Popehat's Ken White: 'Free Speech Is in Just as Much Danger from Conservatives'

The idea that "free speech is a conservative value and censorship is a liberal value" is "historically completely illiterate."


"When we buy into this narrative that free speech is a conservative value and censorship is a liberal value, we basically invite this chasm where the First Amendment and free speech values steadily get less and less support," says attorney Ken White, who's the proprietor of the legal blog Popehat, the host of the Make No Law podcast, and a contributing editor at Reason. "Saying that the First Amendment is conservative is historically completely illiterate. It's [protected] mostly progressives from being suppressed through most of the twentieth century."

Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with White, who spends his days as a criminal defense attorney at Brown White & Osborn in Los Angeles. They talked about Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, the dismissal of director James Gunn from the Guardians of the Galaxy series, what limits should be put on employee speech inside and outside the workplace, and his libertarian views on law and society.

Government is the "giant, vicious dog you bring in to protect you from robbers," says White, and it "traditionally ends up protecting the interests of the moneyed, the connected, and the powerful."

Produced by Paul Detrick. Edited by Lorenz Lo. Graphics by Austin Bragg.

"Massive" by Podington Bear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) Source: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Podington_Bear/Driving/Massive

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  1. “Saying that the First Amendment is conservative is historically completely illiterate. It’s [protected] mostly progressives from being suppressed through most of the twentieth century.”

    Who have, of course, used their speech to argue against having the First Amendment and have slowly eroded it over that period of time.

    Which, of course, is completely expected since the First Amendment is anathema to Progressives. And, notably, they are free to keep eroding the First Amendment until people are lined up against the wall. I mean that seriously, they are free to do so. In fact, I encourage them to make this position explicitly with their free speech.

    1. This is why I don’t call leftists “liberal”. Wanting to suppress debate is as illiberal as you can get.

      Of course, they’re not “progressive” either. Progress is technological change that gives us more choices. They’re against that just about every time.

      1. I refuse to generally call Lefties ‘Liberals’ as they hate liberal ideas and are the opposite of Classic Liberals.

        ‘Lefties’ is a nice term that they hate and encompasses all their varying Socialist loving beliefs.

        1. I call myself a progressive because as a Trump supporter he gets progressively more unintentionally hilarious every day.

          Is it wrong, love, that I want to hump Trump in the leg and then cuddle up next to Mike Pence after my leg coitus?

          1. D- trolling. Spend a few shekels and go back to remedial trolling class.

            1. That poster is cut from the same Trump Trash cloth as you, you Roy Moore pedophile supporter.

              1. You are too stupid to be a troll. F- trolling.

              2. So that was one of your socks then.

          2. Your sock puppet handle makes no sense

            The left can’t meme, and can’t even troll

        2. Boy, the troll Buttplugger is not even trying anymore.

          Its straight to copy and paste insults now.

      2. This is why I don’t call leftists “liberal”. Wanting to suppress debate is as illiberal as you can get.

        I try to do the same, I actually know a number of old school classical liberals and they’re good people and I actually enjoy talking politics with them.

        Of course, they’re not “progressive” either. Progress is technological change that gives us more choices. They’re against that just about every time.

        I mean, that might be what it means to some people. Today. To a progressive, technology is a means to control society to bring about better outcomes and/or a more perfect means to institute communism. *shrug* It’s a label, like any other. Liberal and conservative don’t really make perfect sense either once you delve into them. To them, complete control of society is progress so it makes sense from a certain point of view.

      3. Wanting to suppress debate is as illiberal as you can get.

        Indeed. “Liberal” and “classical liberal” have been the only political label I can accept for myself, but it is the liberal tradition grounded in liberty and autonomy. Modern leftist “liberalism” is anything but, having embraced not equality before the law, but a fungible “equality” of the favored, where the more equal make decisions for everyone else and the rights and privileges of some outweigh the same of others. )

        About the the “progressive” part, keep in mind that it’s not technological progress but social progress that the poilitical concept embraces. That’s part of the reason why it was so willing to embrace things like eugenics in its early days, and selective and elective abortion now. (Supporting legal abortion is not quite the same thing as embracing it as a value. Sure, many will say it’s just about legal abortion, the “safe, legal, and rare” Clintonian formulation I can agree with. However, there is a Bulverist element to this argument as well, where that also apparently means public funding of abortion and social/political persecution of anti-abortion individuals and groups.)

        1. Progressivism = New Man created according to the design of “society” and molded/forged by civil institutions.
          It’s a violent, dehumanizing process.
          This is intelligent design – how the beast is finally made extinct, through the complete destruction of all natural instinct.
          A prototype is imposed on the population and mass produced.
          Man as industrial product.

          The ubermensch, Soviet Man, whatever Mao called it after the cultural revolution

          1. Don’t forget religion here. Each and every religion tries just as hard to form its perfect believers.

      4. Progressivism is the form of Marxist ideology that arose in the USA during the late 1800s / early 1900s. Not much different than Communism especially when it comes to the use of force.

        1. Yeah, Woodrow Wilson seized power in a military coup.
          It was progressives matching in Charlottesvile and assaulting peaceful protesters with clubs.
          And the alt-right is …. Jeffersonian.

          1. You just suck Wilson’s cock as much as you want. His cum tastes like racism and eugenics and you love every progressive drop.

      5. Progressive is not limited to technological change.

        The progress that the Woodrow Wilson-era Progressives wanted was social and political, not technological.

        In this regard, today’s progressives are definitely progressive, because they clearly want to overthrow social and political norms/traditions and replace those norms with new ones they have designed.

        You are absolutely correct about leftists not being [classical] liberals.

    2. Far righties hate the 1st amendment too because it goes against the word of their Skywizard and also against the wishes of their Messiah, Twitler.

      1. You mean Muslims? Yes, they do.

      2. Let’s see one example of a time when far righties banned religious speech.

          1. No.


            Thank you for playing, please accept your consolation prizes as you exit the stage.

          2. Huss and Luther were essentially right-wing evangelicals, economically libertarian but morally conservative (Luther preferred the name Evangelical over Protestant). The Catholic Church/European Aristocracy were statist, authoritarian and socially progressive regarding sexuality.

            Galileo was also far more religiously conservative and devout personally, than his old acquaintance/sometime friend Maffeo Barberini. When he became Urban VIII the big joke in Rome was that they’d elected an apostate and a brothel keeper.
            Previous Popes had permitted heliocentrism, Copernicus dedicated his seminal work on the topic, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, to Pope Paul III. Pope Clement VII enjoyed going to lectures on the subject.
            The problem was Copernicus’s system, which Galileo subscribed to, did not predict the planets’ positions any better than the Ptolemaic system. It wasn’t until many, many years later when Newton’s laws of gravitation and Kepler’s laws of planetary motion were discovered and applied, did heliocentrism become logical.
            Using known physics of the day Pope Urban had a stronger scientific argument. Galileo was only proved right because of advanced discoveries made later. Not because of the strength of his argument.

            People like to hold up Galileo’s trial as proof of the oppression of reason by reactionary religious forces, but that wasn’t actually the case.

