Donald Trump Is a Greater Threat to Free Speech Than the Campus Left

Trump's flag-burning comments fit a pattern of disrespect for the First Amendment.

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Lora Olive/ZUMA Press/Newscom

President-Elect Donald Trump recently tweeted that people who burn the American flag should be put in jail or even lose their American citizenship. This ignorant, despicable statement should make a plain truth even more obvious: Trump will not defend free speech from the forces of censorship—he represents the forces of censorship.

Over at National Review, Katherine Timpf wonders who is "worse" for free speech: Trump or "campus snowflakes"? Her article implies that Trump may well be worse. "No doubt, a lot of people voted for Donald Trump because they wanted to put a stop to the 'safe space' culture that's running rampant on college campuses across the country," she writes. "I'm just not so sure he's the man to do it."

I'll go a step further: we can be pretty sure.

Trump is as thin-skinned and easily-offended as the most delicate leftist student activist—safe spaces and all. But at least the social justice left is largely confined to college campuses. Trump, on the other hand, is in control of the entire federal government.

We know that Trump thinks people who speak out against him or say things he doesn't like should be punished. He has routinely threatened to jail journalists for doing their jobs. He wants to use the powers of the presidency to make it easier for him to sue his critics out of business.

Everyone who sincerely thought Trump would destroy political correctness and restore the primacy of the First Amendment was deluding themselves. He has never cared about anyone's right to speak, unless he happened to like the speaker. Trump is an embodiment of the antithesis of free speech: if he does not agree with what you say, he may challenge your right to say it.

Yes, a President Hillary Clinton would have been just as bad on free speech. Yes, Clinton has gone to even greater lengths to prohibit flag burning. Yes, Clinton thinks her political opponents shouldn't be able to make a movie that criticizes her. She won't be president, and that's great. It's a win for the First Amendment.

But Trump will be president, and that's still a loss. It means libertarians and conservatives who support unfettered free speech have a responsibility to denounce him at least as vehemently as they denounce the campus left.

NEXT: Prof. Michael McConnell on Brexit and British constitutional law

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  1. This ignorant, despicable statement should make a plain truth even more obvious…

    That Trump is good at distracting people from his terrible cabinet choices?

    1. We will have a cabinet for all Americans, not for the media. Everyone knows there’s a line that separates “free speech” from incivility, and just because the libtard pundits want to draw the line here rather than there doesn’t mean they’re right. We have to stop some very bad people out there, very bad, we have to stop the flag-burning, and then the Trolls, and then satire too, so we can make America great again. We have to stop the satire. We’re going to stop the satire, we’re going to stop the satire. Surely no one here would dare to defend the “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge in our nation’s leading criminal “parody” case? See the documentation at:

      http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      1. First they should come for the trolls, like this idiot tilting at windmills.
        And everyone will cheer.

        1. He never stops, And he won’t post a summary that isn’t TLDR.

          1. I’m all for TLDR, in fact, why read anything at all anymore? the less we read the faster we make America great again.

      2. Only 200 incidents of flag burning has been recorded since the beginning of the US republic, averaging less than one per year, according to the ACLU.
        http://atheism.about.com/od/fl…..roblem.htm
        After flag desecertion laws were ruled unconstitutional by SCOTUS, incidents of flag burning dropped dramatically. One way to make sure flag burning becomes more frequent is to ban it.

        1. (1) I would have at this knave with my lance for his lack of courtly manners; and (2) jailing the heinous slackers who would burn the flag of our great nation will not encourage, but rather dissuade other similarly inclined beatniks from committing such foul deeds, just as we have dissuaded inappropriately deadpan, electronically conveyed “parody” in New York by making it clear that if you engage in this form of “satire” you will go to jail. Surely you are not defending the outrageous “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge?

  2. It means libertarians and conservatives who support unfettered free speech have a responsibility to denounce him at least as vehemently as they denounce the campus left.

    I’m sure you’re on the job, Robby.

    1. I sleep sounder at night, knowing that virtuous robby’s on the job.

  3. LOL. Master troll strikes again. LOL.

    1. Seriously, he tweets out that that flag burning ought to be illegal, and right on cue, a bunch of Trump protestors start burning American flags.

      I’m a free speech absolutist, and I think everybody should be free to burn the flag if they feel like it. But you’re going to have a hard time arguing that you’re a patriot by burning the flag.

      1. Flag sales must be through the roof.

      2. You would have to convince me that patriotism is a virtue before I would argue that.

        1. Well yeah, you’re fucking stupid and think the two things are related.

          1. I have no idea what you are babbling about.

            1. This piece of shit shows up about once a week under a new handle, wallows around for a while making zero sense and then disappears again. Last week it is ‘you’re an idiot’.
              The definition of a troll.

