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Republicans Are Far From Consistent Champions of the First Amendment, Poll Finds

Many conservatives want to proscribe the rights of Muslims, journalists, and those who "disrespect" the United States.

Police and protestersJohn Martinez PavligaIt's not just coddled college kids and political "progressives" who espouse worrisome views about when it's OK to shut down speech and expression they don't like. Many conservatives admit to favoring policies that would proscribe the rights of Muslims, journalists, and those who "disrespect" the United States.

A new poll from the Cato Institute throws some discouraging light on the overall state of public opinion regarding the First Amendment.

According to the topline poll results (to which I received advance access), 72 percent of Republicans would support making it illegal for an American to burn or desecrate the flag. A little more than half of Republicans would punish the desecrators by stripping them of their U.S. citizenship, something Donald Trump suggested (to great and deserved indignation) a few weeks after he won the election last November.

Most GOPers recognize, at least in theory, that disfavored speech should still be protected: Around seven in 10 agree with the statement that "people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions in public, even those that are deeply offensive to other people," compared to less than five in 10 Democrats. Nonetheless, 36 percent of Republicans would support prohibiting offensive public statements aimed at the police, and the same number would ban such comments aimed at the military. By comparison, just 24 percent would outlaw offensive speech aimed at gays, lesbians, and transgender people.

Despite constant declamations from the right on the importance of religious freedom, 67 percent of Republicans favor a law to "prohibit face coverings in public spaces." Nearly half would ban the construction of mosques in their community. That is much higher than among all Americans (28 percent) and among Democrats only (14 percent).

It's also directly contrary to constitutional protections agaainst laws that discriminate against certain faith groups.

Asked how colleges should handle students who disrupt invited speakers in the manner of last week's rightly maligned protest at the College of William and Mary, 65 percent of poll respondents thought that hecklers should be disciplined in some way. But about one-third (32 percent) of GOPers thought schools should actually have the police arrest disorderly students. Among all participants in the survey, that number was closer to one-fifth (19 percent).

Perhaps most troublingly, 50 percent of Republicans say the press in America has too much freedom to do what it wants. Just 31 percent of all respondents felt the same way. Republicans also appear to be following the president's lead on a related question: By 63–35 percent, they say journalists are "an enemy of the American people." Among everyone who took the survey, those numbers were flipped.

Lefties, too, hold many lamentable views regarding the legal and cultural importance of free expression in America. Fully half of Democrats think that "government should prevent people from engaging in hate speech against certain groups in public." Some 53 percent say that defending someone else's right "to say racist things" is just as condemnable as "holding racist views yourself." Two in three believe offensive speech constitutes an act of violence, and the same number feel that college administrators "have an obligation to protect students from speech and ideas that could create a difficult learning environment."

These answers represent a frightening departure on the American left from a longstanding consensus reflected in the famous aphorism that you need not agree with what somebody says in order to support her right to say it.

Yet the departures on the right may be even more noteworthy, particularly given how much pleasure conservatives take in decrying the behavior of their political adversaries. In fact, 72 percent of Republicans in the poll said that colleges and universities are not doing enough "to teach young Americans about the value of free speech," and 90 percent think political correctness is "a big problem this country has."

But it's hard to claim a position of moral authority on the First Amendment when, at the same time, you approve of government force to punish those who speak, dress, protest, or worship in a manner you don't like.

A brief methodological aside: The Cato study I'm dissecting here was conducted in partnership with YouGov, a highly respected British web-based polling firm. For more on the war of opinions over online-only surveys, click here.

Photo Credit: John Martinez Pavliga

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  • Kllxyzn||

    Someone said they were?

  • Quixote||

    One must certainly hope none of our fellow citizens "champion" the outrageous, offensive nonsense that we keep seeing from the so-called "free speech community," the sole purpose of which seems to be to disseminate perversity among our nation's youth. Surely no one here would dare to defend the "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated judge in America's leading criminal "satire" case? See the documentation at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

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  • Finrod||

    Used to be, Democrats were much more likely to stand up for free speech than Republicans.

    Remember "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

    Yeah. Nowadays on Team Blue, it's "I disagree with what you say and I will see to it that you don't get to say it, period".

  • Braunasaurus||

    You mean to tell me people only want small gov when the other guys in charge

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    It's also directly contrary to constitutional protections agaainst laws that discriminate against certain faith groups.

    Baloney. JWs and CSs can be prosecuted for obstructing medical treatment of their children, their faith notwithstanding. PA forced Amish to put orange reflectors on their black carriages in contravention of their faith. Compelling public safety concerns trump free exercise, and that is clearly the case with face coverings.

    But about one-third (32 percent) of GOPers thought schools should actually have the police arrest disorderly students.

    Ever heard of disorderly conduct? It's been a thing for a long time. Govt standing idly by while "private citizens" prevent exercise of first amendment rights with their disruption is just as bad as govt preventing said exercise.

  • Qsl||

    Compelling public safety concerns trump free exercise, and that is clearly the case with face coverings.

    How far do you want to take this? Compelling public safety is the same rational used to justify gun bans. Shall Sikhs also be disarmed ("well, of course silly, they're not Christian")? Their turbans banned (could be used to hide a terrorist device)?

    Essentially you are saying not only should it be illegal to wear a mask in public (and with Halloween so close), but that it is a compelling public safety concern. And if I wear a surgical mask outside because I have the flu, what then?

    Anyone with a memory longer than last year knows the notion of Republicans being staunch defenders of freedom of speech is a joke. Not that the left is any great shakes, but they at least have a history that doesn't include the Hays Code.

  • chemjeff||

    And just think of those long flowing saris. Imagine what a woman could hide under there! Ban saris!

  • SIV||

    The progressive Hayes Code came out of liberal Hollywood. It wasn't implemented until FDR and his New Deal congress were in power.

  • Calidissident||

    Do you have a source? I'm not too familiar with the history behind it, but it started in 1930, before FDR was elected, and Hays himself was a Republican, and as he was closely associated with Warren Harding (campaign manager and served in his administration) I doubt he was a part of the progressive wing of the party.

  • SIV||

    Progressives own the Hayes Code.

  • Qsl||

    In 1922, after several risqué films and a series of off-screen scandals involving Hollywood stars, the studios enlisted Presbyterian elder Will H. Hays to rehabilitate Hollywood's image. Hollywood in the 1920s was badgered by a number of widespread scandals, such as the murder of William Desmond Taylor and alleged rape of Virginia Rappe by popular movie star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, which brought widespread condemnation from religious, civic, and political organizations. Many felt the movie industry had always been morally questionable.[3] Political pressure was increasing, with legislators in 37 states introducing almost one hundred movie censorship bills in 1921. Faced with the prospect of having to comply with hundreds, and potentially thousands, of inconsistent and easily-changed decency laws in order to show their movies, the studios chose self-regulation as the preferable option. Hays was paid the then-lavish sum of $100,000 a year ($1.4 million, adjusted for inflation).[4][5][6] Hays, Postmaster General under Warren G. Harding and former head of the Republican National Committee

    There's the historically illiterate, and then there's you...

