstock_370188554.jpg

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Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen (@aandrewallen) grew up in the American southeast and for more than two decades has worked as an information technoloigies professional in various locations around the globe. A former far-left activist, Allen became a conservative in the late 1990s following a lengthy period spent questioning his own worldview. When not working IT-related issues or traveling, Andrew Allen spends his time discovering new ways to bring the pain by exposing the idiocy of liberals and their ideology.