              1. The only difference between you and them is you hang around. The insults and low level of dialogue are the same.

                1. Fuck off, mort..

                  1. I was trying to walk, but this wall of irony keeps getting in the way.

                  2. So much for a reasonable conversation, Migrant.

        2. Whether or not you think patriotism is a virtue, plenty of people think it is. And starting your argument by burning the flag is going to put off a large number of people who might otherwise agree with you.

          1. No doubt but I would also never argue that it is important to convince someone of my patriotism. Fundamental human rights is first. Patriotism is about 17,000th on the list.

      3. I keep waiting for a sudden gust of wind to wrap some idiot protester in six feet of burning flag.

      4. If you don’t own the flag, burning it is property destruction. If one buys a flag solely for the purpose of burning it, it is arson and possibly public endangerment and inciting to riot.

  4. But at least the social justice left is largely confined to college campuses.

    Until they graduate and take well-honed outrage skills to public sector policy making.

    1. whereas like everyone is into burning flags these days.

  5. He has routinely threatened to jail journalists for doing their jobs.

    Well, suddenly kind of doing their jobs.

  6. You’re going to get a lot of grief from your commenters for this one, but thank you. “Political Correctness” existed only on a few campuses as even a thing at all. Trump and his right wing nut jobs have the entire government. I am confident that they will star by impriosning protesters and critics and end by shooting us.

    1. Sounds legit.

      1. Especially the reference to electric cars.

        1. Electric flying cars, right?

    2. My purchase of a scary assault rifle is looking smarter and smarter.

      It’s been statistically proven that people with scary assault rifles are far less likely to suffer murder and imprisonment during pogroms.

    3. “Political Correctness” existed only on a few campuses as even a thing at all. ”

      I’ll take “things the hyperbolic idiot couldn’t possibly know” for 1000

      1. Meh, I think once you get to the third line, you aren’t dealing with a rational individual.

        1. haha I actually didn’t read that far then went back when I saw your comment. Oh dear.

    4. Whatever you do about it, please don’t move to Canada. We have enough people with TDS as it is without importing more.

    5. Have you reviewed speech codes on college campuses? I invite you to do so – FAIR is a good place to start.

      1. Sorry – typing without my reading glasses…FIRE.

        https://www.thefire.org/

    6. The entire Democrat Party is the “Political Correctness” police.

  7. Trump is living rent free in the heads of people suffering from TDS.

    Flag burning wasn’t a real issue, but as soon as he brings it up people start freaking out and start burning flags outside Trump towers to reinforce his argument.

  8. Yes, a President Hillary Clinton would have been just as bad on free speech. Yes, Clinton has gone to even greater lengths to prohibit flag burning. Yes, Clinton thinks her political opponents shouldn’t be able to make a movie that criticizes her. She won’t be president, and that’s great.

    SUDDENLY THIS TURNS INTO A HIT PIECE ON HILLARY CLINTON?

    1. It’s cause she’s a girl.

      1. Well, girls are the root of all evil. I saw the formula. It’s not personal, just basic math.

        1. Never lose track of the cootie quotient.

      2. “Elections are hard!”

        1. That’s funnier when Roseanne Roseannadanna says it.

          1. Funnier yet when Gary Johnson says it

  9. I will certainly denounce him–when he actually does something. I have no illusions about Trump; the only thing he believes in or cares about is Trump. But people would be doing their blood pressure a favor if they calmed down a bit. He’s not even president yet and people are flailing about like the Holocaust is upon us.

    Look, I’m sure it’s gonna be a long four years. And the struggle for liberty against government is endless. So save your energy for what is really happening and quit wasting it on the monsters under your bed.

    1. +1 Thanks for saving me the trouble of pointing this out. Taking every (any?) thing he says literally is idiotic at this point.

  10. While I’m not sure I agree with the way Soave says it, I pretty much agree here. Trump is likely to be terrible on speech, pretty much like his predecessor. Obama early on was pretty bad on speech, with his attacks on Limbaugh and Fox News, his administration’s use of the Espionage Act against whistleblowers and his seizure of journalists’ phone records. Not to mention the clumsy attempt to use Benghaz as an excusei to curb speech. But free speech survived. And luckily now we have, hopefully, enough opposition in the press as well as courts and Congress to keep Trump in check.

    1. + Lois Lerner

      1. On advice of counsel, I have no recollection of who this may or may not be.

        1. John Koskinen, is that you?

        2. Brilliant!

      2. “+ Lois Lerner”

        Yes, the IRS’s refusal to grant charity status and thus block most fund raising was a bigger attack on free speech that Obama and Limbaugh bloviating about each other.

      3. +1 Michelle Leonhart, who doesn’t know if pot is less harmful than heroin or meth.

