The Left’s War on Free Speech

The Claremont Institute’s DC Center for the American Way of Life is a new initiative for actively counteracting the Left’s ceaseless attacks on America. Founded earlier this year with Arthur Milikh at the helm, the DC center is focused on taking legal and cultural steps to fight the full onset of the woke regime. This series of articles puts into perspective what the Left is doing and intends to do to traditional American mores and customs.

The Left wants to ban “hate speech” using the powerful national institutions they now govern. They do not hide this intention but say so openly. Powerful tools—like Big Tech, a nearly unified press, and the national security state—give speech restrictionists the impression that this goal can and should be pursued. But exactly what kind of speech do they want to ban, and exactly how would this ban transform America?

“Hate speech,” on the surface, seems to mean racial epithets, slurs, or Holocaust denial. But such speech has already disappeared from America’s public square. There is no “hate speech” in any recognizable form anywhere in America outside of the bowels of the Internet or in rap music. If anything, America’s public square is governed by exactly the opposite tendency: corporate, media, educational, and social powers fiercely punish such utterances. The N-word is the only word in the English language which is forbidden from being uttered. And yet, calls to ban “hate speech” only increase.

The American Left is not interested in or concerned about racial epithets. In reality, “hate speech” is the words, thoughts, and judgments of the oppressor group, which marginalized groups claim harms their self-respect. The oppressor group, in virtually every case, is whites—especially white males, though white women also are carriers of “whiteness,” the original sin.

Banning or criminalizing hate speech means silencing the speech of oppressor groups, while amplifying the speech of marginalized groups. The marginalized must be to speak against, calumniate and malign the alleged oppressors and their institutions, for their self-respect comes to depend entirely on this. It is not only permissible, but required to state that the “greatest terrorist threat in this country is white men.” Every single sector of society amplifies such sentiments in varying degrees.

You Can’t Handle the Truth

Protecting the self-respect of the marginalized requires banning certain facts. As explained by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, professors of law at the University of Alabama Law School and leading advocates of speech criminalization, factual speech that calls into question a marginalized group’s self-respect is “deplorable” and constitutes “hate speech.”

For instance, all statistically supported analysis of how inadequately the recipients of affirmative action are prepared for higher education relative to their peers should be banned—no matter how true. This extends to any number of issues that threaten the self-respect of the marginalized, like speaking of factual disparities in crime rates. Other leading advocates of speech criminalization, like Mari Matsuda of the University of Hawaii Law School, maintain that “racist” scientific findings, even if true, may well fall within “the doctrinal space for regulation.” One sees this conflict already underway between medical doctors and transgender activists.

Furthermore, since the marginalized have been denied an identity, this theory goes, they must create one. This means that they must mythologize themselves—for their own sake, and for the sake of the oppressors’ respect for them. Thus emerge claims that all of history was male patriarchal oppression over women; or that America was founded on the principle of the preservation of slavery as described in the New York Times 1619 Project; or that most of America’s scientific and economic progress was made by people of color. These myths cannot be convincingly perpetuated without silencing the oppressor group’s judgements, questions, and doubts, no matter how sensible or factual.

Banning criticism, of course, does not produce self-respect. In a pluralist society, the prospect of criticism establishes certain civilizational standards. Yet preventing the defense or enforcement of such standards has become a major goal of restrictionists. A striking recent example was provided by the Smithsonian’s taxpayer-funded African American History Museum. Its website featured an infographic, now deleted, that identified tools of white supremacy such as “objective, rational linear thinking,” “following rigid time schedules,” “plan[ning] for the future,” “be[ing] polite,” working hard, and the nuclear family. In other words, criticizing fatherlessness, rudeness, irrational thinking, sloth and/or incompetence would be “hate speech.”

All healthy societies maintain moral and behavioral standards. But undermining such standards in oppressor minds, so that the marginalized are not held to them, is the goal. Since scientific discoveries, bridge building, flying planes, commercial success, and enforcing the rule of law all depend on competence and “objective, rational linear thinking,” one wonders how quickly these American achievements will stall once allegedly “white supremacist” standards are viewed as hateful and legally or informally banned.

The Narrative Regime

To further lionize marginalized groups, dominant cultural images must be reshaped. According to Delgado and Stefancic, during the civil rights era, the marginalized were spoken of “respectfully,” portrayed as “unfortunate victims” and “brave warriors.” Today, society must regain these images—both for the self-respect of the marginalized and as a form of psychological warfare against the oppressor. The latter must be made to view the former as “decent,” “good,” “nice,” “precious,” and “worthy of respect.” All of society’s images should depict the marginalized as heroic, while portraying the oppressors as either irrelevant or outright harmful. Every Disney movie, comic book, sitcom, commercial, textbook should follow this model—and basically already does. At bottom, the oppressors’ mind must belong to the marginalized.