  • Zeb||

    What's the compelling public safety concern about people covering their faces?

    Refusing medical treatment for your child harms the child. Covering your face harms whom?

  • John||

    Wearing a mask in public has long been a common law crime. Covering your face allows you to commit crimes without people being able to identify you. That is clearly a legitimate government interest. Is it compelling enough to override the religious objection? That is the debate, but I don't think saying that it does is an unreasonable position or makes one an enemy of religious or free expression.

  • Tony||

    For fuck's sake John.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Using masks to commit crime is one of the blackbloc tactics of Antifa.

    When Police demand that the masks come off, all of a sudden riots don't happen.

  • Libertymike||

    Compelling public safety concern also known in legal circles as "compelling state interest" is nothing more than a progressive, totalitarian construct which is anathema to a free society. It is also anti-constitutional and for all of you American exceptionalist bozos, it is also treasonous.

  • Bowfish||

    Driver's licenses, health insurance cards and passports are totalitarian? How does being able to identify someone constitute progressivism? The concept of "free society" embodies the idea that one need not conceal their identity. Those who do should be received with suspicion.

    American Exceptionalism is a different topic.

  • JuanQPublic||

    "Baloney. JWs and CSs can be prosecuted for obstructing medical treatment of their children, their faith notwithstanding."

    That's not speech, that's called child neglect.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    "Govt standing idly by while "private citizens" prevent exercise of first amendment rights with their disruption is just as bad as govt preventing said exercise."

    It most certainly is not.

  • damikesc||

    "Govt standing idly by while "private citizens" prevent exercise of first amendment rights with their disruption is just as bad as govt preventing said exercise."

    It most certainly is not.

    How is it different?

    If the state is going to sit by and allow others to violate your rights, there is zero appreciable difference in the government doing so themselves.

    Because that same government will certainly not permit you to violently force them to allow you to exercise your rights.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Your view operates under the assumption that government intervention is the only way to curtail problems in society. There are often "free market" alternatives. Alternatives are lost when government (inherently a monopoly) makes and adheres to policy.

    One of the reasons why the 1st amendment is a restriction on governments and not on private actors.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Republicans Are Far From Consistent Champions of the First Amendment...


    Or individual rights, or property rights ("them immigrants take *our* jobs!") or small, limited government.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The Senate Democrats voted for a constitutional amendment to severely weaken 1st Amendment protections for political speech, but the Left's support for restricting is less troubling?

  • Zeb||

    Did someone say it was?

  • Mickey Rat||

    "Yet the departures on the right may be even more noteworthy..."

  • Calidissident||

    Did you finish reading the sentence? Her point was that Republicans have portrayed themselves as defenders of free expression and condemned their opponents for wanting to silence dissent, so it may be more surprising to some to see such high support among Republicans for the same attitudes they condemn Democrats for. That sentence wasn't about comparing which is worse, it was about the hypocrisy of the side that claims to be the defenders of the First Amendment.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Gary Johnson's abandonment of freedom of association with regards to protected classes was troubling to me but it was not worse than the Democrat's wholesale denial of it. This is a similar situation.

  • Calidissident||

    But it doesn't say worse. It says noteworthy. You're reading that to mean worse, when it context it's more likely to literally mean more newsworthy due to the fact that it's less expected and more hypocritical given recent events and the posturing by Republicans to portray themselves as staunch defenders of free expression against the intolerant Democrats.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Ah, the binary fallacy!

    No, MR. It's not less troubling. It is just that the Left doesn't pay lip service to free speech. We know what they stand for.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Then why not mention the Senate Democrats amendment?

  • Calidissident||

    The article is about the poll, not what Congressional Democrats or Republicans are doing.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Republicans also appear to be following the president's lead on a related question: By 63–35 percent, they say journalists are "an enemy of the American people."

    Which would have nothing to do with the First Amendment. Did they call for beating and jailing journalists? Plus I'm interested in the exact wording. Did the question mention simply "journalists" or some other group, e.g. the mainstream media? The fact that Ms Slade chooses not to provide a link to the study, and Reason's recent history of hiding inconvenient details that don't fit their narrative, makes me suspicious.

    But it's hard to claim a position of moral authority on the First Amendment when, at the same time, you approve of government force to punish those who speak, dress, protest, or worship in a manner you don't like.

    How melodramatic. The only poll result that was actually a first amendment concern was the mosque construction one. A thin reed on which to hang Reason's latest attempt to nitpick the right in an attempt to bring them down to the level of the left, all in the name of "pox on both their houses".

  • Hugh Akston||

    72 percent of Republicans would support making it illegal for an American to burn or desecrate the flag.

    36 percent of Republicans would support prohibiting offensive public statements aimed at the police, and the same number would ban such comments aimed at the military.

    67 percent of Republicans favor a law to "prohibit face coverings in public spaces."
  • Leo Kovalensky||

    Hugh, keep using logic like that and you're about to be labelled a "progtard"

  • KDN||

    you're about to be labelled a "progtard"

    I think that's already a daily occurrence for Mr. Akston.

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's a hurtful accusation to be sure because of the high esteem I place on the opinions of people who use words like that.

  • colorblindkid||

    I'm sorry, but I absolutely think our dishonest biased press is a greater threat to the stability of the country than a couple hundred LARPing neo-nazis. I don't know why that's so controversial or seen as crazy.

  • chemjeff||

    "our dishonest biased press"

    You mean like Breitbart and Salon? Well then, you have a point.

  • damikesc||

    You mean like Breitbart and Salon? Well then, you have a point.

    Well, we've been watching more and more info on the press covering for Weinstein for years.
    We saw the press (including the current NY Times WH Correspondent) clearing their stories with Dems last year.

    Yes, they are a problem.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Re: Liberty >< Equality,

    Which would have nothing to do with the First Amendment.


    The belief that journalists are an "enemy" is not a belief that is consistent with holding as true the principle that every single one of us has a Gawd-given right to speak our minds. I don't know about you but I am troubled by that belief and by how many people hold it.

    Did they call for beating and jailing journalists?


    I'm sure the German people didn't call for all Jews to be gassed or eradicated, either.

  • Calidissident||

    Well a significant number of Republicans cheered when a Congressional candidate assaulted a reporter so ...

