Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Progressives Re-Thinking Free Speech

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In a remarkably honest feature article, the New York Times acknowledged in Saturday's edition that liberals and progressives who once championed "free speech" are now re-thinking the concept, and are "uneasy" ---sometimes distraught, since conservatives realized they too have freedom of speech rights.

The secular progressive mask is slipping...maybe it wasn't really about free speech in the first place.

The New York Times article begins with this:

On the final day of the Supreme Court term last week, Justice Elena Kagan sounded an alarm.
The court’s five conservative members, citing the First Amendment, had just dealt public unions a devastating blow. The day before, the same majority had used the First Amendment to reject a California law requiring religiously oriented “crisis pregnancy centers” to provide women with information about abortion.
Conservatives, said Justice Kagan, who is part of the court’s four-member liberal wing, were “weaponizing the First Amendment.”
The two decisions were the latest in a stunning run of victories for a conservative agenda that has increasingly been built on the foundation of free speech. Conservative groups, borrowing and building on arguments developed by liberals, have used the First Amendment to justify unlimited campaign spending, discrimination against gay couples and attacks on the regulation of tobacco, pharmaceuticals and guns.

One law professor at Georgetown, Louise Michael Seidman, who used to defend free speech now sees his prior position as a mistake.

The difference between then and now? Many ideas currently being protected by free speech rights run contrary to progressive ideology.

Seidman says, "When I was younger, I had more of the standard liberal view of civil liberties. And I've gradually changed my mind about it. What I have come to see is that it's a mistake to think of free speech as an effective means to accomplish a more just society."

Catherine A. MacKinnon, a law professor at the University of Michigan, goes further, declaring that free speech reinforces and amplifies injustice because it is now being used to defend the ideas she finds distressing.

MacKinnon, who teaches "Evolution of Gender Crimes" and "Sex Equality," says, "Once a defense of the powerless, the First Amendment over the last hundred years has mainly become a weapon of the powerful."

Translated from academic abstracts to ordinary people's language, what they're saying is that secular progressives have taken for granted the wonderful tool called "free speech" they used for so many years to dominate the dialog on campuses, courts and elsewhere, while they used a little virtue called "tolerance" to silence anyone who didn't agree with them---demanding the dissenters be "tolerant" of different views and shut up.

MacKinnon says while "free speech" used to be used to defend "radicals, artists, and activists, socialists and pacifists---the excluded and the dispossessed" it has now become "a sword for authoritarians, racists, and misogynists, Nazis and Klansman, pornographers and corporations buying elections."

Bitter woman.

Thomas Williams Ph.D., writing for Breitbart News says, "In reading through the New York Times piece it becomes abundantly clear that many liberals really never cared about 'free speech' as such, but rather sought protection specifically for progressive ideas and behaviors. As soon as conservatives started demanding the same protections for their speech, it no longer looked like such a good idea."

The Times article is titled, "How Conservatives Weaponized the First Amendment."

Supreme Court Justice Kagan---an Obama nominee--- wrote last week in dissent of the Supreme Court denying unions the power to force members to donate money to candidates and causes they do not believe in---that she believes the Court's conservatives have found a dangerous tool, "turning the First Amendment into a sword"..."The United States should brace itself," she said.

Williams writes, "What goes around, comes around."

I don't believe in karma, but it is written, "Whatever a man sows that shall he also reap."

One News Now published an article yesterday afternoon titled, "Constitutionalist on the High Court is the Liberal's Armageddon"---and that's the problem.

The Left sees the Court as an activist organization, while Christians and conservatives see it as a Court dedicated to upholding the Constitution---much like progressives see free speech as a useful weapon, while Christians and conservatives see it as a God-given right to be protected for all of us, not just the self-described elite liberal activists---whose end justifies the means.

A profound difference.

Matt Barber, a civil rights attorney, told One News Now, "The left is melting down because it knows a huge political event is unfolding that could create a 'sea change' in public policy for decades to come."

Barber says the Court has been the "only outlet they had to affect cultural Marxist change in this country."

The dream of reinventing America in their own secular image and likeness is fading and becoming a nightmare. Freedom of speech as a weapon is all but gone, and the secular progressives are marching in a parade of self-congratulation and importance---a parade that fewer and fewer people are attending because the king has no clothes.

Renewal is coming.

Be Prayerful. Be Vigilant. Be Informed,. Be Discerning. Be Faithful.