        1. You ask when the Christian Taliban banned religious speech?
          That would be like the KKK banning Trump!

          1. Try a different sockpuppet, Dumbfuck Hihnsano.

    3. The premise of this article is deeply flawed. While there are certainly conservatives who have at times sought to suppress free speech, it is usually not a move,ent wide endeavor. Progressives largely seek to limit free speech to only their speech.

      Once again, there is NO equivalence. Reason should cut the shit and quit publishing soft headed garbage like this article.

    4. When Progressivism became the status quo they, by definition, became the conservatives. And conservatives, by definition, don’t want the status quo to change.

      They’ve become exactly what they’ve fought against all these years – the Establishment.

    5. Who says that the First Amendment is conservative?

      Leftist idiots.

      People whose brains function say “Most people who call themselves ‘conservative’ support the First Amendment.”

  2. I hope that Reason staff has kept copies of all its YouTube material, in case it needs to re-create it on BitChute or some other new platform. YouTube has already pulled the plug on the Ron Paul Institute.

    1. Hah! That could never hapzzzzzzzzzzztttt!!!

    2. Yeah…….

      That civil war with the progtards is starting to sound less crazy all the time.

    3. Considering Reason does nothing regurgitate left wing propaganda I don’t think there’s must risk of that.

  3. Popehat’s Ken White: ‘Free Speech Is in Just as Much Danger from Conservatives’

    False equivalency. Lefties want free speech protections 100% gone. Attacking people with violence, getting people fired, and trying to bankrupt companies is their strategy.

    Some conservatives want government to ban flag burning, ban cuss words, etc. Minority of conservatives wishing these things would be done by government or half-ass attempts that are easily defeated.

      1. That may be relevant in an alternate reality where that has a chance of happening.

        1. The most recent time that the flag burning amendment was put to a vote in Congress, it failed by only 1 vote in the Senate. That was allllll the way back in …. 2006.

          There is a better chance of a flag-burning amendment passing Congress than there is an amendment to overturn Citizens United.

          1. Only if the senate were able to pass constitutional amendments all by themselves. They aren’t, so don’t worry, you can keep burning flags as much as you want.

          2. Yeah Jeff, you’re free to disrespect our flag just like you do our sovereign borders and God knows what else.

      2. – “hey look, there’s an entire generation of kids who think the first amendment goes too far, want to expand “Hate Speech” to mean, “anything that offends SJWs” and think Citizen’s United was a hate-crime and that no one should be able to spend money on their political issues without permission from some Komissar.”

        – Jeff, rubs his monocle, “You simpleton… But Yokels oppose flag burning! TOUCHE!! Ha ha! THEY ARE BOTH THE SAME! Ha ha ha, i am so clever.”

        – “Uh, dude, SCOTUS has upheld flag burning like 1000 times. There’s not an icicle’s chance in hell of any court ever…”

        – Jeff: THE SAME I SAID!! DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND WORDS??? DO YOU DARE RISK FORSAKING YOUR FLAG BURNING RIGHTS??? WHY I BURNED 8 FLAGS JUST THIS MORNING?? What would America be like if we weren’t burning flags on a near-constant basis! You must be one of these Right-Wing Nutjobs Hihn has told me about.

        1. Hey look… someone likes Trump’s massive cock jammed down their throats more than I do. Wow, dude, I thought I was the shameless slut.

          1. He never even mentioned Trump. So you must be a Hihn sock.

            Amd I’ll bet you like getting a good spit roasting from your masters, Bernie and Chuck Schumer.

      3. Yes, and Hillary Clinton introduced legislation to ban flag burning when she was a Senator from New York State.

    1. In a timeless broad-historical sense, Ken has a point. However, that’s not the reality today. Perhaps, though, Ken is just in denial about how batshit crazy his tribe has gotten.

      1. Sure, not the reality today at all. Just google “43% of Republicans Want to Give Trump the Power to Shut Down Media” to find out how out-of-date that notion is.

        1. Yeah…. I saw that headline.

          And my first reaction was…. what the hell made them decide to ask that question?

          I mean, it isn’t like it is obvious. There is no proposal of this sort on the table with republicans at the moment, despite the tilting at windmills by the president and conservative talk show hosts.

          At the same time, the left has been working on many fronts to silence right-wing voices for decades…. at least since the first round of “fairness doctrine” stuff aimed at Limbaugh and other conservatives like Boortz and a young Hannity way back in the early 90s.

          And lest you believe that Trump’s rhetoric is of a different kind, remember that Obama refused to acknowledge FOX news as a legitimate member of the press early in his presidency.

          But where are we now? The left has been openly discussing their plans to control public discourse using their control of the big social media and internet companies in cooperation with the major news outlets. This started long before “fake news”. “Shadow Banning” was a thing over a year ago. They set up their own versions of “truth commissions” well before the 2016 election. And now we’ve reached the stage of coordinated de-platforming of disfavored views.

          So the left has worked both privately and publicly, using the law and private methods to sensor dissent for at least 3 decades. And we are going to run a poll about (R) fantasies of Trump pulling the plug? Please…. Someone’s bias is showing…

    2. Wrong far left and far right both hate any law that allows noncompliance with their authoritarian policies. for far left it’s thought crime against minorities for the far right it’s because their theocracy can not function where government can’t limit religion, free speech, and person’s ability to choose their own morals. Both sides are equally reprehensible and not compatible with libertarian philosophy.

      1. for the far right it’s because their theocracy can not function where government can’t limit religion, free speech, and person’s ability to choose their own morals.

        And of course there has never been one instance in the entire history of the United States of America where this alleged religious cabal of right wingers has succeeded in that regard since the almost exclusively Christian framers of the constitution explicitly forbid any such thing right in their founding document. So we have on the one hand left wing abrogation of free speech on an almost daily basis and on the other your delusional paranoid conspiracy theorist imaginings of theocratic hobgoblins hiding in your closet.

      2. Nice comment, Devastator. You’ve got it figured out pretty near perfectly.

  4. I’m for free speech as long as it doesn’t mean we protect burning the flag, opposing wars in Indochina or the Middle East, being able to say ‘fuck’ on campus, or proposing a communist revolution to overthrow the government. Those things are a step too far for me and might result in me blowing up a federal building or killing an abortion doctor. So… no. It goes without saying that criticism of Glorious Leader is verboten too as it clearly would violate the safe spaces of libertarians like you guys. So… no on that too. Otherwise, I’m completely for free speech and oppose the totalitarian mechanations of college kids that show up to protest some White nationalist douche brave patriot.

    1. Ima give you some tips.

      Tip 1: Go with “Conservatarian.” That won’t completely give away the parody element from the get go.
      Tip 2: Make actual Trumpian arguments, only exaggerated. Right now you scan like a crappy leftist attempt at understanding conservatives; instead of being interesting, it’s cringeworthy.
      Tip 3: Maybe don’t invoke famous vicious dictators. Instead, keep the implication that you want a dictatorship constantly present, but don’t state it. Same with if you’re going to do racism/sexism/any bigotry: don’t be upfront about being a bigot, but make comments that easily come off as bigoted.
      Tip 4: If you’re looking to follow OBL’s path, try to find something endearing in your character. The fact that OBL seems so optimistic and honest, despite being an obvious parody, is endearing. For your schtick, try to find something to latch onto that makes your character more realistic; as it stands, you come off as a crappy leftist attempt at understanding conservatives.