Free speech is essential for a republican people’s political deliberation about the issues that concern it. “Hate speech” regulation makes self-rule impossible. Essential political discussions are removed from the political sphere. Public debate about immigration, the nature of biological sex, defense of traditional family structures, or the black crime rate must end, because they all harm the self-respect of the marginalized. Even serious discussions of apparently race-neutral subjects like budgets, taxes, and zoning policy—standard governmental functions—would be stopped. Academics write that seemingly “race-neutral [political] campaign themes” like welfare policy “carry demonstrably racially loaded undertones.”

The project of limiting the range of permissible speech and thought requires several preconditions, some of which are already halfway in place. The nation’s main press and educational organs are already largely unified behind the premises, while attacking and harming any objectors. Yet people can still form independent judgements when they have access to alternative information. Thus, the next step requires elimination of those sources. Just under 90% of the world’s Internet searches go through Google; a recently leaked document revealed that Google is interested in manipulating its search so that the results reflect the restrictionists’ moral worldview. “Imagine that a Google image query for CEOs shows predominantly men,” muses an internal memo. “Even if it were a factually accurate representation of the world, it would still be algorithmic unfairness.”

America’s security state is becoming the most powerful element of this vast censorship apparatus. The FBI, National Counter Terrorism Center, and the Department of Homeland Security recently declared as a new goal plans to “detect, prevent, preempt” the thoughts and actions of U.S. citizens engaged in “conspiracy theories” about, among other things, “corrupt ‘global elites’ and ‘deep state.’” U.S. citizens engaged in such speech may now be labeled “Domestic Violent Extremists.” Moreover, former commander of force in Afghanistan, and now president of the Brookings Institution, John Allen, stated that “we must fight violent, hateful ideologies at home.” This includes what he calls “white-nationalist ideologies and organizations”—for it is their “disinformation” that causes “polarization.” A government which prevents criticisms of itself and polices speech is either already a tyranny or is becoming one.

Your Mind is Not Your Own

Lest Americans think that the courts will save them, there are at least two ways the Left can use current law to ban “hate speech.” The first is rooted in civil rights law. As has been elaborated by authors like Christopher Caldwell and Thomas Powers, federal interference on the grounds of discrimination has and will continue to expand into the sphere of speech—for once discrimination no longer exists in public accommodations, housing, or employment, the last frontier is oppressors’ minds.

The second avenue originates in the Supreme Court’s definition of “dignity.” If “dignity,” as former Justice Anthony Kennedy argued in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), means the capacity to choose one’s own identity coupled with the corresponding demand that others recognize this identity, then speaking (even indirectly) against a protected identity could constitute “hate speech.” Both avenues will likely be pursued in the coming years.

The attempt to ban “hate speech” will destroy what remains of political liberty in America. Attempts will be made to replace it with a caste-based ideological tyranny whose actual purpose is vengeance against the oppressor group. Its goal will be entering the inner recesses of the mind to root out and punish impurity, which will deploy the powers of Big Tech, anti-discrimination laws, and the security state to do so. This will mark the decline of America’s economic prosperity, scientific progress, and political liberty.

Freedom of speech plays a central role in forming the habits of character necessary for republican government. Through it, citizens develop the habit of speaking and thinking freely about all matters of public concern. In doing so, they are trained in forming sound judgements. As such, citizens are capable of skepticism about romantic, revolutionary, and impossible undertakings to which democracies are often vulnerable.

Perhaps most importantly, freedom of speech cultivates in citizens the mental habit of persuading fellow citizens through reason. This habit, correspondingly, cultivates an openness to being persuaded by reason. The opposite of persuasion is force. Persuading one’s fellow citizens rather than compelling them becomes the primary mode of political interaction. As such, the strong, natural passions of pride and anger are moderated by the demand to speak rationally, to persuade others, and to defend one’s views, rather than act on violent impulse. The end of freedom of speech is the beginning of barbarism.

While Free Speech is Possibly Still Free, My Take on Where We Stand

Democrat liberals have neither the ability to be gracious losers or winners. The media and liberal, radical, progressive never Trumpers are bullies, liars, cheaters, frauds, and humorless mentally ill.

These are the PC police, demanding we all conform or die. They are for gun free zones and refuse to allow us to protect our children with armed security in schools. Thank Joe for that!

They are the ones that don’t allow kids a childhood where they can learn to fail and succeed, expand their imagination, fall off their bikes, play outside, get dirty, be mad, have best friends, scrape their knees, get in trouble, hug each other and their teachers, and solve problems on their own.