  • JuanQPublic||

    "Which would have nothing to do with the First Amendment. Did they call for beating and jailing journalists?"

    So what. It was entirely relevant to the overall polling and study, and one part of a consistent disdain for the first amendment (that exists across the political spectrum). Public attitudes are a barometer for the public's demands. Being that the press is explicitly mentioned in the US Constitution, considering it an "enemy of the American people" in a wholesale manner is very relevant to the future of first amendment protection.

  • Hugh Akston||

    By 63–35 percent, they say journalists are "an enemy of the American people."

    It's snowflakes as far as the eye can see.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Journalists by and large are enemies of the people.

  • Lester224||

    Except for Breitbart and Fox News of course (/sarc for the impaired). What you mean is that journalists are enemies of the people when they don't agree with you.

  • Finrod||

    "To your request of my opinion of the manner in which a newspaper should be conducted, so as to be most useful, I should answer, "by restraining it to true facts & sound principles only." Yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers. It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more completely deprive the nation of its benefits, than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood. Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day. . . . I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false."

    -- Thomas Jefferson, 1807

    I guess ol' Tom was a snowflake, then.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    According to the topline poll results (to which I received advance access),

    Aha! Gotta set the narrative before letting the critics see the methodology.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Private "facts" are fun.

  • chemjeff||

    90 percent think political correctness is "a big problem this country has."

    But don't you dare kneel during the National Anthem! That's disrespecting America!

  • JuanQPublic||

    Exactly. Another commenter stated, "snowflakes as far as the eye can see." That's true, based on the general anger coming from both conservatives and progressives. Pence/Trump was triggered at an NFL game, which in turn triggered progressives. Everyone gets triggered, then both sides make their threats on how they want to shut people up.

    We're witnessing the devolution right now.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Also, it's become less about "conservatives vs progressives" and more about authoritarianism vs Constitutional liberty and enlightenment principles.

  • Bronson, Missouri||

    Interesting choice of headline.

  • Bronson, Missouri||

    So it was a point against Republicans that they think trespassers and protesters attempting to shut down speech should be arrested? Maybe arrested is too strong, but it was a pretty damn aggressive "protest".

    Is the author making the case that "free speech" includes the right to assault, heckle, and shout down anybody who is publicly speaking about free speech?

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    "So it was a point against Republicans that they think trespassers and protesters attempting to shut down speech should be arrested? Maybe arrested is too strong, but it was a pretty damn aggressive "protest"."

    I think you answered your own question. Two things -- 1) whether or not charges are brought against them for disruption of a speech at a private university should be up to the university, not politicians or law enforcement; 2) the difference between consequences and arrest/jailing is HUGE. And I think it's fundamentally what separates law-and-order republicans from libertarians. Some people think the solution to every unwanted behavior is to cage people and ruin their lives through blacklisting. Others think there are better ways to approach the problem.

    In short, what happened at W&M is an internal problem. W&M, and *only* W&M, should determine whether there should be consequences and what they are. For those of us who don't like W&M's policies, we can shop elsewhere.

  • Libertarian||

    We needed a poll to tell us this?

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    Half the normal commenters who are conservatives in libertarian clothing?

  • Rat on a train||

    The other half being progressives in libertarian clothing?

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    No, there are only 2-3 of them. They are mostly trolls.

  • Rat on a train||

    We know there are only 2-3 true libertarians in the world. I doubt any have enough time to comment here.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    By 63–35 percent, they say journalists are "an enemy of the American people."

    The polled some Hit'n'Run regulars, i see.

  • buybuydandavis||

    They didn't poll me.

    Would have been 64.

  • Rich||

    Some 53 percent [of Democrats] say that defending someone else's right "to say racist things" is just as condemnable as "holding racist views yourself."

    That is, not condemnable at all?

    Seriously, that is one scary statistic.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Try reading the first sentence of that paragraph again, slowly. Sound out each word individually if it helps:

    Lefties, too, hold many lamentable views regarding the legal and cultural importance of free expression in America.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Second order punishing is what the Left calls "tolerance".

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Around seven in 10 agree with the statement that "people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions in public, even those that are deeply offensive to other people," compared to less than five in 10 Democrats."

    That's a landslide sized difference between Republicans and Democrats on the properly framed question of free speech.

    The important question isn't what sort of speech I would ban if I could; the important question is whether I think speech should be subject to a popularity contest at all, and what these numbers tells me is that Republicans are 1.4* times as likely as Democrats to support unpopular speech on principle.

    *7/10 divided by 5/10 = 1.4

  • Calidissident||

    That's about as cherrypicked and slanted pro-GOP narrative as you could possibly get out of this poll. Your conclusion between the discrepancy between the general question and the specific questions isn't that people are hypocritical and don't consider their own biases when answering these questions, but that they actually didn't mean they want to ban X because they responded to a general statement by saying people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions?

    It's more reasonable to think that the general question prompted conservatives to think about how conservative speech is often considered unpopular and offensive in liberal areas and subject to calls for bans or rioting as we've seen in various places. Thus, they'd of course say their speech should be allowed. The specific questions are better because they expose the hypocrites. The people who say they want free expression, but really just want to be free to express their views, and have no problem silencing others.

    The questions were straight forward. Over 70% of Republicans wanted to ban disrespecting the flag, a majority even wanted people to be stripped of citizenship as a result. 2/3rds want to ban face coverings, and nearly half want to ban mosque construction. Over a third want to ban speech that's offensive to police or the military. Leave it to Ken Shultz to explain how those people don't really want to ban it because it contradicts how they answered a general question and collapses his narrative.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Your conclusion between the discrepancy between the general question and the specific questions isn't that people are hypocritical and don't consider their own biases when answering these questions, but that they actually didn't mean they want to ban X because they responded to a general statement by saying people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions?"

    My conclusion is that what different parties would ban if they could isn't as important as whether they accept the legal right of people with unpopular opinions to express themselves--and I point out that Republicans are much more likely to support free speech on principle.

    "I'd throw all you commies in prison if I could so you better stand up for freedom of speech" is a hell of a lot better than "I'd throw all you racists in prison if I could--and that's why I oppose free speech".

    How can supporting free speech on principle be qualitatively the same as opposing free speech on principle?

  • Calidissident||

    You're being obtuse and assuming that people's responses to the general statement that people should be allowed to express unpopular/offensive opinions is one that they hold consistently and above all else. You're interpreting the following answers:

    1. Should people be allowed to express unpopular opinions? (Yes)
    2. Should there be a law making it illegal (to disrespect the flag/build a mosque/disrespect police and military/etc.)? (Yes)

    As if they don't actually support 2 because of their answer to 1. You're assuming that they're somehow speaking hypothetically if they didn't support free speech generally that they'd be ok with banning these things, rather than accept their answers at face value, that they do indeed favor banning those things, and that their answers are inconsistent and hypocritical.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm being obtuse?

