If You Can Keep It

I’m not going to say that this is the most depressing thing I’ve read in ages

…oh, the hell I’m not.  It absolutely is:

YouGov’s latest research shows that many Americans support making it a criminal offense to make public statements which would stir up hatred against particular groups of people. Americans narrowly support (41%) rather than oppose (37%) criminalizing hate speech…

And yes, as PJ O’Rourke reminded us, the ones who’d burn the Rights of Man to save the snail darter are mostly left of the aisle: 

…but this conceals a partisan divide. Most Democrats (51%) support criminalizing hate speech, with only 26% opposed. Independents (41% to 35%) and Republicans (47% to 37%) tend to oppose making it illegal to stir up hatred against particular groups. Support for banning hate speech is also particularly strong among racial minorities. 62% of black Americans, and 50% of Hispanics support criminalizing comments which would stir up hatred. White Americans oppose a ban on hate speech 43% to 36%.


And just so we’re clear – “stir up hatred” doesn’t mean “actively advocate violence”, which is already illegal.  This refers to, for lack of a better term, offensive speech.

I’m becoming genuinely depressed about the future of this country, as a country.

9 thoughts on “If You Can Keep It

  1. Ronaldus Magnus told us about an American and a Russian in the bar. The American said: “You know why America is better than Russia? We have free speech. I can walk into President Reagan’s office, pound my fist on the desk and say ‘President Reagan, you’re ruining America.”

    The Russian said “That’s no big deal, we have that too.” “You do?” the American asked, astonished.

    “Sure. I can walk into Premier Breshnev’s office, pound my fist on the desk, and say ‘President Reagan is ruining America.”

    In 1980, that was a joke. In 2015 . . . .

  2. Well, does this mean we can finally force the ACLU, SLPC, NAACP, SEIU, DFL, Chris Coleman, Dave Thune, etc to shut the F up?

  3. Chuck wrote:
    “Well, does this mean we can finally force the ACLU, SLPC, NAACP, SEIU, DFL, Chris Coleman, Dave Thune, etc to shut the F up?”

  4. As we all know, a person of color cannot be racist. It therefore follows that “hate speech” can only be uttered by white males, if not Christian, at least right of center.

  5. Losing freedom of speech is an effect, not a cause of loss of liberty. The root enemies of totalitarianism (and that is threat that we are facing here) are freedom of association and the rule of law. No major American political party has been as dedicated to removing freedom of association and the rule of law as today’s Democrats.
    Libertarians, of both the big-L and small-l persuasion, should realize by now that individual freedom cannot coexist with a overbearing federal government.

  6. @PM – I’m highly confident that libertarians of either persuasion have been only too well aware of that for some time. Or did you have someone in mind as a proponent or exemplar of “overbearing federal government” libertarianism?

  7. @Mitch: Why are you even slightly surprised at this? This is how they roll.

    I have not a scintilla of doubt that the folks who were caterwauling at Wellstone’s Wake ™ would put the likes of you and I up against a wall or in reeducation camps had they ability to do so. To them, 1984 was an instruction manual.

  8. The premier leftist propaganda mill in Minnesota, The Minnpost, just went public with their intention to ban commentators that violate rules they refused, in writing, to delineate or clarify.

    I’m guessing they would really like to just toss me in jail and be done with it.

    BTW; “conservative” GOP Rep Tom Emmer recently volunteered his time and rhetorical skills in support of The Minnpost’s yearly fundraising bash.

    Atta boy, Tom.

  9. mnbubba:

    There’s a paradox here: The best way to create a framework that ultimately leads the government out of the marriage business is to open marriage up to more people. Opponents of gay marriage recognition are not arguing for smaller government; quite the opposite. The argument for keeping gay couples (and yes, polygamists of all orientations) from getting the same government recognition as monogamous heterosexuals is justified by conservative Nanny State arguments that we need government to make certain that humanity continues to procreate. There is, they claim, a legitimate state interest in making sure the human race does not die off.

    The Reason article doesn’t even mention the burden state recognized gay marriage would place on religious believers.

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