There are those who have defended the Bernie Sanders’ supporters, members of MoveOn.org and the students of the University of Illinois-Chicago who shut down the Donald Trump rally in the Windy City as merely exercising their right to free speech. At the worst, this claim is dangerously incorrect, and at best, it’s grossly misleading. Some exfoliation is needed then.
Most charitably, it’s deceptive because while these malcontents do have the right to protest Trump on-site, they are stipulated to do it peacefully. They don’t have a carte blanche to engage in malicious actions, namely harassing those who came to see the Republican front runner and thereby molesting Trump and his supporters’ rights to assembly and speech.
And what did these “patriots” do? Precisely the sort of behaviors from which they are both legally and morally prohibited. Hence, one reason the sentiment is a grave falsehood. Though, there’s more.
As hinted above, contrary to popular belief, speech and expression is not absolutely unfettered and for good reasons. Defamation and libel laws come to mind. Furthermore, there’s issues concerning obscenity and public danger.
For the former, yelling the profane “Fuck Trump!” is difficult to construe as protected speech. And although what counts as obscenity is still up for debate among legal scholars, the Supreme Court has never considered what qualifies as under First Amendment protection.
Working even more to its disadvantage, the crass phrase pretty much summarizes the lack of a coherent idea ready for expression within the protesters. It betrays the inchoate urges that amounts to just a vehement recoil from The Donald—a purified coal seething of anti-Trump sentiment that belies a very feral temperament. “Fuck Trump!” is the magma bubbling up to the surface in the crudest manner possible. Unrefined, such a nugget of molten vulgarity directed at anyone adds nothing to the national conversation—in point of fact, it degrades it—and in some contexts, puts people in danger, bringing me to the latter.
Expression that incites rioting and panic is also not protected. Shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater is the classic example, or more recently, pulling the fire alarm in an attempt to prevent Ben Shapiro from speaking at California State University-Los Angeles. Including Chicago, in each case, there was an implicit threat of violence in the unruly mob that manifested. Aggregated as a whole, the rabble-rousers endanger themselves, the non-belicose protesters and the supporters of the controversial men who came to speak.
Hence, it’s not at all unjustified to call the Leftists who live Alinsky exactly what they are—enemies. Democracy can’t function if these reprobates’ actions are treated as acceptable or understandable. History actually shows it doesn’t. As mentioned previously, the Nazis did the same sort of things against political opponents to rig elections, conquering the Reichstag and bringing Hitler into power.
It’s disgusting Orwellian mendacity to claim Trump and the majority of his voters are the new fascists. Totalitarians like fascists aren’t bullied; they’re the bullies. The only ones bullying here on a mass scale—organizing to intimidate and silence dissenters and aggressively cornering the marketplace of ideas—are the folks who preach “tolerance,” “inclusiveness,” “diversity.” The irony is really not at all unexpected coming from a lot so intellectually and morally effete their ululations of comparison demean the millions who suffered and perished due to the Third Reich’s barbarism as just the latest sample of stunted denouncements delivered down from sandcastle parapets.
These moral “giants” must be made low so as to preempt them from treading as tyrants on us all.