    "Around seven in 10 [Republicans] agree with the statement that "people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions in public, even those that are deeply offensive to other people," compared to less than five in 10 Democrats."

    That's what it says.

    I'm not reinterpreting anything.

    That's the statement they were asked about--and according to that statement, Republicans are far more principled on free speech.

  • Calidissident||

    And you're ignoring all the poll questions that show the contrary! Republicans claiming they support allowing people to express unpopular opinions yet simultaneously supporting bans on disrespecting the flag, cops, and the military, as well as mosque construction, are not principled just because they say they are.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "[...] what these numbers tells me is that Republicans are 1.4* times as likely as Democrats to support unpopular speech on principle."
    Sure, except they only stand by their so-called "principles" when those principles don't conflict with their other biases. The moment they do? The principles go out the window first.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You're projecting nuances of your own.

    And you don't seem to be accounting for the fact that there are more people who identify as Republicans who believe in free speech on principle than there are Democrats who believe in free speech on principle.

    Do you not see the numbers?

    Do you not understand what they mean?

    Are you comparing apples to oranges?

    Because three in ten Republicans don't support free speech on principle does not make them comparable to the five in ten Democrats who do.

    The seven in ten Republicans who support free speech on principle are comparable to the five in ten Democrats who do--and the Democrats are found wanting in the balance by a landslide margin.

    That's what those numbers mean. That's what they say.

  • Calidissident||

    Alternatively, it could mean that Democrats are more honest when they don't support free expression on principle. A conclusion that makes more sense given how many Republicans take stances against free expression on all the other questions.

  • Bowfish||

    Your "alternative" conclusion is inconsistent with what's actually happening on college campuses (safe spaces, sex tribunals biased against men from the start, forced cancellation of conservative speakers and assaulting them if they show up) or at any event where Antifa shows up to assault those exercising their free speech and basically anyone who still voices support for traditional marriage.

    While it's disturbing that "Republicans" wish for those limitations it is Democrats and progressives who actually enforce those limitations - in full view.

  • buybuydandavis||

    That's a landslide sized difference between Republicans and Democrats on the properly framed question of free speech.

    That's the real story of the Poll.

    But you get more cocktail party invites by hating on Republicans.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    A brief methodological aside: The Cato study I'm dissecting here was conducted in partnership with YouGov, a highly respected British web-based polling firm. For more on the war of opinions over online-only surveys, click here.
    Ah, more propping up of lazy and inaccurate polling services.

    Notice how after Election 2016 and Hillary was proclaimed winner by nearly every poll, the polling companies never said how they would make changes to their methodology to make polls more accurate.

    So... on that note, I think most polls are off by a factor that makes the results almost meaningless.

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    Is that only when they support your opinion, or in general?

    Conservatives are exposed as having no real principles when it comes to liberty... must be a problem with the poll.

  • chemjeff||

    Of course. Polls are meaningless, except for those polls that demonstrate support for Trump. Then, the polls reflect the will of the people!

  • EscherEnigma||

    Well, the polls were accurate.

    Clinton won the popular vote (as expected), and when you look at the "battleground states" that she lost, she didn't lose by much, within the margin of error.

    The polls were only "inaccurate" if you don't understand polls.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Pollsters also gave assessments of the probability of a Trump victory. It was generally around a snowball's chance in hell. Oops.

  • Finrod||

    FiveThirtyEight was mocked by many before the election for giving Trump about a 25 percent chance of winning, some of whom gave Trump a less than 1 percent chance.

  • JuanQPublic||

    First off, apples and oranges.

    Election polling weakness hinges on voter turnout. There were plenty of us who had a strong feeling that Trump would win regardless of polling as he could mobilize voters, and that he did. In contrast, Clinton couldn't mobilize voters because she represents what most of the public dislikes, and plenty people could see that before the election. So it's an issue of voter turnout in that case.

    It's much easier to gauge people's general attitudes in polling than gauging what they will actually do.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Asked how colleges should handle students who disrupt invited speakers in the manner of last week's rightly maligned protest at the College of William and Mary, 65 percent of poll respondents thought that hecklers should be disciplined in some way. But about one-third (32 percent) of GOPers thought schools should actually have the police arrest disorderly students.

    What is the preferred method for dealing with protesters who completely shut down an event? Does their right to protest override the right of the person holding the event?

  • Rat on a train||

    Of course it does. If you decide to have a conversation over dinner, protesters have a right to barge into your house and shout down your wrongthink.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Ah, but that's the trick. you aren't the owner or host. You're one of the guests. So, quite frankly, your opinion doesn't matter. It's the owner/host who gets to decide whether to let in protestors.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "What is the preferred method for dealing with protesters who completely shut down an event? Does their right to protest override the right of the person holding the event?"
    I don't know about "preferred", but as far as "rights" go, that's a matter of property rights, not free speech rights. If the venue owner (or whoever is renting it, if those rights were part of the rental contract) decides to allow protestors? Then the protestors are fine. If the owner decides the protestors are unwanted, and declares them trespassers? Then they need to skedaddle.

    But that decision is for the owner (or renter, if they paid for those rights) to make, not for anyone else.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Probably not caging them. It's an internal problem and I hope W&M will deal with it appropriately. If they don't, well, it's none of our business.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    Question: Are we talking about Conservatives or Republicans? Because while there is considerable overlap, they are not the same thing as evidenced by the Tuesday Group. The article itself bounces back and forth between the two terms except when it comes to the actual numbers and percentages, which are always listed as Republicans.

    So, which is it? Because I'm a diehard Conservative but a reluctant Republican. And why wasn't the poll itself linked in this article? I tried a Google search, but can't find it.

  • Libertymike||

    Why would you want to be a Republican, reluctant or otherwise? Why insult yourself? Why join one of the two parties of state? Why stain your spirit?

  • Libertymike||

    Moreover, why would you want to be a communist?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    why would you want to be a communist?

    To impress the commie chicks who don't remove their body hair?

  • KDN||

    The art, mostly. Socialist realism is the greatest art movement of the 20th century, and maybe ever.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Maybe some people really like olive drab clothing.

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    George Costanza did it for a woman.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    Because the Libertarian Party doesn't want Conservatives, among other things. Even then, I can be persuaded to vote for Libertarian candidates. I almost voted for Johnson until he sided with Clinton's law-breaking.

