Here’s an interesting read: John Stossel on Free Speech. Excerpt:
Donald Trump tells reporters, “We’re going to have people sue you like you never got sued before.”
Hillary Clinton doesn’t like her opponents funding documentaries that criticize her, so she demands Congress overturn the Supreme Court decision that allows it.
The world is full of people who want their enemies to shut up. Some college students get so upset seeing “Trump 2016” chalked on sidewalks that they call the police, demanding the chalkers be punished and their words erased.
But because America’s founders added, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech” to the Constitution, the police have no role here.
Those idiot college protesters want to shut me up. And I want to shut some of them up. But we have to tolerate each other. That’s a good thing. The First Amendment helps keep America free.
Of course, the Amendment just says, “Congress shall make no law.”
Private groups can limit speech. Fox can fire me if they don’t like something I say. So can this website (or newspaper) by dropping my column. The NFL can fire Colin Kaepernick for not standing up, and a Black Lives Matter group can expel a member who does.
The First Amendment applies to government. Which is why presidential candidates should get it right. Unfortunately, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton don’t.
The Donald’s comments on libel laws are troubling, although it’s bordering on fantastic to think that he would ever get any such legislation through Congress – and that brings me to my primary argument for casting a vote for him, in that were Trump to try to pull any such shenanigans, Congress (not to mention the legacy media) would surely hold his feet to the fire. Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, not so much; as FBI Director Comey so unwittingly pointed out, the Dowager Empress is not subject to the rules that apply to us common schmucks.
But the scary caveat to that is this: Neither candidate is alone in thinking suppression of free speech is a good idea. An example: We live in a place where taxpayer-subsidized universities establish “safe spaces” and “free speech zones,” so their precious little snowflakes won’t be exposed to troubling opinions.
Well, I am rather fond of troubling opinions. Here on these pages, I’ll point out that it isn’t completely a free speech zone; this blog is private property, and I am the only arbiter as to what is said here. However – and this is important – I will never refuse a comment because the commenter doesn’t agree with me. I don’t give a damn if anyone agrees with me or not. I will only edit or delete comments under certain, previously-defined conditions.
Stossel concludes: We’ll never eliminate everything that offends or “triggers” people, whether they’re Christian, Muslim, pro-Trump or so anti-Trump that they call the police when students chalk his name on a sidewalk.
I wish the next president were someone who understood that.
I remember an old Army truism: “Wish in one hand, shit in the other, and see which one fills up first.”