Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Conservative Hypocrisy on Free Speech

Donald Trump and people who claim to be conservatives are all up in arms about the purported censoring of their speech by social media platforms. 
The hypocrisy from the right is again stunning. In the Hobby Lobby case, the right advocates that forcing Hobby Lobby to provide certain types of birth control to its employees is an impermissible infringement on its first amendment rights - because it creates the appearance that they condone it and therefore forces them to speak or act in a manner inconsistent with their beliefs. 
Likewise, in the Colorado baker case, the right argues that you can't force a commercial actor to do something that they are against on religious or political grounds. Now, these same people want to ignore those very arguments and insist that all points of view must be afforded equal protection by private businesses. 
Though there is no evidence that they are censoring speech, I'd ask why should Hobby Lobby and the Masterpiece Cakeshop be protected from being forced to speak or act in a manner that they disagree with, but Google, Facebook, and Twitter not be given the same rights?
The fact that the President of the United States invoked the first amendment when discussing this matter and conservative are parroting it, shows the ignorance of all them. The first amendment restricts the government, not a private business, from restricting speech. I cannot believe why conservatives are not up in arms that the President, speaking from the White House, threaten to use the police powers of the state against a private enterprise when he perceived that it is not permitting his point of view to be spread. How would his actions be any different than when a third world dictator threatens to seize a television station or newspaper? 
When it comes to the second amendment, conservatives tell us that we should support the Constitution in its entirety, not pick and choose what provisions and amendments are important. I wholeheartedly agree. But this also means that other people have all the same rights you do, whether or not you agree with them.
The fact that the GOP is going along with this is just one more piece of evidence that the party is conservative in name only. It has no problem with big government, as long as that government is doing what they want it to do.

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