They’re the weasels who invade our privacy, yet demand theirs. They lack respect and manners and look for things to be offended about every waking moment. They reject the concept of a sovereign nation with protected borders while living behind private walls. They work on taking away our second amendment rights while enjoying armed security for themselves.

They erase and alter our history. They are our nation’s very own version of the Taliban, silencing our music, editing our words, exalting violence in their entertainment, are pro-abortion and anti-death penalty. They demean our virtues, tear down our monuments, teach our children their mantra – not how to evaluate ideas, emasculate and feminize our men. These are the assassins of joy, humor, laughter, and fun.

The same bunch who told us PWJBC using his position of power to have oral sex with a young woman who worked for him, and shove cigars up her hoohaw in the Oval Office, and then wagged his finger at us saying he did not have sex with her, was a private matter and okay. They are the same moral authorities who said it was just about sex, and wail at the idea of PDJT possibly having extra-marital sex. The only one who might have an opinion about that is his wife.

This crew of know it alls are the ones who are all inclusive and tell us what words we can use, what food we can eat, what to think, believe, dislike, etc. Unless we disagree. Then we are shut down, banned, fired, and told to shut up, accept everything they say or be ruined.

They are the pompom girls for the 4% of the population that are gay or sexually confused. They have elevated that group to the norm, and ridiculed the rest of us who don’t practice that lifestyle.

They are the champions of criminals, murderers of babies, malevolent monitors and managers of the American people, arbiters and silencers of speech.

These regulators of toilet paper have never had the misfortune of two-ply failure and touching their own excrement when using the dictated one sheet.

These are the death to religion: mocking and squashing Christians, Jews, and Buddhists, while exalting the religion that vows it will erase all non believers, and regularly maims, tortures, and kills its own. They despise our culture, our Constitution, our anthem, our history, our flag. It’s never about ideas or how to do the best things for America. Instead it is denigrating the opposition personally.

They run as conservatives to win elections and then vote as liberals, arriving with little and once in power, pocket fortunes. They claim to be the saviors of the planet, saying we must do without, while their private limos, yachts, and jets idle air conditioned.

These are the idiots who don’t want anyone to ever lose, and are unable to accept that, by the rules of the game, PDJT won, and they lost. They lost! Their answer to losing is cheating their way to the White House, Congress, and the Senate.

PDJT has pretty much accomplished his promises save those he needed to have Congress to achieve. The next four years are going to be painful, but maybe necessary to gain back the House and Senate by margins that are unbreakable with real Constitutionalists. So, if the American people can make politicians bring honesty of any measure to the voting booth, perhaps there is hope. If not, America is over. The sand is in the hourglass, and time is running out.

Trump said and did what he said he would do. Name one other politician who has ever done that. President Trump is America’s William Wallace. The man who stood for us all and refused to back down. They will hound him and his family to the ends of the earth. We owe him more than we could ever repay.

They are also the backstabbers. They will take down their own at the drop of the wrong word. It’s going to be a very unpleasant four years, my friends. And unless their liberal followers are seriously dipped in cash, maybe enough will wake up to turn things around.

Until then, 86 all things 46. 2022 and 2024 are our last hope and salvation.

Farewell to a Dreadful Year

The French writer Jean Raspail died this summer. It was somehow fitting that the man whose dark novel The Camp of the Saints foretold the end of western civilization should pass at a time when everything seemed to be falling apart.

As a summary of the state of the world at the time of his death, one could hardly do better than to quote a passage from Raspail’s prophetic book:

“Day by day, month by month, doubt by doubt, law and order became fascism; education, constraint; work, alienation; revolution, mere sport; leisure, a privilege of class; marijuana, a harmless weed; family, a stifling hothouse; affluence, oppression; success, a social disease; sex, an innocent pastime; youth, a permanent tribunal; maturity, the new senility; discipline, an attack on personality.”

Three major events intersected in the tumultuous year of 2020: the coronavirus pandemic, the Black Lives Matter/Antifa-inspired riots that occurred after the police killing of George Floyd, and the vigorous assault on free speech that became known as “cancel culture.” These all preceded a presidential election that degenerated into a calamity.

When the coronavirus first appeared, the neo-Thought Police in the media took pains to refrain from referring to the virus by its place of origin (the “Wuhan virus” or the “China flu”) for fear of being politically incorrect. Notwithstanding the fact that West Nile Virus, Ebola, and Lyme Disease, among other maladies, are named after the geographic origins of the disease, there was an exception made for this one. Using the term Wuhan flu was simply not permitted.