      1. There’s no use

        Johnathan Chaidt proved that lefties don’t even understand Conservative positions.

        1. Most of leftist parties plays like dialogue of conservative characters in some Aaron Sorkin drama,like The Newsroom, or The West Wing. It makes me doubt any of these people actually know any conservatives personally.

          1. The lefties, generally speaking, are not well prepared for actual political debate. Their talking points have been memorized with little push-back from anyone opposing their views. Take, for instance, the nonsense with climate change agreements, where the US puts up huge amounts of money for countries that continue in non-compliance until some future date. Even Jim Hansen (Father of Climate Change) said the Paris Accords were a “fraud.” The left doesn’t really defend it, they just want it because the other sides doesn’t like it, for good reasons.

  5. >>>Government is the “giant, vicious dog you bring in to protect you from robbers,”

    fuck you, guns and bats are sufficient.

    1. Regular bats or vampire bats?

      1. seasonal matter.

  6. I don’t even know what saying the 1st Amendment is “conservative” even means or who is even saying it. As usual Dopehat doesn’t have much to say other than how great it is to be Dopehat and how her really really wants everyone to know he is a 1st Amendment Attorney.

    1. Ken White can be pretty mealy mouthed in support of free speech when the wrong people take advantage of it. The most charitable take on his approach would be to make his tribe understand that free speech works to their benefit as well as the enemies they would destroy. Of course, this means he is not actually promulgating the importance of free speech as a liberty, but as an utilitarian value.

      Which lends itself to the counter argument that, well, sure, it might get difficult if someone else became the arbiter of what was acceptable speech, but the the progressive left/media will make sure that never happens.

    2. It is an absolute check on Government power, therefore it is antithetical to Progressivism, and is essential Classical Liberalism, and therefore ‘Conservative’

      1. is essential Classical Liberalism, and therefore ‘Conservative’

        My brain is too small.

        1. 18th Century Liberal
          19th Century Classical Liberal

          If you value, and seek to preserve the individual liberty espoused by those two groups, in the face of the leftists/progressives who seek to collectivize and prioritize the state over the individual, then these days that marks you as a manner of conservative.

          A concept that gives 95% of the staff here the willies

      2. The entire Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments) is a limitation on government. Thus, it’s a formula for free enterprise and capitalism. The left wants socialism; they want limitations on individuals. Ask one of them, for instance, to name additional freedoms secured by the 9th and 10th amendments. I doubt that they’ll even know what you’re talking about, but it will be a good place to start a conversation.

        A lefty wants to add “Freedoms” such as, “A college education shall be provided for each citizen,” and “All citizens shall be guaranteed a safe and secure retirement with dignity.” In other words, they want socialism.

    3. I don’t even know what saying the 1st Amendment is “conservative” even means or who is even saying it.

      I thought the same thing.

      Conservatives are running around yelling about free speech right now because it is conservative speech that is under attack.

      Back in the 50’s and 60’s it was leftist speech that was under attack. So lefties ran around yelling about free speech.

      In between then and now it was porn-speech that was under attack. So it was pornographers who ran around yelling about free speech.

      So why is it that only lefties and pornographers deserve our support in the fight for free speech? Why do we need to equivocate and qualify things and explain how it really isn’t conservatives who are under attack when conservatives run around shouting about free speech?

      1. less of a chance of getting laid?

      2. This isn’t exactly correct.

        Back in the 50’s and 60’s it was leftist speech that was under attack. So lefties ran around yelling about free speech.

        This is part of the narrative.

        What was actually going on in the 50s and 60s is the same thing that’s going on now–leftists were screaming that they could not be heard, that their speech was being suppressed–because they had to let others speak as well.

        And, at the time, the red menace hadn’t been disguised so well. The people who the leftists had to deal with were people who had seen communism in action.

        So they fought. They bought us a couple of decades–but they relaxed a whole lot when the wall fell.

        That was a mistake.

        1. The negative propaganda and retconning of !McCarthyism to be being a bad thing didn’t help either. Senator McCarthy was in reality one of America’s real heroes.

          1. McCarthy’s big mistake was over-extending himself and going after the Army. If he had stayed focused on rooting out the commies and comm-symps left over from the FDR era, along with the ones in Hollywood, he would have been fine.

          2. Funny, in a thread about how much conservatives value free speech. You must not be one of them, then.

            1. A society should not be expected to sponsor its own subversion.

          3. Tailgunner Joe might have been a hero in a WWII bomber, but in the Senate he was a clown with his secret lists of Communists, which changed with every speech he made. If the Commies had thought of creating a Commie-hunting sock puppet to discredit all Commie-hunters, they couldn’t have created a better one than him. Others (including Richard Nixon and the other HUAC staffers) had already done the work of exposing Communists in government; at best, McCarthy was an opportunist who came in late and tried to steal the credit.

            And when McCarthy had to name just one Commie, he couldn’t even get the guy’s name right.

  7. When we buy into this narrative that free speech is a conservative value and censorship is a liberal value, we basically invite this chasm where the First Amendment and free speech values steadily get less and less support

    The people saying censorship is a liberal value are liberals. They are the ones saying “hate speech” isn’t protected and all of that. I hate to break it to Dopehat but his liberal friends really are not that into him. They don’t like free speech because they don’t like it not because they think of it as being some evil conservative thing.

    1. Who in the fuck is proposing banning “hate speech”, you nim-wit?

      Lay off the Wingnut.com.

      1. http://www.aaup.org/report/cam…..d-problems

        Every college in America for a start

        Howard Dean


        1. Someone who is actually elected to an office, you idiot.

          Evergreen College is confined to the Stupid Corner of the West Coast. They are as idiotic as Bob Jones U.

          1. The mayor of Portlandia, dipshit.

          2. Fifty-one percent of Democrats would favor a law “requiring people to refer to a transgender person by their preferred gender pronouns and not according to their biological sex.”


            the majority of Democrats support criminalizing using the correct gender pronoun if the nut it is referring to doesn’t like it.

            1. Since you seem to have hit “submit” before you finished quoting that Atlantic Article, I’ll go ahead and post the very next paragraph.

              Republicans were most intolerant of speech and most likely to favor authoritarian laws to punish it on the subject of burning or desecrating the American flag: Seventy-two percent of Republicans believe that should be illegal…53 percent of Republicans…favor “stripping a person of their U.S. citizenship if they burn the American flag…

              There, I’m sure you didn’t mean to leave out the part where Republicans support stealing an American’s citizenship for doing something as fundamentally American as protesting the government.

              I’m glad I could help.

              1. While it’s true that idiot Heffalumps would make flag burning illegal, dumb Donkeys want to make anything that they don’t like made illegal as ‘hate speech.’ The first is a very narrow act, but the latter is potentially infinitely broad, and defined after the fact. Your failed attempt at moral equivalence is noted.