  11. IOW Govt is a threat to free speech. Shocking.

  12. Come on, Robby, you’re better than this. Trump’s tweet was not that inflammatory considering that it is an opinion popular throughout the county and has been supported by both Republicans and Democrats (Hillary Clinton was a sponsor on such a constitutional amendment when she was in the Senate). Thankfully, the likelihood of a constitutional amendment succeeding is slim to nil.

    1. Look, the president has absolute unlimited power. The first thing he is going to do is single-handedly overturn Roe v Wade and retroactivity throw every woman who’s had an abortion in the gulag (along with all medical personnel involved and whomever drive her to the clinic). Next, he will round up all non-western europeans, gays, reporters and climate change scientist (all by himself) and send them to concentration camps to await the ovens, it’s only after those things that he is going to sign the executive order nullifying the 1st Amendment.

      1. Cautiously checks list, doesn’t see self on list. Gives thumbs up!

  13. “But at least the social justice left is largely confined to college campuses.”

    So, “first they came for the frats” is your principle here. Bold move, Robby.

  14. Can we just agree that both Trump AND the campus pinkos suck ass on free speech and call it a day?

    1. We can.

      Beers now?

      1. Are you buying?

      2. To great entertainment and humor during the next dark age! Cheers!

  15. Yes, a President Hillary Clinton would have been just as bad on free speech. Yes, Clinton has gone to even greater lengths to prohibit flag burning. Yes, Clinton thinks her political opponents shouldn’t be able to make a movie that criticizes her. She won’t be president, and that’s great. It’s a win for the First Amendment.

    Your getting dangerously close to appeasing John.

  16. While the government is absolutely a bigger potential threat to free speech than SJW snowflakes, I think Trump would have a hard time actually limiting it.

    On the other hand, SJWs have a much more powerful influence in chilling free expression in our culture.

    Both should be opposed. We don’t have to pick one or the other.

    1. I’d note that college censorship is government censorship. Every college, whether nominally ‘private’ or ‘public’, are highly subsidized by every layer of government (local through property tax exemption; state through income tax exemption and direct subsidies, and federal through subsidies, income tax exemption, and subsidized loans to their consumers).

      So, I see college censorship as my tax dollars going to silence opposing view points.

      I agree, though, both should be opposed. But, I view the little Robspierres on college campuses with greater alarm.

    2. Are you implying that SJW are going to find jobs in the private sector?

  17. Trump may very well be worse for free speech than the social justice movement, although that’s a little bit apples-to-oranges. The nice thing, though, is that there’s at least a non-zero chance that, since he’s not an establishment Democrat, the mainstream media will rediscover their journalistic integrity and shed some light on him. As opposed to the fawning, obsequious water-carrying and cheerleading they’d be doing for a President Clinton II.

    1. ” the mainstream media will rediscover their journalistic integrity and shed some light on him.”

      Are you ok? Seriously, are you running a temperature or something?

  18. Trump chums the waters and its seems impossible for the sharks not to respond. But the thing is, they’re not sharks. They’re stupid guppies that seem to function on the most basic stimuli/response model of behavior.

    1. So much this^^^. He’s been in troll mode from day one and damned if it hasn’t worked.

  19. Trump, on the other hand, is in control of the entire federal government.

    Well, no. He’s not in control of anything yet. When he gets sworn in, he will be in control of the executive branch only, and even that control will be somewhat spotty.

    (He will control the military, and I guess he might order the drones to bomb Reason out of existence. We’ll see.)

  20. I would rather lose than win the way you guys did!” Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director for Hillary for America, shot…

    Says the campaign that cheated in the debates, proof-read news reports, race-baited Hispanics and blacks at every chance, and got caught colluding with the DNC to get the nomination. I’m going to guess she’s full of shit.

    1. And she got her wish too.

    2. I’m just glad herself’s people have always had hired goons protecting them. Because they’re so unhinged that if any of them carried guns, one of them would have killed a Trump aide in a confrontation by now.

      Look at the raw emotion they show. The absolute hate and anger in their eyes. Seriously, if they weren’t all impotent, I’d worry.

    3. I would rather lose than win the way you guys did!

      What, honestly?

      1. “What, honestly?”

        Well it’s a big stretch to refer to the Trump campaign as honest. But on the other hand, they didn’t engage in nearly as many dirty tricks as the Clinton campaign. Seriously, you can’t read the leaked emails, coupled with Debbie Poodlehair Schultz as head of the DNC and not come to the conclusion that they rigged the primary and that Sanders never had a fair chance to win.

        1. Exactly. Why, I’d go so far as to say the Trump campaign was dishonest within acceptable parameters. They told the same bullshit lies and exaggerations every campaign tells. Clinton’s team essentially rigged their primary.

