Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Hate Is Not Great
Okay, we cats are going to wade into this hate-speech-free-speech conversation just once and be done with it. Mainly because we're amazed at how, even after all these years, a certain forthright former Vermont Governor we admire manages to get both the right wingers and the liberal losers upset.
Ready? Here goes: We cats actually do not believe that hate speech is protected by the Constitution. Mainly because so much of it provokes mayhem, violence and terror. (Picture your garden-variety cross burning, for example. And goodness knows the right wingers are all up in arms about terrorists — except when it comes to domestic terror wielded against Americans of color.)
But the hate-speech/free speech question shouldn't even be up for discussion, and for that we blame today's repulsive parade of alt-right spewers of venom, like Alex Jones, Milos Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter — and, of course, their loudest, most influential disgorger of insults and vitriol, Donald Trump. See, it used to be that speech of their ilk was simply not tolerated in the public square. Now, sadly, they've pushed the envelope enough that it is — in some quarters.
Which brings us to the good news: Hate is not accepted everywhere. And so that's why the Coulters of the world scream "First Amendment" so fast when their speeches are canceled and their book deals get yanked. They refuse to accept that they've violated the boundaries of polite society. (And boy, they sure are whiners about it, aren't they?)
It's the same lesson that Ivanka Trump learned when she was booed in Germany the other day. Actions have consequences. Words have consequences. There is still a question of what the market will bear — and when the market's decided you're unbearable, all the First Amendment rights in the world won't save you. We cats HISS and PURR at the same time.