              2. Do you know that, based on the article, flag burning seems to be the only place where republicans are doing bad here?

                That you and yours fare awfully when it comes to free speech?

                Or that far left views, expressed by the media, the punditry, and activists are widely unpopular?

              3. The difference, I guess, is that the left want to ban speech speech, while some conservatives want to ban “expressive conduct” speech.

                I don’t approve of banning either, but I’m much more concerned about a ban on actual speech.

          3. Nice job moving those goalposts, Coke Head.

            1. Hey! Cokeheads have occasionally contributed to society, you shitlord!

                1. I now have a craving for a Dr. Pepper.

              1. “Hey! Cokeheads have occasionally contributed to society, you shitlord”

                Whoa, whoa, whoa……

                Plenty of us shitlords are plenty cokehead friendly. Especially if the cokehead in question will share a line or two.

            2. Bill Clinton?

          4. Someone who is actually elected to an office, you idiot.

            “ZZZIIIINNNGGGG” go the goalposts!

            1. Ouch. Mandatory “grants”? No wonder some members of congress can’t follow the constitution – they can’t grasp english. I’m guessing all prog controlled universities will make the claim they “don’t have the money to comply” [despite being fully aligned needing only a memorandum update] and… a good 35% or so gets laundered back into democrat coffers using layered bundling. The bill is seed money for democrats in 2020.

        2. http://www.investors.com/polit…..of-rights/

          Incredibly, the Democrats’ disdain for the Bill of Rights includes even the 1st Amendment’s protection of free speech. Party leaders are openly pushing to limit free speech rights when it conflicts with their own viewpoints.

          In a speech at an Iowa community college, for example, Hillary Clinton said: “We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment.”

          Left unsaid is that the only way to do what she suggests would be to put restrictions on the 1st Amendment. A couple years ago, 54 Senate Democrats voted for a new constitutional amendment that would do just that.

          Meanwhile, a YouGov poll taken last May found that a majority of Democrats said they support government limits on what they consider to be “hate speech.” Only 26% of Democrats said they opposed such limits.

          In California, Democrats pushed a state bill that would have criminalized speech that questions the “consensus” on climate change.

          1. I know many progressives that have b,until you said they want to throw out the constitution.

      2. http://www.nationalreview.com/…..-students/

        Progressive college students


        the Democratic Mayor of Portland

      3. http://today.yougov.com/topics…..ate-speech

        YouGov’s latest research shows that many Americans support making it a criminal offense to make public statements which would stir up hatred against particular groups of people. Americans narrowly support (41%) rather than oppose (37%) criminalizing hate speech, but this conceals a partisan divide. Most Democrats (51%) support criminalizing hate speech, with only 26% opposed

        Most Democrats support criminalizing hate speech. Now run back into your hole.

      4. Has there ever been a more pathetic embarrassing display than Palin/Leave TrumpAlone ITT?

  8. The Dotard, much like the autocrats in China and Russia he admires, would love to suppress all speech/press critical of His Dotardness.

    1. He would love to do it. He just doesn’t because he is waiting for Putin to tell him the right time. You are onto him Shreek.

    2. Come on Twitler doesn’t want to shut down all free speech, just those that don’t agree with him.

      1. Thus revealing his Progressive roots.

  9. Sigh. I still don’t remember when outright censorship was so nonchalantly embraced as the current progressive movement, at least in my lifetime. But, I suppose that, looking far enough back, conservatives were doing it, too.

    Bad, conservatives! Bad!

    All better?

    1. Back in the 50s Conservatives wanted communists run out of society. They will go back to doing that again. Dopehat is sure of it.

      1. I don’t know John there may come a backlash against all these democrat proponents of communist socialism and this time it may not be just outlawing anything they say it may be violent but the violence won’t be started by conservatives but a defensive move by conservatives to the already violent acts of todays antifa and their democrat supporters.

        1. True. But until that happens, the left is the problem.

          1. both parties are the problem. Twitler in particular.

      2. Fcvking John Adams and the Alien and Sedition Acts.


      3. Communists have no place in America. Unless they renounce all their communist beliefs, cease all communizing, and give up lists of their fellow travelers.

    2. Reagan Conservatives wanted to ban porn.

      Luckily the Meese Commission died along with Reagan’s brain function.

      1. It’s really sad that, 30 years ago, republicans were embracing censorship as a value.

        So, how ridiculous is it that progressives have that scheduled for this week?

        When did being on the wrong side of history become “progress”?

        1. To be fair (at least as the more literate leftist describe it), it isn’t censorship per se, but more akin to tone policing. You can say all the backwards, racist things you want, you just have to use flowery language when you do it.

          And the motivation is different, where political correctness is just a natural extension from affirmative action; on the right it is more a moral propriety issue. I leave it to you as to which is worse.

          However, while the conservative impulse towards censorship is pretty much unyielding, the leftist impulse can be struck dead with the complete dismantling of affirmative action.

          1. I was thinking of the prevailing progressive stance on Citizens United, which is an embrace of political censorship of the worst kind.

            In their case, the government conceded that, by the law in question, they could ban books. That’s political censorship, straight up.

            1. That wasn’t specifically progressives though (look up the vote on BCRA) inasmuch as a poorly crafted law designed to address lobbying efforts. A different roll of the dice and it could have easily been the raison d’etre for progressives to peddle their propaganda.

              And the jury is still out as to whether money=speech, at least in the eyes of the public at large. That seemingly invites all types of corruption, although it may very well be the least damaging of all available options.

              Given the history of Schenck v. United States, I’d hardly call that political censorship of the worst kind.

              1. I’m sorry, but when a law calls for banning books, and the government admits it, and your most awesome favorite president of all time bitches about that law being overturned, your party is directly embracing political censorship.

                At least Schenck v. United States pretends to know that criminal intent is involved with the banned speech. As opposed to BCRA, which simply says, “If it’s political, STFU, no questions asked. Stop talking, peasant!” Other than the fact that Citizens United actually overturned the bad law, I’d say it was much worse political censorship.

                Hell, Citizens United was trying to make a movie. Pure political censorship.

                But, I get it: money != speech.

                Or, another way to put it:

                “Political censorship is awesome because…slogans!”

                1. And now you are being completely disingenuous.

                  Specific to Citizens United v. FEC was the 30 day ban on certain types of political ads. You’ll have to point out the specific part of the bill that calls for banning books.

                  Schenck v. United States involved thousands being targeted and jailed for simply disobeying the draft (or what some libertarians call slavery).

                  But if a 30 day ban is somehow worse than being jailed for pamphleteering, have at it.

                  And again, the bill had bipartisan support. To lay it at the feet of progressives is mendacious in the extreme.

                  1. If you can’t google “Citizens United banning books”, that’s not really my fault.

                    Also, if you expect me to believe that there’s been equal bipartisan bitching about the Citizens United decision, then I don’t really know what to say. Don’t watch a lot of news?

                    Which Republican was saying that it’s our new Dredd Scott?