          1. Sad to say, there’s no rule against lying to voters about what you’re going to do once you’re elected or misrepresenting yourself to get people to vote for you. It’s shitty, but it’s SOP. Clinton’s people actively subverted her party’s primary rules in order to quell a person who was arguably the more popular candidate.

    4. Says the campaign that cheated in the debates, proof-read news reports, race-baited Hispanics and blacks at every chance, and got caught colluding with the DNC to get the nomination.

      No shit. Not to mention running on a plank to overturn a Supreme Court decision favoring a group that criticized you. Either Palmieri is demonstrating the relentless lack of self-awareness of today’s left, or Bezos is offering a massive discount on chutzpah for Christmas this year.

      1. Also, who really believes this shit–“I would rather lose than win the way you guys did”? Look at the last few weeks of left-wing post-election meltdowns. Losing sends these people into emotionally destructive fits; who the hell really thinks they give a damn about the high ground? Everyone knows the high ground is what the winners determine it to be.

        1. +1 recounts over possible hacking of ballot machines.

          1. It’s not even possible, really. It’s just that there are metrics showing 7% more Trump votes in counties using electronic voting mechanisms without attempting to isolate any other metrics. It’s more likely that these machines are the older machines, rather than the newer “Paper and scan” machines, and they tend to be used more heavily in small counties where there are fewer available funds to upgrade voting machines.

            Nobody has offered even speculation about HOW the machines were rigged. There’s no evidence of anything weird happening in regards to the voting machines. They have no internet, no network, and no operating system (the fact that there’s no operating system means there’s no way to program a virus in advance). The only way to mess with the results would be to break into the machine and manipulate the numbers on the hard drive manually. That would require willful blindness on the part of people running the polling location, and hoping that no poll monitors happen to be watching while the machine is being broken in. And that would have to happen in multiple precincts in order to successfully rig the election.

  21. Trump, on the other hand, is in control of the entire federal government.

    Somebody needs to pull their head out of their ass and understand we don’t elect monarchs.

    1. He’s not in control of the judicial branch although he might ultimately place 25% or so of its staff…if congress approves his noms.
    2. He’s not in control of writing laws, although he may veto bills he doesn’t like. Of course they can be passed over his veto.
    3. He cannot wholesale dismiss the staffs of executive departments and replace them with his people. He can control departmental policy but not necessarily those people, largely leftists, who are frontline employees at those departments.

    Robby shits the bed with his lack of knowledge on how our government works. Or he’s trolling again. Take your pick.

    1. He’s not particularly bright.

      1. Well, he is a Michigan Man.

    2. My money’s on trolling, although I have found in my dealings with the younger generation that there’s a tendency to view the government as the executive and vice versa, which might be why they seem to pull either towards progressivism or libertarianism depending on their beliefs about power.

    3. And he shit the bed over flag burning, which is properly legal but relatively trivial as a form of free speech. The aspects of free speech the opponents of the Citizens United and the campus thought police want to weaken or eliminate are not.

      1. Meh, I don’t know how trivial they are relative to what the proggies are trying to pull. But I can tell you that while he’s saying he would do something on twitter (something wholly dependent on two separate but equal branches of the government concurring), the proggies on college campuses are actively prohibiting speech by establishing codes, publicly shaming people not toeing the line and forcing people elected to student governments to step down or be removed when they disagree with their leftist stands.

        1. I just did not see this type of pearl clutching when the Democrats proposed amendment to th he constitution stripping corporate entities (like the Reason Foundation) of rights. There were articles opposing it but not this Chicken Little panicking.

        2. the proggies on college campuses are actively prohibiting speech by establishing codes

          In NYC the EEOC passed a law saying you can be fined $200,000 for “misgendering” people.

          Yeah, Trump is totally the worster, because he tweets crazy shit he can never actually do.

          1. What’s my cut If I’m the misgendered?

    4. This is why John Roberts is a greater threat to free speech the Donald or the snowflakes.

  22. Unlike Hillary and the campus leftists, Trump’s threats to the 1A will be opposed by much of the public and all of the press. In this way he is less of a threat as Hillary and the campus leftists as their brand of 1A violation is accompanied by a growing cultural acceptance. And according to Nick Gillespie, political acceptance is a lagging indicator to cultural acceptance.

  23. Well I’m done with Reason. I get Robby Soave is kind of the in house troll, and I love a lot of their other writers, but I can’t abide this shit.

    I will probably keep up with Reason TV on youtube for what it’s worth.

  24. But at least the social justice left is largely confined to college campuses.

    Largely means “college campuses…and HR departments, media outlets, the boards of social media sites, Hollywood, every federal agency with oversight on businesses and half of the activist federal judiciary.”

    1. Not to mention, for the next few weeks, the entire leadership structure of the Dept of Defense.

    2. You left out the entire ruling class of NYC, Chicago, SF, LA, et many al.

      I usually let Robby slide but that’s a whopper too far.