Starting with the contretemps over the name, the virus became entirely a creature of politics: a useful crisis that could serve as the springboard for the progressive agenda. During the first two months of the year, as the virus was spreading from China to the rest of the world, the progressives in the media minimized it.

In the early spring, the Imperial College of London model predicted 2.2 million deaths in the United States and 500,000 in Great Britain. This became the scientific basis for a large-scale abrogation of personal and economic liberty. The models were later adjusted and by May it had become obvious that the death totals would be far short of that forecast, but by that point it was too late. The lockdowns originally sold as a temporary expedient to “flatten the curve” remained a feature of much of the U.S. economy for the remainder of the year.

On dubious authority, numerous state governors and city mayors forcibly shuttered all businesses they deemed “nonessential” to society and enforced the edicts with penalties, including threats of imprisonment. “Safetyism” became the order of the day. By the end of the year, emboldened politicians were telling people how to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The lockdowns dealt a devastating blow to the private economy, causing the GDP to tumble and wiping out 14 years of job gains. “Never before had public officials required millions of lawful businesses to shut their doors, throwing tens of millions of people out of work,” Heather Mac Donald wrote. “They did so at the command of one particular group of experts — those in medical and public health fields — who viewed their mandate as eliminating one particular health risk with every means put at their disposal.”

To deal with the economic distress, the federal government approved spending of trillions of additional dollars, dramatically increasing the dependence of private individuals and businesses on government. But in practice the lockdown policy was ruthlessly regressive. It most adversely affected those in lower-income occupations and small business owners, those with limited capital and limited opportunities to borrow, and rewarded politically connected big businesses.

Then in the summer of 2020, the cities erupted. Following the death of George Floyd, thousands of people took to the streets (in the midst of a pandemic) to protest “systemic racism,” whatever that was. However, while “mostly peaceful protestors” ran amok, church attendance was strictly limited. George Floyd, who had a long criminal past, was practically turned into Mother Theresa. At a time when normal people couldn’t have funerals for their family members, Floyd managed to have four. The violence that fanned out across the country led to a huge spike in crime in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, and other major cities.

Meanwhile, cancel culture went from tearing down statues and public art to censoring speech. Suddenly, words or expressions innocently used for decades and centuries, were deemed to have “racist connotations.” These included, for example, “Peanut gallery,” “Eenie meenie miney moe,” “Gyp,” and “No can do.” The term “master” was viewed as problematic because it supposedly related to the relationship of master and slave. Did anyone ever think such a thing when praising a performance as “masterful” or conferring a “master’s” degree? Does it matter? Liberal writer Andrew Sullivan observed that the use of the term “white supremacy” to mean not the KKK or the antebellum South but American society as a whole in the 21st century is now routine on the Left. The word “women,” is now being replaced by “people who menstruate.”  

Political commentator Yoram Hazony noted that George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm had been taught in schools for decades. It was all in vain, he concluded: “Liberals never dreamed that when they opened their institutions to ‘Social Justice’ and ‘Identity’ politics, they were setting off down the exact road Orwell had warned against.”

Against this backdrop we held an unprecedented presidential election. COVID provided the pretext for the country to adopt a new system of voting. While it was deemed entirely safe for people to cram into a Wal-Mart, voting in person was deemed to be so unsafe that a new regime of mail-in voting was adopted, at the urging of the Democrats.

Hans von Spakovsky, an election law expert at the Heritage Foundation, previewed all of the potential problems with mail-in voting back in August: mail-in ballots are more vulnerable to being altered, stolen, or forged; they run the risk of being miscarried or not delivered by the postal service; and they run the risk of not being not being postmarked, making it impossible to determine if they were mailed on time. For the Democrats, of course, these irregularities were a feature, not a bug.

Moreover, Big Media and Big Tech, acting as official enforcers of cancel culture, censored and suppressed pro-Trump views and news stories that could be harmful to Biden.

It was little wonder that millions of Americans concluded that the election was a farce.

If the progressives’ cultural revolution is successful, Victor David Hansen predicted, “[t]he special targets will be the self-employed successful business class… those

…who run local insurance agencies, the store owners, salespeople, the successful medical practices, car dealerships, large family farms, the millions who keep the country competitive, innovative, and prosperous. All of them lack the romance of the poor and the cultural tastes of the rich, but for the most part, they are just too damn informed and stubborn to be tolerated.”

These were precisely the folks that Hillary Clinton called “the basket of deplorables.”

All year, these deplorables have been told: “Keep your heads down, your mouths shut, and obey the designated experts.”

Their New Year’s Resolution for 2021 must be to respond loudly and forcefully:

“No. Not anymore.”

You can follow Nicholas J. Kaster on Twitter.

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