            2. The thing I worry about is won’t feckless cunt Silicon Valley types use Citizen’s United to spread the dirty lie that Dear Leader’s cock is less than 12″ long and that he shoots loads filled with super virile sperm that result in progeny that are super superior to mere humans not birthed by his massive cock? Just look at his kids? Like modern day super man, I tell you.

              Ooohhh, Dear Leader makes me feel like a little schoolgirl again when I bought my first dildo {bzzz} YAY!

              1. Absolutely terrible. If you think this is in any way clever or amusing, you have problems

              2. One of the most beautiful things about Citizen’s United outrage is watching Michael Moore rail against it.

                I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that. A guy who made all of his money making political documentaries comparing a supreme court ruling that allows people to make political documentaries to a Nazi takeover…. We’ve seen everything now.

                1. Michael Moore is directly responsible for Citizens United. ‘Hillary:The Movie’ was a direct response to ‘Farenheidt 911’ being adjudictaed by the FEC as Not an “in-kind ” campaign contribution

          2. You can say all the backwards, racist things you want, you just have to use flowery language when you do it.

            This is insane.

            1. It’s also false. They want to ban the content, too.

      2. and Al Gorbles wanted to censor everything else in media from video games to movies and also anyone who disagrees with his take on the climate.

        1. The PMRC

        2. My mom used to shown a tape of Tipper on Donohue in Sunday School to convince us all Ozzy was a minion.

      3. One day your lefty marching-orders were to screech “Whataboutism!” every time someone pointed out the left’s hypocrisy. Now “whataboutism” is perfectly acceptable. Is projection just part of your DNA?

        1. Projection is fundamental to progressivism, yes.

        2. Just like the left-wing definition of “racism” is finely tuned to make it impossible for whites to be the victims of racism, their definition of “whataboutism” doesn’t allow for them being guilty of it.

          The left is all about winning by dictating language so that you can’t contradict them. That’s what 1984 was all about, remember?

    3. But, I suppose that, looking far enough back, conservatives were doing it, too.

      See what’s happening right now? That’s what they were trying to stop. This weird tendril of idiot leftism that permeates and perverts everything it touches.

      They should have nuked the USSR into glass right after WW2 because the shit that vile ideology has put the world through has done far more damage than that ever could.

      1. IIRC, Patton wanted to do that, but the political leadership were too tired of war to want to finish the job.

        Or maybe they just made that up for the movie, I don’t know.

  10. Do they discuss changing meaning of the term “conservative” over time?

    1. No. It is mostly just an exercise in Dopehat explaining how conservatives are just as bad because of things that happened 50 years ago.

    2. Establishing what it even means now would be a good first step.

      1. It’s definitely too broad. Similar to what was being said in the other thread. I would say certain SoCon types are not free-speech friendly. But I don’t know how many SoCon types are really among those who call themselves Conservative these days. Or even Conservative in America versus Conservative in Canada or Britain. It’s not clear.

        1. And not all threats to free speech are equal. Wanting to ban strip clubs or porn means you are anti free speech. Wanting to do that, however, doesn’t make you anything close to the threat to freedom that someone who wants to make it illegal to call someone anything other than their preferred gender or criminalize anything seen as hate speech is. Dopehat pretends those two positions are the same threat to freedom. They are not.

    3. Come on, stop that. Conservative has always meant racist, sexist, classist, theocratic privilege mongering, in all times and all places. Didn’t you learn that in college?

  11. I know John’s a big fan of Ken White, but sometimes I just don’t get it.

    I think the threat to free speech is more fundamental coming from the left. Conservatives seem to be mostly about pointing out the hypocrisy and unequal treatment. They don’t want to stop people from saying things that are offensive. They want to protect their children from seeing stuff online. And they want lefties like those at the New York Times to be treated the same way reporters at the New York Times treat, say, Donald Trump. Braggadocio on crotch grabbing in private is unacceptable, but pure hate directed at people because of their caucasian race is perfectly okay?

    That sort of thing.

    The threat to free speech from the left is more fundamental. The truly believe that people shouldn’t be free to say things that hurt other people’s feelings. And it’s not just free speech either–the left is hostile to individual rights across the board. They don’t believe in the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to own a gun, the right for the accused to cross examine witnesses in rape cases, etc., etc. The assault on free speech on the left isn’t incidental to something else. It’s a the goal. They think if they can control people’s speech, they can control people’s minds–and that’s their objective. It isn’t like that on the right.

    1. This is why I am not a fan of White. More than anything he is a status seeker. He desperately wants to consider himself part of the elite, even if it means lying to do so. To tell the full truth about the left is to be kicked out of the social circles that White is a part of. It is all about status with him.

      1. I’m constantly amazed at how people on the internet understand the motives of people they dislike better than those people do themselves.

        1. You don’t really have to go to the internet or to “people they dislike”. I think everyone understands other people better than they understand themselves.

          Heck, most people never even pick up a mirror… let alone look in it.

          1. Most people are terrified of themselves.
            For good reason, too.

    2. That’s why the left tends to totalitarianism, while the right stops at authoritarianism: (Hitler was a leftist, of course.) The right just wants obedience, doesn’t really care if you’re unhappy about it. The left wants to control your soul, they want you to be thinking the right things, not just doing them.

  12. As as progtard, I’m for free speech as long as it doesn’t offend, then it’s hate speech, which is totally illegal.

  13. Here’s the question I’d love to see people go around asking everyone on the left:

    “Does free speech make a society free of racism impossible”?

    Most of your luminaries on the left, I suspect, will probably say “yes”. So long as people are free to say and publish racist things, we will never be completely free of racism, and in their minds, that makes free speech unacceptable.

    They really do believe it’s the job of government to control what people think and how they feel, and if that means free speech needs to go out the window in order to free society of racism, homophobia, bigotry, etc., then they’re eager to give free speech the ol’ heave ho.

    It isn’t like that on the right. They don’t want you saying shit they don’t like in public, but they don’t see the government controlling what people think as a virtuous calling like the left does. And that’s an important distinction. It’s the difference between totalitarianism and authoritarianism.

    You may think life under an authoritarian like Pinochet was awful, but if the comparison is to life in North Korea, where not only do you have to do what you’re told–you really, really have to like it? I’ll take the authoritarian every time. Neither conservatives nor progressives are libertarians, but one of those groups is fundamentally opposed to freedom of conscience–fer goodness’ sake.

    1. At its worst, the Right is authoritarian. The left is straight up totalitarian. Despite White’s desperate need to believe otherwise, those things are not equivalent.

      1. I guess a good follow-up question to the one I posed above would be about whether people have a right to be racist in their hearts.

        I don’t think they believe people should be allowed to think racist thoughts–much less talk about it. It’s just that they know there isn’t much they can do about what people think, except try to program the next generation of children.

        1. The fundamental assumption behind leftism is that man can be transformed into something better creating the perfect society.

          1. “The fundamental assumption behind leftism is that man can be transformed into something better creating the perfect society.”

            Bingo!! Socialism, communism etc work perfectly for angels. But for humans we need systems that pit ‘interest against interest,’ curtailing our worst instincts. And such systems will, of course, be imperfect.