    3. Thank you! That line stood out to me too.

    4. Cosmotarian cocktail party horseshit.

  25. Absolutely – Trump wants to abolish free speech and the Trumpkins want to round up anyone who even thinks about defending flag burning or wants to stop the droning in the middle or doesn’t think there are actually 3 million felons from Mexico. BUT – I give Trump credit for blasting PC culture. It’s hard to say if Hillary would have succeeded with her Bolshevik agenda of institutionalizing everyone who dared think about the existence of race or whatever other self-righteous madness they could conjure (e.g. ‘super predator’). Crazy as it sounds, I think it’s healthy. Just gotta keep fighting.

    1. Also nukes in North Africa amirite

  26. “Trump’s flag-burning comments fit a pattern of disrespect for the First Amendment.”

    Telling people what you think isn’t disrespect for the First Amendment. Are you really that much of a partisan idiot, Robby?

    Have you even read it?
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Trump isn’t part of Congress. He has no ability to abridge the freedom of speech. He is allowed to have opinions and express them. All politicians do that. And we are free to mock.
    Your problem is that you get your panties all in a twist about a meaningless tweet of Trump’s personal opinion. Grow up.

    1. Couple that with his ignorance of how our government works, and the result is stupid shit like this piece, which is most of what comes from him.

  27. 1.) No, short of physical enforcement against opposition speech, the President can’t begin to match the influence of the campus left who, in the age of college-for-everyone, gets four years to accustom the future leaders of ‘merica to living in a police state where you’d better watch what you say if you don’t want to be officially penalized.

    2.) Trump is not thin-skinned and it’s amazing anyone still believes he is. He’s _trolling_ the left. Trolling like the boss of all bosses in the history of bosses. The fact that so many of them still don’t get it is proof positive that the left is absolutely not the smart people in the room like they keep claiming to be.

    1. Campus lefties are activity intimidating and harassing anyone who doesn’t think, speak, or act in the ‘right’ way. I’m amazed that anyone would claim there is a greater threat to free speech in this country. College campuses are friggin 1984 analogs.

  28. You’re a fucking idiot Robby and a excellent example of the problems with this site.

  29. Trump, on the other hand, is in control of the entire federal government.

    This may come as a shock to you, but the executive branch does not in fact “control” congress or the supreme court, and unilaterally rewriting the 1st amendment isn’t actually as easy as you suggest.

    He has routinely threatened to jail journalists for doing their jobs

    ? Reprinting his tweets? Does anyone else know what frooshi is referencing? The citation from February seems to me to come from his “say crazy shit to stay in the papers”-strategy-phase which eventually netted him the primary victory, at which point he changed his focus.

    Are there more-recent instances where he’s announced plans to shutter all newspapers and appoint Breitbart the official American News source?

    libertarians and conservatives who support unfettered free speech have a responsibility to denounce him

    Technically people would want to denounce his (theoretical) *actions*. Denouncing people is what you do in communist regimes.

  30. Are you trying to unseat Chapman as most hated contributor around here Robby? Rule #1 is that you never, Never, NEVER insinuate that any noun (person, place, thing) is worse than Progressives.

    Here’s the list from “Most Worst” to “Least Worst”. Note that libertarians, being misanthropes, consider noone “good”:

    1. Progressives
    2. Liberals
    3. Democrats
    4. Hitler
    5. Cosmos
    6. Republicans
    7. Libertarians
    8. libertarians
    9. Conservatives (this word means something different to modern libertarians than it does to the rest of the human race)
    10.Yokels

    1. “Are you trying to unseat Chapman as most hated contributor around here Robby? Rule #1 is that you never, Never, NEVER insinuate that any noun (person, place, thing) is worse than Progressives.”

      What a sad attempt at a Troll. Robby is being criticized for not understanding the Constitution and for treating words as if they were actions. Not for comparing Trump with Progressives.

      1. Bullshit. He’s failing to acknowledge that progressives aren’t always “the worst”. And the cognitive dissonance here won’t tolerate that kind of heresy.

      2. Bullshit. He’s failing to acknowledge that progressives aren’t always “the worst”. And the cognitive dissonance here won’t tolerate that kind of heresy.

      3. Bullshit. He’s failing to acknowledge that progressives aren’t always “the worst”. And the cognitive dissonance here won’t tolerate that kind of heresy.

      4. Bullshit. He’s failing to acknowledge that progressives aren’t always “the worst”. And the cognitive dissonance here won’t tolerate that kind of heresy.

        1. Your stuttering is getting worse and worse.

        2. No matter how many times you repeat it, Progressives are still the worst. (Here’s a hint: Trump, and most of the Republican establishment for that matter, are fucking progressives).