  • HPB||

    This is the :we have to even out our coverage" article from an editor who is conflicted. There is ZERO moral or ethical equivalency Antifa and the Left and patriots who love there country. The government exists to "Protect your rights" and ensure they are not abused.
    When you don a mask you declaring that you are no longer an "individual' with a unique identity. You are part of a mob wishing deprive another's of their right to speak.
    As far a flag burning, I have not seen an conservative groups rioting over flag burning. I have SEEN riots and a burning in Berkeley opposing Free Speech.

  • Calidissident||

    You sound exactly like the Antifa people you decry.

  • JuanQPublic||

    As far a flag burning, I have not seen an conservative groups rioting over flag burning. I have SEEN riots and a burning in Berkeley opposing Free Speech.

    So "rioting" is your metric on determining what is Constitutional or not?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    A little more than half of Republicans would punish the desecrators by stripping them of their U.S. citizenship,

    Ugh.

  • Memory Hole||

    Glenn Beck's proving the point today on his radio show. He's attacking pornography and trying to connect it to the Harvey Weinstein.

  • Tony||

    What about desecration of the Confederate flag? These people can be a little confusing on this issue.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    Assuming this list is reflective Republicans as opposed to Conservatives...

    1. Flag Burning Ban - I concede. As obnoxious as those events are, they should not be banned.

    2. Banning Police/Military/LGBT Criticisms - Also bad.

    3. Ban against Mosques/face coverings - I suspect that it's Islam that's going to wreak havoc on First Amendment support. Given Muhammad's teachings and how Islam is a true religion of war (combining religion, politics, and military into a single organization), I am not opposed to this one. The United States does not allow foreign armies to operate within our borders without permission. As seen in the San Bernardino and the Pulse attacks, there is a real threat here that will have to be addressed in some manner.

    4. Disciplining hecklers - I don't see how this is a First Amendment violation. I support disciplining the disrespectful students.

    5. The Press has too much freedom - Perhaps. The dishonesty is getting really obnoxious.

    6. Journalists are the enemy of the people - A sizable fraction of the Press is, given their willful dishonesty and spinning the news with so much bias as to make it useless. The Clinton server debacle is proof that a majority of news organizations care more about their political agendas than they do for the Truth.

    So, some Republicans have good points, some Republicans have bad points. And, overall, Republicans are less likely to violate the First Amendment as Ken pointed out.

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    3. Ban against Mosques/face coverings - I suspect that it's Islam that's going to wreak havoc on First Amendment support... there is a real threat here that will have to be addressed in some manner.

    It's interesting that you would give up freedom of religion for millions of Muslims in support of security against a few bad actors.

    Meanwhile the left is willing to give up the right to bear arms for millions of law-abiding gun owners in support of security against a few bad actors.

    Both sides have agreed to give up the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure of every America in support of security.

    But alas, this is the whole point of the article. Neither side is consistent in their defense of personal liberty.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    "It's interesting that you would give up freedom of religion for millions of Muslims in support of security against a few bad actors."

    And that's where you misunderstand me. I'm not judging Islam based on a 'few bad actors', but on the tenets espoused by Muhammad, who was a warlord and codified war into Islam. It's written in the Koran that Islam is to conquer the world, especially through military might.

    It would be like the US Communist Party creating terrorists to launch attacks within the US during the Cold War. Sure, you'll find members of the Communist Party who will disavow the attacks and others who won't take part in the attacks themselves. Different state chapters of the Communist Party might be less militant than others, but the core of the organization itself is hostile.

    How do you handle that?

  • Calidissident||

    The Communist Party is/was an organization, in your example they're comparable to an Islamic terror group like ISIS or al-Qaeda. Communism as an ideology is a better comparison to Islam overall. And as much as I think communism is awful, it absolutely would be a violation of the First Amendment and freedom to make it illegal to be a communist, and the same goes for making it illegal to be a Muslim today. Even taking everything at face value, there are many ideologies besides Islam that advocate violence, and really every ideology except for pacifism advocates violence in some circumstances. Banning isn't just an infringement on the rights of Muslims, it opens the door to tremendous abuse elsewhere by the government.

    I have to ask, do you hold the same opinion of Nazism, or do you think that should be legal to believe in and speak for? Nazism explicitly advocates genocide, so if you think Islam should be banned based on the idea that it should take over the world, I don't see how you could think Nazism would be ok.

    (For the record, I'm not arguing for banning Nazi speech. I'm just trying to see if this guy is consistent).

  • Stalwart Sam||

    1. If Nazi as a movement was experiencing steady growth...

    2. If hundreds of terrorists who explicitly claimed Nazism as their motivation had successfully launched dozens of terrorist attacks with body counts rising into the thousands...

    3. If Nazism had successfully either modified local laws to their agenda or was able to break the laws with little police enforcement in dozens of recorded events...

    4. If a significant minority of Nazi members verbally or tacitly supported the violent actions of the fewer terrorists and/or demonstrated a hostility to American culture and/or government...

    Then, I might be persuaded to support a Nazi ban. Keep in mind, I am aware of the danger and don't actually want the First Amendment to be damaged, despite your sarcastic comment below. I am simply afraid that this is the current road we're going on.

    Neither have I actually advocated for a Muslim ban (an actual one compared to that travel ban) in this thread just yet. I'm open to persuasion for either side, but I am pointing out that we have a problem.

    So, instead of insulting me, perhaps you, Rat, or Leo can tell me how to safely neutralize the threat currently being posed by Islam. And I'm using neutralize in its technical sense, not implying that this problem requires a military solution.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    So it's just a numbers game in your view? Because lots of things that aren't inherently bad (like Christianity) have been used as an excuse to suppress, exert force, and even kill.

    Honestly I think the biggest problem with your argument is that you assign some degree of evil to people who identify as Muslims because some ancient teachings support murder and other bad things. However, the vast majority have not committed violence against others. I'm no expert in religion, but isn't the same true of the bible? It says to do a bunch of fucked up things to other people, but most people who believe in the bible have no desire to do those things.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    It's a question of duty, I would say. One of the few, legitimate duties of government is to protect its citizens. If an external or internal threat is exploiting the law code to harm citizens, how do we resolve this?

    And, no. In the New Testament, Christians are commanded to spread the faith, but only through non-violence to the point that self-defense is debated as a Christian course of action. Jesus by the point of his execution, regardless of the supernatural elements, has killed no one.

    Contrary to Jesus, Muhammad ordered assasinations of opponents, raided caravans, and launched campaigns of conquest. Muslims are given explicit permission and encouragement to use violence to achieve conversion.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    And what about the old testament? Same deal?

  • Stalwart Sam||

    No, different deal, different covenant. The caveat though is that covenant has been replaced by the new one, which took place over 2,000 years ago.