        2. It’s just that they know there isn’t much they can do about what people think,

          YET. *** shudders ***

      2. The left is straight up totalitarian. Despite White’s desperate need to believe otherwise, those things are not equivalent.

        True, there’s not even the pretense of a mask anymore.

    2. “Does free speech make a society free of racism impossible”?

      “What would make a society free of racism?”

      1. what the fuck is race?

        1. that reads mean … the question was global not @Rich.

        2. ancestral population clusters

        3. Race is the name given to the partial speciation that occurred in members of the human species.

          Contrary to the endless list of color based colloquialisms attached to the term, that partial speciation occurs mostly beneath the skin.

      2. That would be a society where no one can do or say anything that is racist, right?

        1. Tautological truth is the best truth!

  14. Corruption and voter fraud in Mud Creek? Inconceivable.

    McClatchy’s data comes from a federal lawsuit filed against the state. In addition to the problem in Habersham County’s Mud Creek precinct, where it appeared that 276 registered voters managed to cast 670 ballots, the piece describes numerous other issues with both voter registration and electronic voting machines.

    Georgia defends voting system despite 243-percent turnout in one precinct

    1. But cleaning up the voter rolls and making sure people who vote are actually who they claim to be is racist.

      1. No, that’s not racist.
        However, enacting laws under that claim to do those things, but are not actually intended to keep minorities from voting are.

        1. Such as…?

          What would you suggest would guarantee an honest system, or at least minimize fraud? Govt id’s? Retinal scans with only in person voting? Purple dye on a finger?

          1. “What would you suggest would guarantee an honest system…”

            Nothing would provide a 100% honest system, but our current system is as close as it gets.

            However, I am more than open to any changes that will make anyone scared of “voting monsters under the bed” sleep better at night. That is as long as those changes don’t prevent a single American citizen from casting a ballot for any reason and allows them to do so at absolutely no cost.

            If somebody comes up with a plan that checks those boxes, they won’t get any push back from me. No policy that doesn’t check those boxes is worth tossing out what’s served us well for as long as any of us have been alive.

            1. However, I am more than open to any changes that will make anyone scared of “voting monsters under the bed” sleep better at night

              Except showing an ID to vote.

            2. “but our current system is as close as it gets.”

              That’s a joke. Look, me and my brother graduated from high school back in the 70’s, registered to vote as soon as we were old enough, and regularly voted.

              Only, my brother left Michigan as soon as he graduated, and I stayed there on the farm for another 30 years before I left. And kept voting.

              And every damn time I voted, I noticed that my brother’s name was still in the register, for thirty long years! And every time, I’d point out that my brother had moved from Michigan back in the 80’s.

              Nothing, NOTHING, would have stopped me from voting in my brother’s name by absentee ballot. Nothing would have stopped somebody else from doing it, if they could have intercepted the ballot before it showed up at our address. The mailman. Maybe one of the election workers.

              You’re telling me there’s nothing we could do that would have removed my brother from the voting rolls in under 30 years? (For all I know we’re both still registered in that little town in Michigan. Maybe even still “voting” there, for all I know!)

              That’s BS. You want to say that you just don’t care about election fraud, that it’s not important enough to even slightly inconvenience anyone who wants to vote? I might believe you think that.

              But claiming you think our system is as close to 100% honest as possible? That is total BS, and I don’t see how you couldn’t know it.

            3. I’m all for abolishing touchscreen voting machines. Only allow paper Scantron-style balloting that can still be tallied by computer, but also produces hard evidence of the actual vote. I just want to make voting as hack-free as possible. I’m not naive about the possibility of fraud, but having a paperless-transaction system means it would be a lot easier to get away with rigging an election if your hacker skills are good enough and no proof of the actual tally can be presented.

    2. In fact it was later corrected to show 3,704 registered voters in the precinct.

      Emphases added. Let the lawsuits begin.

    3. Any reason you failed to post how the number of registered voters in Mud Creek wasn’t actually 276 as the state’s website indicated, and “the site was later corrected to show 3,704 registered voters in the precinct.

  15. This is one of those “citations needed” things.

    It was Woodrow Wilson that shut down newspapers. You had the McCarthy thing in the 1950s, but how long did that really last? And in many cases, it was literally people working for the Soviets.

    1. And it was the Army and President Eisenhower who destroyed McCarthy. Last I looked the Army and Eisenhower were pretty conservative.

      And as you point out, the worst crimes against the 1st Amendment in the 20th Century were perpetrated by Progressive Hero Woodrow Wilson. White is just full of shit here like he nearly always is.

    2. Yep, the thought process seems to “only roll back history far enough to make the right look like shit”

      An utterly moronic interview.

      1. Old man libertarianism is hilarious. They’re perpetually trapped in 1968.

        If conservatives were behaving like progressives today, do we really think there would be all this equivocation?

        1. True. If the roles were switched there would be a laser like focus on the right’s misdeeds, with nary a “to be sure” in sight about progressives.

    3. “You had the McCarthy thing in the 1950s, but how long did that really last? And in many cases, it was literally people working for the Soviets.”

      And a lot of people that were ACCUSED of working for the Soviets, that had their livelihood ruined through no fault of their own. Sure, they were eventually vindicated, but they still ended up blackballed/dead/on welfare.

      And that shit still goes on today for many people. Just replace “communist” with “drug dealer/user”.

  16. Oh, so Republicans *only* want to ban flag burning. Yeah, let’s line up in solidarity with them!

    Or, we could say “fuck them both”.

    1. While always ascribing the very best of intentions for the left. Their hearts are always in the right place, right?

      And no more nonsense about right “retaliation” either. Since they both do it, why are ostensible libertarians concerned that one particular group is “pouncing” or “seizing” or *gasp* “retaliating?

      1. You know, part of the problem with Team Red is that they have so vastly overstated the potential threat from “the Left”.

        Can you really tell me, with a straight face, that you really think that if Hillary or Bernie had won, that we would have death camps and gulags and Marxist communism? Because that’s what some of the Team Red tribalists were saying during the last election with no irony.

        So at this point I just ignore it whenever anyone from Team Red tries to warn me about the threat from “the Left”. I don’t believe them. They have cried wolf far too many times.

        So I am not surprised that people like you think I am being “charitable” to the left. Because from Team Red’s point of view, being “charitable” means actually listening to their arguments instead of making insane Stalin or Mao comparisons. So no I don’t necessarily think that they have good intentions at all times. But they do have arguments worth listening to. So do people on the right (when they are making arguments, and not just trying to “own the libs” or compare Hillary to Stalin).

        1. I’m surprised you could actually type that out after having lived through the last year and a half.

          Hell, go back to 2008. The left was certain that Republicans were going to try to assassinate Obama. Obama himself refused to work with Republicans… elections have consequences, remember?

          Listening to arguments? Not compare Hillary to Stalin? Never heard the term “Bushitler”?

