The Right Weaponises Free Speech

  • March 9, 2021
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How the Right Weaponises Free Speech – Democrat Article

The right has routinely weaponised free speech in America. They don’t want actual free speech; they want freedom from consequences. The right wants to say heinous things and get away with it. Hence, their obsession over cancel culture; they fear we may call them out for once. The right’s weaponisation of free speech has even reached the supreme court.

The supreme court under Chief Justice Roberts has fallen privy to the same phenomenon. 65% of court cases under his tenure have been about conservative speech and those cases have a 69% win rate while liberal free speech cases only have a 21% win rate. The court has used the first amendment as justification for voting against unions, limiting abortions, deregulating industries, discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, and providing unlimited corporate money in campaigns. This is not what free speech means. This is the right weaponising free speech to serve its agenda.

The proof that the right doesn’t care about freedom of speech is that they try and limit the speech of those they disagree with. Turning Point USA (TPUSA), an organisation headed by conservative darling Charlie Kirk, put out a professor watchlist. This list contained the names of professors that TPUSA deemed to have “a radical agenda in lecture halls.” This goes against the basic tenets of free speech because they are actively preventing people they disagree with from speaking through intimidation.

Simply put many on the right want free speech to say hateful things and freedom from consequences. They want to be able to say what they want and silence what they don’t want to hear. Bill O’Reilly called for governors and legislators to monitor classrooms in order to prevent anti-conservative rhetoric. In fact, college republicans are twice as likely as college democrats to want to ban books. This is not a new phenomenon either. The right also used the language of free speech to protest the civil rights movement.

The right also claims we are silencing them and that they face censorship online. While right-wing accounts are being banned from certain social media sites it is because they are either circulating vile hateful content or conspiracy-laden content such as Qanon. This is again another example of wanting freedom from consequences not freedom of speech.

In fact, conservatives dominate social media. They are not being silenced and they are louder than ever. One recent example is Gina Carano. She was recently fired from Disney and Lucasfilm because of a series of anti-Semitic posts. Shortly after her firing, noted conservative Ben Shapiro hired her for the project. Many of the right claim Carano was cancelled, but in fact, she just faced the consequences of her inflammatory statements, and she was not even cancelled, she was hired two days later.

Overall, it is important to preserve free speech. It is one of the best things to come out of our constitution. But it is also important to not weaponise and abuse it. We must ensure that free speech is not a weapon, but a right.

Written by Democratic Writer, Ali Lahrech

Point of Information

People in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones – A Republican Response

This article does a fine job at demonstrating the self-righteous delusion so many American progressives live in. The polarisation of the US has made people on both sides of the aisle virtually incapable of critical self-assessment. They love to point fingers at a fictitious enemy for their supposed crimes, while they themselves are equally guilty.

Firstly, the notion that ‘the right’ (whoever that may be) desires freedom from consequences is quite ridiculous. The last time I checked it was conservatives pushing for the usual tough-on-crime. It has been conservatives and libertarians pushing against absurd deficit spending, afraid of what might happen if spending isn’t reeled in. It was conservatives that first sounded the alarm as America lost innumerable jobs to overseas rivals. Frankly, ‘the right’ has consistently shown itself to be far more concerned with the consequences of individual actions and government policies than the liberal establishment. For ‘the left’, the shining utopia of tomorrow justifies all means, regardless of the consequences for the people of today.

Generally, conservatives fear the consequences of limiting free speech, not of using it.

I feel that confirmation bias saturates most of this article and its ‘proof’. If we interchanged the statistics of SCOTUS rulings regarding liberal free speech cases vs. conservative free speech cases, I highly doubt Mr Lahrech would come out blasting his political comrades for ‘weaponising’ the First Amendment. Just a hunch.

The current Supreme Court has a conservative majority and therefore rules that way. Before the death of Justice Scalia, the court was dominantly progressive. In that era, they ruled in the opposite manner, dominantly progressive. Very often to the benefit of the Democratic establishment, might I add. Yet no one lamented how liberals were ‘weaponising’ the constitution.

The author’s political opinion bleeds through the entire text and leaves little in the way of a rationale of the facts. Summed up, it’s complaining about how liberal America isn’t getting its way. Let’s not forget the Democrats felt so threatened by the appointment of Justice Amy Coney they flirted with the idea of making Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. states, as well as adding more seats to the SCOTUS. A classic case of ‘if you can’t win by the rules, change them,’ except the game is the constitution. People in glass houses…

Lastly, it’s comical to call out TPUSA and Charlie Kirk (though I think they’re buffoons) for their ‘professor watchlist’ and attempts at censorship when the left has done the exact same thing numerous times. My problem with this article is not with the attempted critique of conservatism in America, but that every argument it uses can also be used against the liberal establishment.

Written by Republican Writer, Sebastian Bossu

Ali Lahrech
Democratic Writer | Website

Hi, I’m Ali and I’m in my third year at the University of Toronto. I’m studying International Relations as my major and Spanish as my minor.

 

I was born and raised in Washington DC to Moroccan parents. This gave me a unique lens with which to observe the country I was raised in. While I am an American citizen, I often have a different perspective than my friends and peers whose families have been in the United States for much longer than mine. Growing up in around DC also gave the unique opportunity of being at the heart of American politics. Ever since President Barrack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009 I was hooked.

 

I have always been left of the American center and most closely aligned myself with the Democratic party. While I vote for the Democratic party, like many Americans I’m starting to feel more and more disillusioned with them and the two-party system. The 2016 election is was the catalyst for my dissatisfaction with the American political parties. I had seen the Republican party move further and further right while the Democrats hadn’t really moved left. They had essentially implemented a policy of appeasement towards the Republicans. In summation I was disappointed that the Democrats had bent the knee to Republicans rather than proposing and implementing bold and forward-thinking policies that would help Americans.

 

This disappointment and disillusionment started to transform into optimism after the 2018 midterms. I saw that there was still hope for a bright future for America. The Democratic party had started to shift leftwards, albeit at a snail’s pace. After the 2018 midterms I became a man possessed by American politics. As I dove deeper and deeper into American politics, I realized that we don’t know enough about it. This fact is why I think it is key for all of us, no matter our perspectives, to have a conversation with each other and most importantly listen to one another; so, we better understand one another and where we’re coming from.

 

Therefore, I look forward to sharing my perspective with POI and reading others’ with great enthusiasm.

 

 

Sebastian Bossu

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