    Though if you want a more thorough explanation of the differences between the two covenants and Muhammad's Jihad, I can oblige.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    It's been replaced -- for some people. For other religions, I don't believe that's true.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    I'm a little confused. Are you saying other religions haven't replaced their older religious directives or are you suggesting that some Christians still follow the Old Testament?

    I'm not aware of either scenario, though I am aware that some Christians have and continue to mix some Old Testament theology into their theology, which is usually a bad idea.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    You might be right. It might be a bad idea to mix it in. But it happens nevertheless, with Christians and non-Christians alike. I certainly hope you're not suggesting that the OT and its lessons (some of them ugly) are ignored. Because I'm pretty sure we can all agree that many have used those lessons in horrific ways.

    But I definitely get why you are emphasizing that most responsible Christians have reinterpreted, or at least, loosely interpreted scripture. And I agree with that. But what's puzzling is why you don't believe Muslims haven't done the same. Seems like a double standard. You're correctly drawing conclusions about Christians based on your extensive personal experience and first-hand knowledge of the religion, but apply a by-the-book approach with Muslims, which I can only surmise is due to your lack of personal experience and first-hand knowledge of their religion.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    "But what's puzzling is why you don't believe Muslims haven't done the same."

    This should read "why you don't believe Muslims have done the same."

  • Stalwart Sam||

    As Jesus has stated, even though the covenant has been replaced (or renewed, depending on your theological perspective), the Old Testament still happened. It's to be read, understood, and respected. But no more than that. The Old Law, now properly fulfilled in the new promise, is done.

    Ah, I think you misunderstand me. The most responsible Christians are those who have not reinterpreted or loosely-interpreted scriptures. The most responsible Christians are typically the ones who have ensured that they properly understand the New Testament. In this scenario, the Christians who have fallaciously mixed in Old Testament laws with are the ones who are loosely-interpreting scripture.

    Which is why I think you're puzzled by my response to Islam.

    Christians are at their most pure or accurate when living out the principles as established in the New Testament and emulating Jesus.

    Muslims are at their most pure or accurate when they are living out the tenets of the Koran and emulating Muhammad.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    Do you see the problem now? As Christians become more Christlike, they become more loving. When Muslims become more like Muhammad, they become more violent.

    The only way to root out Islamic violence is to launch a full-scale ideological war to remove Muhammad from Islam. However, then it wouldn't be Islam. So, as long as Islam exists, based on Muhammad, you will always have Islamic violence.

    Truth be told, I don't want to ban Islam. What I want to do is to impose a 10-year temporary ban on Muslim immigration. See if the United States is capable of assimilating our current Muslim population.

    Because my biggest fear isn't Islam per se, it's that Liberal and Left-wing ideology will cripple our nation's ability to assimilate these immigrants. If I could, I would pair each Muslim immigrant with a devout, kind Christian. It would be the best chance at freeing Muslims from Islam, and if they become violent, only Christians would suffer and/or die.

    And, well, death doesn't hold the same threat to a Christian as it does to a non-believer.

  • Netizen_James||

    Typically Cafeteria-Christianity. Jesus never once said that any Law was being overturned. Jesus specifically and explicitly stated that "For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." (Matt5:18) Thus, since earth is still here, then nothing in the Law that was given unto Moses has changed, and it's still a sin to eat pork or get a tattoo.

    Oh sure, that mythmaker Saul(/Paul) said that 'Christ' changed all that, but Paul had no knowledge of Jesus. Saul never even MET Jesus. Saul was a failed Pharisee who knew that strict dietary restrictions and bloody and painful circumcision rituals would make his new mystery religion a really hard sell to his target audience of fellow Hellenic Romans. So he watered down the message, and blamed the Jews rather than the Romans for Jesus' execution. His marketing acumen has been well tested by history....

    The only group I've ever seen that actually puts what Jesus was talking about into practice call themselves 'Marginal Menonnites'. See https://young.anabaptistradicals.org/ 2011/11/07/manifesto-of-the- marginal-mennonite-society/

  • Stalwart Sam||

    To James, Luke 22:20 - "In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."

    That line is spoken by Jesus, the Last Supper being the event that establishes the New Covenant over the Old. Thus, while the Law has not disappeared, and never will since we will always remember it, we do not live beneath the Law.

    As to the Marginal Menonnites, they reject Jesus' divinity, which Jesus affirmed. So, they've kinda screwed up the most important teaching Jesus had.

    To JunkScience,

    If there is Truth, then there is a true attitude toward the OT, regardless how many Christians screw up. That's the beauty of Truth, it is defined in of itself and not defined by people who make mistakes.

    As to your Islam-Christianity equivalence, I'll give you a rather pragmatic comparison. For all of the mistakes Christianity has made, the amount of holy wars take place over a 200-year period in the form of the Crusades.

    The Jihad, which began when in 623, would last well into the 1500s and into the early 1600s with conquests into India.

    So, is there a difference between 200 years of war compared to 1,000 years of war? And I'm purposely excluding the last decade of terrorist activity and comparing the differences between Christianity and Islam because I suspect that you'll use the common retort of the Reformation.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Tomato-tomahto. Whatever you consider the "correct" attitude to have regarding the OT, it doesn't really matter -- because as you know, there are lots of Christians (and others) who have historically NOT adopted that "correct" attitude and used it out of context. And continue to do so. In short, the OT is sometimes incorrectly used to invoke hatred, violence, or restrict freedom. And when you approach the people doing it, they adamantly argue that their interpretation is the right one, and provide compelling quotes to support their view (even if those quotes lack the proper context).

    You're not giving Islam the same leeway that you're giving Christianity -- or you're just painting with the broadest of brushes.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    Oh, balderdash, replies can go between other posts. Sorry JunkScience, my reply to you is above your last reply.

  • Rat on a train||

    Most people are willing to sacrifice liberty for security. Mostly the liberty of others.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    Ha! Are you a believer? Because if Islam successfully undermines the First Amendment, the primary victims of that Pandora's Box will be Muslims and then Christians, given the hostility we're already seeing.

    So, I already understand that if this particular Liberty breaks, I and others of similar faith will probably suffer for it down the road.

    But tell me, what plan do you have to counter Islam?

  • Calidissident||

    "We have to undermine the First Amendment to prevent it from being undermined!"

  • JuanQPublic||

    Because if Islam successfully undermines the First Amendment...

    Americans of all stripes are doing a fine job of that all by themselves. Religious doctrines don't undermine anything. People do. Muslims, Christians, Atheists, it really doesn't matter. There are factions in virtually every group who have disdain for freedom of speech.

    But tell me, what plan do you have to counter Islam?