          This stuff has been standard fare since before you were born. Reagan used “liberal” as an epithet. But his era had at least a degree of cooperation. Ever since Gore lost in 2000, the left has become increasingly unhinged. Meanwhile the right has mostly just become more feckless and stupid. But not so much insane mudslinging.

          You probably won’t believe it, but then you probably don’t remember Republicans who filled the roles played by Maxine Waters, Chuck Schumer et. al. There was a time when people like Jesse Helms and Bob Dornan walked the halls of Capital Hill.

          Political rhetoric has always been pretty insane. But I don’t think we’ve seen anything comparable to the left over the last 18 months at any point since the advent of television. They were calling for impeachment before the electoral college even voted.

        2. Can you really tell me, with a straight face, that you really think that if Hillary or Bernie had won, that we would have death camps and gulags and Marxist communism?

          Can you really tell me, with a straight face, that you really think we have concentration camps for Mexican children and religious theocracy? Because that’s what some of the Team Red tribalists all of the entirety of the Democratic party and the mainstream media were saying during the last election with no irony.

          So at this point I just ignore it whenever any lying crypto-communist bullshit artist tries to warn me about the threat from “the Right”. I don’t believe them. They have cried wolf far too many times.

        3. “Can you really tell me, with a straight face, that you really think that if Hillary or Bernie had won, that we would have death camps and gulags and Marxist communism? Because that’s what some of the Team Red tribalists were saying during the last election with no irony.”

          No, we wouldn’t have. Not because they wouldn’t. They both certainly would in a relatively short amount of time. But most of America would never stand for it, amd it would destroy them to try.

        4. Can you really tell me, with a straight face, that you really think that if Hillary or Bernie had won, that we would have death camps and gulags and Marxist communism?

          The left’s anti-white animus would certainly be more emboldened.

    2. Because wanting to amend the Constitution to censor political documentaries and such is the same as an anti-iconoclastic impulse to protect a national symbol from disrespect.

      1. Of course they’re not the same. But why should we have to put up with either of them?

        1. Well we don’t because one side lost in the court of public opinion as well as the actual court 40 fucking years ago and the other is rampaging through the streets using violence to get their way with the sanction of the court as we speak.

        2. Jeff, there is no equivalence. Progressivism is pure evil. Conservatism is not.

  17. Nick, you can take being called a judgemental douchebag?

    Okay. You’re a judgemental douchebag.


  18. Conservatives ranting about ostensible censorship on strong liberal-libertarian campus are aggressive, delusional dullards.

    When conservatives obtain control of a campus, they invoke censorship, teach nonsense, banish academic freedom, enforce speech codes, collect loyalty oaths, impose old-timey conduct codes, suppress science, reject history, banish dissent, and engage in viewpoint discrimination in everything from admissions to hiring (professors, janitors, administrators, coaches, cafeteria workers).

    The result is customarily a snowflake-coddling, third- or fourth-tier, barely accredited, right-wing goober factory. Hundreds of them. These yahoo farms produce most of the half-educated people who populate the Republican Party (distinguished from the less-than-half-educated goobers who don’t even get a diploma from Lower Jesusland U. or Southern Yahoo College).

    Any assertion that legitimate schools should be in the market for tips on education from right-wingers who operate our Ouachita Baptists, Biolas, Regents, Franciscans, Wheatons, and Hillsdales deserves scorn.

    1. Da fuq you talkin’ bout?

      Are you conflating religious fundamentalists with political conservatives? I mean, sure, there’s some overlap there. But that’s pretty ridiculous.

      If hard-core Mormons want to raise their kids to live like Mormons and educate them at colleges that have strict codes of conduct, that’s their prerogative. Just don’t try to force my family to be educated your way and we are cool.

      I don’t see a bunch of Franciscans trying to enforce loyalty pledges and mandatory confession at The Ohio State University. I do see a bunch of really out of touch with reality progressives actually enforcing insane speech codes and puritanical codes of conduct that require prescience at places like The Ohio State University.

      So it is really weird to see you calling things that are actually happening “ostensible” and rail against things that nobody is even arguing as an alternative at these schools.

      1. Because Arty is an idiot. He never even finished high school.

    2. When conservatives obtain control of a campus, they invoke censorship,

      Actually religious colleges rather famously do not censor, not only inviting left wing speakers but listening to them without interruption. Some day a left winger will address reality rather than assert their fantasies but today is not that day.

      1. Yet leftist campuses lose their shit when someone like Milo, or Horowitz, or Ann Coulter come to speak. Becoming incredibly violent and dangerous. Conservatives simp,y don’t do that.

  19. Yep, because I love Trump like you guys I totally get it that a private corporation kicking some Cokehead bullshitter courageous truth-teller off of Twitter is totally the same as the government shooting you because you’re a commie. Teehee teehee {jumping up and down} Isn’t Trump just great?

    1. Uh…. when was the last time the US government shot someone because they were a commie? When was the last time the US government even shot a commie?

      The Rosenbergs? They were not killed for being commies, but they were actually killed. And it was for being commie spies.

      But that was only 10 years after WWII. So I doubt Trump had much to do with it.

      I suppose the last time the US government directly shot a commie was during Vietnam. But it wasn’t as much for their beliefs. At least, not directly.

      Besides…. Trump is supposed to be a puppet of the commies. At least make an effort to keep your straw men straight. It is the equivalent of mixing your metaphors. It just isn’t done in polite society.

      1. Don’t engage this retard and reward his Sophomoric (Freshamonic? EigthGradoholic?) failed attempt at satire

        I wish everyone would ignore Artie Lee as well

      2. Cyto , didn’t you know? Trump recently used Grover Clevelamd’s Presidential Time Machine to go back in time to the fifties and massacre a bunch of commie children in a commie orphanage. He used a scary looking assault rifle with a bump stock to do it too.

    2. We’re shooting commies? Where? I wanna see!

  20. I, I can’t even…

  21. Ken White’s corrosion into being speech-banning positive has been really sad.

    1. I haven’t watched this one yet, but there’s been a lot of it in the past three or four years

    2. It is the inevitable consequence of prioritizing ‘no enemies on the left.’

      Look around here, at both authors and commentators, to see it in action.

    3. Yeah. I really liked Popehat in the early days.

  22. “Christians do just as much terrorism as Muslims. Remember the abortion clinic bombings?”

    Yep. They really are that stupid.

  23. Interesting [maybe], but I’m not buying it mainly because the logarithmically loony [progs] don’t scale to linear liberals. They are on different pages. The progs are in full Stalin mode of late, and the remainder of society couldn’t hope to do half the damage they want to if their lives depended on it. I know some imbecile republicans are trying, but they look like ‘d’ students trying to match wits with a valedictorian in doing so.

  24. Ken is perpetually trapped in 1968. He should join the 21st Century and stop referring to “progressives” as “liberals”.

  25. I can’t find the complete transcript but the assertions in the summary don’t support the headline. The fact that conservatives have attempted to suppress progressives in the past provides no evidence that Free Speech is in just as much danger from cons as progs.