  31. “If you want a symbolic gesture, don’t burn the flag; wash it.” –Norman Thomas

    One of those rare occasion when I agree with a socialist. I vaguely remember that in late 70ies or early 80ies some activist actually did that somewhere near the White House.

  32. I don’t know what happened to my comments but I suppose I have been censored. This place is not for patriotic Americans.

    1. Unless you were threatening to murder a specific person you weren’t censored. The commenting system here sucks and sometimes comments just go poof.

      1. It really does. How is there not some sort of system of notification that someone responded to a comment? It’s very annoying.

  33. This ignorant, despicable statement should make a plain truth even more obvious: Trump …

    … is a lot more politically and media savvy than you are.

  34. Yes, it is extremely shitty that Trump is a shitbag. Let’s remember, though, that Trump likes to say a lot of inflammatory things and then maybe walk them back or flat out contradict himself. So, let’s hope for the best… or hope for things that aren’t as bad as they could be if taken at face value… or something like that.

    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.

  35. The SJW left has worse positions than Trump, yet it is true that they don’t wield his power. But that’s not the fear with the SJWs. My fear is their creeping influence on other institutions. OCR is as bad as it is due to SJW bitch fits about Title IX and wanting it expanded, and the press is at least partially sympathetic to even the most ridiculous college protests. Once these snowflakes start going to work for the only places that will hire them (the government and the press), who knows what will happen?

    At least with Trump the press will be hysterical and remind people of the first amendment, since his free speech issues are more blantant. Citizens United is never presented as a speech issue and has convenient bogeymen with “corporations”. Trigger warnings and safe spaces are seen as protecting aggrieved minorities and those who oppose them must therefore oppose minorities

  36. Anyone else remember that time that Trump mused on the nature of the Parliamentary system, and declared that he thought it was great, and that maybe America should be run that way?

    Trump’s a loud-mouth who bellows out anything that sticks to the wall. Here’s my prediction: Trump says this to rile up his base and piss off his opponents, opponents start burning flags (which makes them look great in the eyes of the public) and nothing else happens.This disappears down the memory hole by January. If something does happen, we can proceed to state how stupid and tyrannical it is.

  37. Why is everything Reason writers disagree with considered despicable? this is no better than the lefts claim that all Trump supporters are racist. You may not like another person’s claims and those claims may even be incorrect or wrong but that does not make them despicable. It is wild accuastions like this that not only devalue your own work but inflames those you are trying to convince of your ideas. Keep writing with that tone and soon people will start to ignore your words just like many now ignore anything out of left.

  38. The real issue is whether Trump is a greater threat to freedom of speech than Shrillary would have been. My guess is no.

  39. It’s official: kissing the President’s ass is the new Libertarian. After all, I am clearly the only one here who doesn’t think that the few morons on here who are doing the represent all of Libertarianism.

    Yeah, there are actually some of us who consider the election over and now want to start limiting the power of the incoming government. We’re not all like that cunt who posted above me (C.S.P. Schofield) still droning on about Hillary as if she has any relevance. What a fucking retard.

    Trump will be president on January 20th, and the only symptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome at that point will be people who call themselves Libertarian throwing themselves behind big government. Fucking cunts.

    1. *that represent all of Libertarianism.

      fucking autocorrect

    2. So pointing out that Trump has no power to actually enact a ban on flag burning and also pointing out that progressives hold vastly more power in regards to silencing speech (college campuses, HR departments, media outlets, the boards of social media sites, Hollywood, every federal agency with oversight on businesses and half of the activist federal judiciary, to borrow from sloopy) is kissing the president’s ass now?

      Color me skeptical.

  40. Trump is constrained by congress and the courts, and he can be president for no more than 8 years.

    The left is almost completely unchecked in college campuses. They don’t hide their agenda of creating their own meta society where blacks can have their own village and speech and dress codes can be enforced according to their taste. They’re not beyond punishing members of stuff they post on social media.

    Let’s put it this way – Unless the democrats and 20% of republicans go batshit insane, Trump will never be able to punish anyone for burning the flag. PERIOD. Some white dude who had drunken sex at a dorm will wear the scarlet letter for life if his student partner cries “rape”.

    Having said, Trump’s anti-flag burning proposal is disturbing. Trump’s conspiracy theories can be laughed at, but this is more serious.

  41. Plato made a good argument for censorship. We practice censorship with our hate speech laws as well. I know there are several more examples but I tire of reproving the mendacity of this author.

    Flag burning was hailed as ” protected speech ” because nine men said it was So if nine men and women decide differently in the future then that will be the new speech.

    In closing just pass a law that all flags sold in the USA must be flame retardent. The protestors will then be forced to desecrate it in some other fashion. Perhaps urine or feces and we can easily arrest them for indecent exposure.