    The First Amendment, that's what. At least until those using your argument takes it away. Appealing to reason by means of free expression.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    Your moral equivalency is noted and rejected as is your solution to simply ignore the problem.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    The urge to "just do something" is the scourge of current American thinking.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    I agree that the knee-jerk reaction to every crisis is usually based on a bad idea/impulse and typically very short-sighted, along with usually invoking the government.

    However, this issue with Islam has been slowly growing for the past decade, and there is plenty of historical evidence of Islam's disdain or hatred for the West.

    Furthermore, I am wary of invoking the government as a solution. I'd much rather we had a non-governmental solution, but I'm not hearing any solutions being put forth.

  • Netizen_James||

    With respect to the Muslims general disdain for 'The West' - if they had treated us like we treated them, you'd be singing a different tune. Look into why there is no 'Kurdistan', and ask yourself 'does might make right'? Who gave the British the authority to draw the lines of where the new nations would be? Nobody. They just TOOK it, on the basis of 'might makes right'. In other words, on the basis of violence or threats of violence.

    Oddly enough, most people get pretty tired of being treated as 'colonials' by imperialistic Western Powers. We did - that's why the American Revolution happened.

  • JuanQPublic||

    6. Journalists are the enemy of the people - A sizable fraction of the Press is, given their willful dishonesty and spinning the news with so much bias as to make it useless. The Clinton server debacle is proof that a majority of news organizations care more about their political agendas than they do for the Truth.

    This merely echoes the standard view of the press, which is largely at odds with the reality of the mainstream press and how it operates.

    First off, all media is biased, and always has been biased. As long as humans are deciding which stories run, what topics to cover, what opinions are shared and have a goal for what to accomplish, the media is biased.

    So now that we get that of the way, it's really about what the mainstream press is biased for. And regarding most of the mainstream commercial media, it's really not difficult to see. They're biased toward delivering profits to shareholders. They purposely run stories that target certain consumer audiences, and sell those audiences to advertisers. So that involves telling people what they want to hear. The "programming" costs are really just an investment in the product being sold: the audience. So that target group of consumers can easily be wrangled into nice and neat demographics to market to.

    The constant torrent of "biased media" critiques are useless.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    Just because everyone has a bias does not negate the different degrees of biasness nor does it make it impossible to attain objectivity. When media outlets are actively downplaying or trying to hide criminal activity, there's a problem.

  • Netizen_James||

    Exactly. Well said. We don't have a 'leftwing' media or a 'rightwing' media. We have CORPORATE media. If we had a leftwing media, they would not have ignored Bernie Sanders for as long as they did. They hated the idea of Campaign Finance Reform ending their gravy train of PAC billions.

    Thom Hartman said it exactly right, in an article nobody here is likely to have read:

    ""It used to be that the metric news organizations used to determine if they were 'doing their job' was how well the American public was informed. That was actually a serious metric, pre-1987, because your station's license depended on it. The public could – and did – complain that they weren't being well-informed, and stations jumped when those FCC complaints came in. But now, the only metric the 'news' business uses is how many viewers they have and, thus, how profitable they are for advertisers." ... "This is why we have Trump," Louise added. "As a reality TV-show star, he's an expert at delivering ... 'drama' and 'sports' to the TV news networks. Who's in, who's out; who's ahead, who's behind. The media loved it, and gave him $2 billion in free TV time, while making billions themselves in advertising .... Les Moonves, the head of CBS, actually bragged about how much money they were making by hyper-covering Trump in a stockholder phone call."" (https://www.alternet.org/ media/what-news-wont-tell- you-about-news)

  • Devastator||

    4 of you 6 points were way out of whack with reality, 1 and 2 were okay.

  • Stalwart Sam||

    What's wrong with my fourth point?

  • Lester224||

    Banning of mosques? Really? Sounds directly opposite to all the blathering about Freedom of Religion. What you really mean is "freedom of MY religion".

  • TW||

    I'm not seeing a problem with arresting people for disorderly conduct when they intrude on and try to disrupt a private event. I also don't have a problem with making it illegal or enforcing existing laws against wearing masks in public (with the usual carve-outs for cold weather, etc.). I don't support making flag desecration a crime but I also realize that's probably a minority opinion in the country not just in one political party.

    As far as the rest, I'd like to see the phrasing of the questions and the methodology before deciding whether it's worth getting worked up about.

  • Azathoth!!||

    This is an interesting paragraph--

    Most GOPers recognize, at least in theory, that disfavored speech should still be protected: Around seven in 10 agree with the statement that "people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions in public, even those that are deeply offensive to other people," compared to less than five in 10 Democrats. Nonetheless, 36 percent of Republicans would support prohibiting offensive public statements aimed at the police, and the same number would ban such comments aimed at the military. By comparison, just 24 percent would outlaw offensive speech aimed at gays, lesbians, and transgender people.

    In it we discover that 7 out of 10 Republicans showing support for disfavored speech being allowed in public means that they are--theoretically, at least, supportive of free speech.

    But 6.4 out of 10 being against prohibiting offensive public statements aimed at the police seems to undermine that.

    And speech unpopular to the LGBT community is, for some reason, special and has to be looked at outside the purview of unpopular speech generally. Why? Because that makes it look BAD that .6 more of a person out of 10 is in favor of free speech when it's unpopular with the LGBT community.

    Why not note that the "24 percent would outlaw offensive speech aimed at gays, lesbians, and transgender people" are against free speech--just like the 36 percent who are against free speech when it comes to cops?

  • Calidissident||

    I don't think that sentence was at all intended to say that stance isn't against free speech. The size of the numbers are compared, indicating a greater inclination among Republicans to ban speech offensive to police or the military than LGBT people. It's not saying banning speech against LGBT people isn't contrary to free speech.

  • ToCa81||

    This just in: Republicans are just as shitty when it comes to the Bill of Rights as Democrats! Color this Libertarian shocked.

  • Alcibiades||

    The Republicans may be inconsistent on the First Amendment but currently the Democrats and most on the left are actively hostile to free expression.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    And it would be nice if there were a reliable, strong alternative that didn't surrender on the principle when it comes to one of their bugaboos.

  • Netizen_James||

    bullcrap.
    It's the conservatives rightwing faux-Christians who want to bring back blasphemy laws, and put people in prison for insulting their pooty desert god.

    'Sharia law' is exactly what these Christian Dominionists want, just with THEIR religious laws instead of those of the Muslims.

    These same people going on about their 'religious freedom' to discriminate against people who don't live up to their religious standards are the same people who want to forbid the construction of mosques. Hypocrites all.

    If they have a right to discriminate against gay people, I should have the right to discriminate against Christians. Or whites in general. But no. They want THEIR religion to be *special*. FTS.