    Progs are the biggest danger to Free Speech and just about every other form of liberty simply because they control the culture and institutions. So while James Damore gets fired for a good faith effort to discuss non-demographically representative choice Sarah Jeong can embrace racism a an editorial member of the NYT. That cons can’t get a racist fired from a job where her racism has clear and meaningful consequence demonstrates their impotence.

    1. This sort of Reason article is a deep psychological tell. Whenever, in the face of some sort of malfeasance on the left, they resort to a “the right are just as bad too” form of argumentation it says they know their friends are looking rather bad.

      But would rather not say it directly.

      1. It’s beyond pathetic

      2. The right are worse on everything. Literally everything. Even political correctness (nobody’s caused more consternation on this subject than Trump with his flag-humping bullshit). You people need to get off your fucking meth farms and read something that isn’t factory supplied to you by Glenn Beck.

        1. Is that what Media Matters orders you to think and say today Tony?

    2. ‘Conservatives’ weren’t suppressing ‘progressives’ in the past. Non-communists were trying to stop communists from doing exactly what they’re doing now.

      This is the same fight.

      ‘Progressives’ version of ‘free speech’ is, and has always been, ‘We get to speak, and you get to listen.’

    3. Proggies control “culture and institutions” but Republicans control every branch of government. As far as I know there’s no law against “culture and institutions” from unofficially enforcing norms of polite behavior. What exactly are you complaining about? What do you think the evil progs are going to do to you?

      1. Tony, we’ve all been over this many times. Guess you didn’t listen. Big shock.

      2. Tony, try and follow here.

        Proggies not only control those, they’ve held (liberals anyway) power at all levels in North American in the 20th century the majority of the time. Some like 65%.

        That Rep hold power now is small potatoes. Conservatism is actually a defensive political choice. Culturally/socially it’s a different matter.

  26. I think arguing about which team does the most against free speech is a distraction and an exercise in partisanship. We should condemn all attempts to censor wherever they are.

    1. Except that only one side is censoring right now and they are doing it at historically record levels.

      To fail to notice this is to be willfully blind.

      1. The 1A is an irritant to progressives.

  27. Kenneth White is a shameless liar and insecure fraud. He would do everything he can to silence anyone who criticizes him, but sells himself as a free speech hero.

  28. Your left is my right; “Be careful you don’t drop a bomb on your own position”- Barry Eisler..Free speech is AMERICAN, not left, not right, not conservative, not liberal. AMERICAN. I listened to Al Jones about three times for no more than 10 minutes, and I knew that was 30 minutes I would never get back. And I completely support his right to say whatever he wants to, short of violence called for. You don’t have to listen to him, and I would rather he be busy in public than on more private platforms (I never thought I would ever say such; public re: more private platforms..#:-) Everyone is accepting that the enormously public platforms, supplanting the press, are somehow “private”. You are kidding, all of you, yes? “Should I have a choice of no free press with government, and no government with free press, I should surely choose the latter” I think Tom Jefferson said that. Have any of you read the Constitution and Bill of Rights lately? Read a book? Education is a valuable thing, and you can educate yourself with reading, and a clear mind…peace

  29. So, we’re going to play the “historically” game? Historically, Democrats started most wars. Historically, Democrats were the party of slavery. Historically, Democrats supported the Ku Klux Klan.

    1. Oh … be sweet. He’s just trying to introduce a little “balance” to the conversation. He’s kind of like a guy in the middle of a big, bloody battle trying to remind you that the people who are trying to kill you are “humans too.” Conservatives have tried to repress speech in the past, but that’s not the problem now!

  30. If the Conservatives had more cultural power then it probably would be, but you’re na?ve or complicit if you don’t the more probable danger as primarily coming from the left. It is true that if you gave a bunch of Republicans control over Google and Facebook and the NYT turned into Breitbart and was goading them on then they would probably start trying to control speech on those platforms, but that’s not the world as it now stands.

    1. Yes. The biggest threats come from the progressive left. You just don’t hear conservatives/libertarians attacking the 1A and 2A much at all in any concerning way – if at all. Every time I read an assault on it, it usually comes from progressives.

      The whole fricken ‘hate speech’ concept comes from progressives. And ‘hate speech’ is a form of censorship by other means.

      And now there’s a purge with Infowars. I don’t know why Reason hasn’t discussed this more. The collusion of several companies to outright ban Alex Jones off their platforms is extremely troubling because it will NOT stop there.

  31. Free speech doesn’t have an ideology.

    This is true.

  32. So wanting to ban flag burning and stopping kids from looking at titties online is as bad as wanting a blanket ban on free speech.

    John’s right, Dopehat is an accurate name for this moron.

  33. “Saying that the First Amendment is conservative is historically completely illiterate. It’s [protected] mostly progressives from being suppressed through most of the twentieth century.”

    Talk about being out of touch with reality.

  34. What nonsense. The clampdown on free speech is 99% a one-way street from the Left.
    And here’s why. The tendencies from the Right to be illiberal derive from religion. However, the dominant historical religions were and are Protestant. Meaning there was no single religion in this country that had a majority of voters under sway. Without a commanding political majority religious institutions were far more wary about religious interference in secular life than in other countries.

    1. Amd the bottom line is that progressives are incapable of to,erasing dissent of the hive mind. This is why progressives always get so angry when one debates them.

  35. This article is kind of like being in a foxhole on the battle front and having someone mention how friendly you used to be with the guys trying to kill you RIGHT NOW. Who really gives a flying fuck? Yes, yes, yes … we’ll try not to be bad to other people. But right now, THEY are trying to repress OUR free speech.

  36. There’s no real equivalence. In a 2015 poll, 51% of Democrats supported repealing the First Amendment by criminalizing hate speech while only 37% of Republicans and 35% of Independents agreed. I tried to post the link but Reason won’t let me. Just google – National Review, The majority of Democrats… want to Repeal First Amendment.

    This position is probably even more popular among Democrats today.

    But, yeah, all the numbers are incredibly troubling. Over half of Democrats and over a third of others oppose the First Amendment.

  37. Like many other values, after considerable time, free speech has become a conservative value, as progressive have moved in the other direction.

  38. You know, I actually came to this article with the mindset that both parties actively try and suppress the other party’s speech. But thinking it over and seeing the comments, it is clear that we are in a time where conservatives tend to favor free speech more than progressives (they are not liberal anymore). The fact is conservative speech in this PC time is deemed a threat and we are seeing the active suppression of it more than conservatives moving against other speech. Moreover, the only example I have seen for recent conservative action to stop speech is flag burning and a terrible poll from a left leaning organization.

    I mean, one activity trying to be stopped (i.e. flag burning) is so minimal compared to the current onslaught of the left over speech that any comparison is intellectually dishonest. And then with the only other example of using left leaning poll that asked if the president could stop media outlets “if they do something bad” yet gets reported that 43% of Repubs want president to have “power to shut down media”, thus ignoring the poll’s own language. It actually seems to me that conservatives really aren’t pushing much of an anti-free speech agenda right now.

    That doesn’t mean that the sides won’t flip back the other way. But honestly, it really appear the more PC a person’s political speech is, the more others of that political persuasion will fight to outlaw the less popular speech of their rivals.

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