    1. Fuck off, slaver.

      1. The trump disciples want to cherry pick their rights. Guns. Beer. Nudie pics. Free speech as long as it sound like Heil Trump Uh,. no.

        Corporate money- that is speech.

        But you do not want me to talk and you do not want to hear what I say ?

        Uh, too bad. E pluribus unum My free speech counts

        And I say Clinton won 2.3 million more votes than Trump.

      2. Your mom will take it, and she’ll like it. Go fuck yourself, asshole.

  42. Trump is no threat to free speech. With respect to flag-burning, I imagine that is about number 10,000 on the list of things that interest him. Trump is a threat to the Marxists, Nazis, America-haters, and small-s socialists who make up the Democrat Party.

    1. trump is enthusiastically endorsed by the American Nazi Party and the KKK.

      trump is a threat t othe civil liberties of all Americans.

      Today the mexicans and th emuslims, tomorrow the jews, the negros and the catholics –

      He’ll be needing some checks and balances trump will.

  43. Trump is always probing to find out where are te limits. If he can he will name himslef emperor. Putin is telling him how.

    Trump and Bannon are a danger to the country.

    They confuse the delusional at their rallies with America as a whole.

    It is important of all liberty loving people to fight and set those boundaries that Trump seeks to find.

    1. I heard Trump at this very moment is trying to put a giant frickin lazer in the moon so he can blackmail the entire world and crown himself emperor. His navy will be composed of the alt right riding ill-tempered sea bass with frickin lasers on their heads. It is all over for free speech and freedom living people.

  44. I don’t recall any mention in the First Amendment of the flag, especially referring to burning it.
    So, you may say that Trump’s opinion disrespects what the majority of nine, unelected, glorified lawyers have said but what they say ain’t what is in our Supreme Law of the Land.
    Those glorified lawyers were never supposed to be in a position to make such far-sweeping declarations and they need to be brought down several notches so that we can become the representative republic we are supposed to be.

    1. aw, tea bagger is upset that he does not understand 1A and cannot stop blowing Drumpf.

      1. Marcon, you have a serious mental block, constantly ragging on tea baggers, and refusing to learn the name of the president-elect. You need to turn yourself in for psychological therapy.

  45. I don’t agree with burning fags, this is unamerican. That Trump and his alt right army is gonna make homosexuals bake heterosexual pastries with I love america written in frosting all over them. Thank God for Mr. Soave intuitive writing skills and helping all hear the obvious dog whistles Trump and the alt right are sending.

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  47. I believe Trump knew he was making an idiotic statement and was merely trying to play to his base. He knows he could never ban flag-burning. He has probably already forgotten he said it. Or just as he has changed his mind on other issues — “Send her to jail”, “Repeal Obamacare!” — he has changed his mind on this one.

  48. Making a statement that forces Safe Space and Hate Speech proponents to publicly support free speech?
    Checkmate!

  49. WHINY COLLEGE KIDS ARE A BIGGER THREAT THAN A DICTATOR

    1. Yes, because they had their “cry in” and have moved on. The only assholes left? reason’s tea baggers posing as libertarians calling them snowflakes more dangerous than the PEOTUS

      You baggers are something else!

  50. That pattern that’s repeating is Trump being better at social media than the media is at media. In a single 140-character (or less) Tweet, Trump trolled Hilary supporters by bring up an actual law she tired to pass and simultaneously moved the people still wiling to take to the streets to protest him to one of the most reviled forms of protest there is, flag burning. At some point the media will figure out that Trump is not announcing policy on Twitter. Or not. In which case there will be at least four years of media honks who haven’t yet been right about anything regarding Trump continually chasing their tails.

  51. “Yes, a President Hillary Clinton would have been just as bad on free speech.”

    Complain about Trump. Complain about Hillary. Provide no information on the Libertarian alternative.

    The article reads like it was written by a Democrat.

    This is why we only have 5%.

    1. Complain about Hillary in an article about Drumpf? Why, that is what reason tea baggers do.

      Face it, there are no libertarians, only tea baggers here

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  53. “Unfettered free speech”? Really? I don’t think that anyone supports , really supports, an absolute right to enjoy legal protection for unfettered free speech, including Libertarians. What those fetters ought to be, decided and enforced by whom, and which President (who is elected to be in the enforcement, not policy making department) will be a better tribune for a policy that one favors are all great things to debate. Pretending to support unfettered free speech is juvenile extremism.

    If Libertarians ever want to be more than an odd conversation piece (which is not at all clear to me) then they need to look at encouraging some self-fettering of their own speech, or that of their nominees.

  54. For most of the period between the Civil War and the Vietnam era, burning the flag ‘in protest’ would have gotten the stuffing beaten out of you. I’m not saying that was right, just that it was.