  • Finrod||

    Bullshit. Show me one law in any government in the United States that was written to make blasphemy a crime.

    Your myths are sad and dumb.

  • Alcibiades||

    National Review's Charles Cooke does a very good job here defending the First Amendment.

    Go to:

    https://livestream.com/accounts/7106882
    Select "Panel, Hate speech and the Limits of Free Expression"

    Two against one and think he wiped the floor with both of them, his reason against their appeals to emotion, especially the woman.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Statists' gonna statist....news at eleven.As Gomer USMC would say, "surprise, surprise, surprise".

  • Devastator||

    Anyone who expects the far left or far right to think through the facts is fucking stupid. The average republican is like the average antifa, "I want to be able to say what I want and keep others from saying what they want if it's not approved by me". They have no respect for free speech. That's your average republican mind you, there are some clear thinkers like Rand Paul but they are few and far between.

  • Leroy7698||

    Democrats tend to have rather extreme beliefs related to protecting people from hate speech IMO but there is nothing unusual about favouring hate speech laws as such, i.e. banning the public promotion of hatred or genocide against a group of people based on their race, religion, etc. Such laws exist in most democratic countries.

    By contrast some Republican tendencies are more reminiscent of dictatorships, e.g. considering journalists an enemy and believing the press has too much freedom, favouring banning certain places of worship (mosques), punishing lack of patriotism (flag desecration) and disrespectful speech directed at police or military.

  • jomo||

    These are largely the same folks that go on and on about "small gov't" yet want the gov't to be the regulator of art, music and movies. You know the type. They're so "self-reliant" that they need Congress to change the channel for them.

    When the extreme right talks about free speech, some of them deep down really mean "freedom to advocate genocide of [insert disfavored group here] without consequence."

    When the extreme left talks about free speech it's usually for freedom to advocate for communism or something of the sort.

    This phenomenon often extends to the tired old bit about "entertainers should stay out of politics." Kathy Gifford deserved criticism for her Trump beheading stunt, which no matter what she meant by it was just asking for trouble. Yet Ted Nugent was a "hero" to some for suggesting that HRC/BHO should be assassinated.

    Without going so far as to support antifa, I will say that when you compare Nazis (who OPENLY want to kill people for being black, Jewish or gay) with antifa (who ostensibly want to stop people from killing people for being black, Jewish or gay) it's somewhat analogous to these poll results.

    All this obsession with "left vs. right" ignores the real issue...is your conduct that of an asshole, or not? We spend way too much time and energy assigning "sides" due to some antiquated PolSci 101 left/right chart instead of asking "does my behavior or the position I am advocating hurt/disadvantage/take from other people?"

  • buybuydandavis||

    Most GOPers recognize, at least in theory, that disfavored speech should still be protected: Around seven in 10 agree with the statement that "people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions in public, even those that are deeply offensive to other people," compared to less than five in 10 Democrats.

    Honest Headline: Over 2/3 of Democrats Against Free Speech

    But, you know, cocktail party invites.

  • Paint Thinner||

    Also facts.

  • buybuydandavis||

    But about one-third (32 percent) of GOPers thought schools should actually have the police arrest disorderly students.

    Heaven's to Betsy! Arrest people who trespass against private property to violate the assembly and free speech right of others? Say it aint so!

    Actually, the students should sue university officials who issue stand down orders to cops when meetings are disrupted.

    42 U.S. Code § 1983 - Civil action for deprivation of rights

  • Netizen_James||

    A person who is enrolled as a student and has a ticket to the scheduled event cannot be said to be 'trespassing' at the hall, until and unless they have first been ordered to leave the hall by a duly appointed representative of the university (e.g. not some rent-a-cop brought along by the performer), and then demonstrate a refusal to comply with that order.

    So no, there would be no 'trespassing', no grounds for arresting anyone merely for being mouthy assholes shouting down someone they don't like, until they're asked to leave by Campus Security, and refuse to obey. Then all bets are off, and we're in 'Don't tase me bro' territory!

    Which is of course why the Trumpsters simply *beat up* people expressing views they don't like (e.g. Bryan Sanders) They don't bother with wimpy pussyfooting around with any 'more speech' crap - they go straight to the boot to the head.

  • p3orion||

    "Many conservatives... 72 percent of Republicans..."

    NOT the same thing, by a long stretch. Many on the right define conservatism as "anything I like." Many Leftists make the same mistake, defining is as "anything I hate."

    A good example is Donald Trump, who many on both sides call "conservative" even though he is demonstrably NOT conservative, nor was even a Republican until it became convenient for him to run as one.

  • Paint Thinner||

    Yes, leftists call him racist. Righties like him.

  • Finrod||

    Still #NeverTrump.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    "A good example is Donald Trump, who many on both sides call "conservative" even though he is demonstrably NOT conservative,"

    They're all conservatives. Democrats, Republicans, whatever. In the classical sense of the word, they are statists who agree on the vast majority of economic, monetary, collectivist, and fear-based policies disguised under a false dichotomy. I think this Reason article only begins to scratch the surface of the underlying sentiment that Republicans and Democrats share, which is the notion that the state -- supported by a constitution, an assembly of "leaders" and the illusion of democracy -- can legitimately curtail speech, and that this is reasonable.

  • Paint Thinner||

    Oh no, Republicans are in favor of abridging speech. How will reason.com spin this as an leftist fault?

    Compare speech against Muslims with speech against racists.

  • Netizen_James||

    no surprise to.
    Republicans in general seem to hate the idea that anyone but Christians could possibly have any sort of 'right' to religious freedom.
    The Republicans, and far too many Democrats, can't see that the very EXISTENCE of the Office of House Chaplain and the Office of Senate Chaplain is an affront to the Constitution, as James Madison, the author of the first amendment, pointed out in his 'Detached Memoranda'. Far too many people in general are comfortable with the 'ceremonial deism' which is a violation of our Constitution's mandate of a secular government. Treating 'theism' as the 'officially correct theological viewpoint' is a violation of the Establishment clause. Far too many people are ok with having 'prayer' (sometimes hidden as an 'invocation' (what demon are they invoking?!)) as an official agenda item of an official government meeting - when that is clearly 'establishing' the idea that prayer is a good thing. It is illustrative that when legislative bodies are forced by courts to allow non-Christians equal access to the 'prayer/invocation' agenda item, they are more likely to dispense with the tradition entirely than to allow for the airing of views they disagree with. Sad. Really sad.

  • Finrod||

    Tell me, who's more likely to be anti-Semitic, your average Republican or your average Democrat?

  • omniverma||

    very informative post SSC chsl info

  • lospollos||

    Have they ever been ? both side only like speech promote their political view.

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