    There’s always the hope (HA!) that Trump treating flag burning as Hate Speech (and how is it not?) will wake up some of the fools on the Left who are so goddamned fond of beating people they disagree with with that particular club. Even if it doesn’t wake them to the danger of their pet ploy, seeing them belabored by the same illogic will at least be fun.

    Flag burners should be required to get a permit for a fire, just as cross burners do in many jurisdictions. If nothing else, it would put them on all fours with the Klu Klux Klan. Where they belong.

    1. Flag burners should be required to get a permit for a fire, just as cross burners do in many jurisdictions.Which part of “Congress shall make no law” don’t you understand, tea bagger?

      1. Look, a flag sized piece of petroleum based cloth (and most flags are), set on fire, is actually physically dangerous. So far as I know the flag burners have been lucky, to date. Nobody has been wrapped in a burning flag by a sudden breeze. But it will happen. I’m not saying that people who trample on flags, tear them up, splash paint on them, etc should have to get permits. Just the burners. Just the ones who are actually doing something dangerous in a crowd.

        Yes, that is singling out the most attention-grabbing act. It’s attention grabbing because most people know on some level that you have to remain aware of fire in case it gets out of control. We allow far too much leeway to dangerous “speech” involving fire or violence. Every single idiot who throws paint, or body fluids, or other ‘symbolic’ liquids on people should be arrested for assault. Period. And fools who want to play with fire in a volatile crowd should minimally need to get a permit.

        Or, OTOH, we could redefine a punch in the nose as symbolic speech, and let Donnybrook Faire sort it out.

  55. The left has learned nothing from the last election, and neither has Reason. The left is full speed ahead with their race to alienate voters, and the high priests at Reason is still straining at gnats and swallowing camels.

    1. The Left hasn’t learned anything much since 1972.

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  57. It means libertarians and conservatives who support unfettered free speech have a responsibility to denounce him at least as vehemently as they denounce the campus left.
    And how reason figures out in article about Drumpf that “campus left” is relevant.

    But anyways, why the redundancy? libertarians and conservatives? we are talking about reason denizens: tea baggers. That’s what they are

    1. Oh, go paint yourself purple and moo.

      1. Isn’t it wonderful when a psycho shows up late to a thread and starts insulting everyone? Too much of a pussy to throw around insults when others are around to hit back would be my guess.

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  59. Trump is opposed, countered, called out constantly. He, no question, feeds off of nationalistic jingoism. But his bombastic style is not a threat.
    What is a threat is a generation being indoctrinated into the idea that “Free Speech” only applies to ideas with which they agree. The campus left is producing people, like the poor sod in the comments, who think that “free speech is civil speech,” when just the opposite is true. The right to free speech only applies when the speech offends in some way, disagrees, challenges. Yet this is what the campus left is attempting to abolish and attempting to get an entire generation to believe.
    Campus left is far more dangerous to free speech than Trump.

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  64. Trump is no threat at all to free speech. His “threats” are nasty responses to attacks upon himself. He just uses his own free speech and contests the free speech he disagrees with. That is everyone’s right. As far as I can see he has never asked anything to be censored, he has just attack things said as wrong or lies. That is nothing like censoring.

  65. Trump is no threat at all to free speech. His “threats” are nasty responses to attacks upon himself. He just uses his own free speech and contests the free speech he disagrees with. That is everyone’s right. As far as I can see he has never asked anything to be censored, he has just attack things said as wrong or lies. That is nothing like censoring.

  66. Trump is no threat at all to free speech. His “threats” are nasty responses to attacks upon himself. He just uses his own free speech and contests the free speech he disagrees with. That is everyone’s right. As far as I can see he has never asked anything to be censored, he has just attack things said as wrong or lies. That is nothing like censoring.

  67. Trump regularly threatens journalists with lawsuits for what he thinks is libel.There are several articles published in the campaign he might win a case with. The media’s regular misrepresentation and deliberate misinterpretation of facts during the election may actually deserve jail time.

  68. Burning a flag shows more respect for it than taking the Freedom away that the flag represents. It is a symbol and protecting it as a symbol is one thing, making it sacred and all must bow down to it is not a place I do not want to be.
    And correction: The People control the whole Federal Government not Donald Trump, but the People are lazy, poorly educated or socialists. Trump is a perfect president. He was not groomed by his party and is not a professional. He will have us all back to being Independent citizens in no time. Citizens can learn civics along with Donald.
    Thank heaven Billary is out, enough is enough and good riddance to Oblama as well. Can we get some term limits in DC now along with one person, one office and then out for at least 10 years. The good ol boy club needs disbanding and they all need a serious ass kicking and their pompous attitudes slapped off their fucking faces. They are smug and I hate smug, I want servitude.

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