FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Democrats vs. The First Amendment
In a lot of ways, it’s hard to discern an identifiable platform for the Democratic Party nowadays, but one thing they have openly and uniformly stood for recently has been opposition to the First Amendment. Harry Reid can’t open his mouth these days without some complaint about the Koch Brothers exercising their right to free speech falling out of it. Reid and 42 other Democrat Senators are currently on record co-sponsoring a Constitutional Amendment to curtail the exercise of Free Speech and eviscerate the First Amendment. Yesterday, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down a blatantly unconstitutional attempt by Democrats in Massachusetts to muzzle the free speech rights of pro-life protesters. Democrats across the country have continued a headlong assault on religious liberty and free association rights in connection with contraception mandates and SSM ceremonies for years.
Every once in a while, it’s refreshing when a Democrat slips up and says what they actually mean. For instance, Hillary Clinton’s remarks last week about gun control were widely panned for her assertion that gun owners “terrorize” other Americans. The focus on that portion of her remarks, however, obscured a more fundamentally terrifying thing that Clinton actually said. The actual sentence that she used was, “We cannot let a minority of people – and it’s, that’s what it is, it is a minority of people - hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.” Consider that statement again – Hillary Clinton actually said, to applause, that she intends to prevent people from holding a viewpoint.
See, in the minds of many Democrats, whose 6 years in power have led to creeping totalitarian instincts, it’s not enough that their viewpoints win the day at the ballot box; rather it’s necessary that the countervailing viewpoints must become illegal just to express (or, in the case of gun rights, even to have). The Democrats are not interested, fundamentally, in a free America where ideas compete for primacy in the marketplace, they are interested in using whatever levers of power they have at their disposal to actively silence – on the pain of criminal sanction – anyone who might speak against the advancement of their agenda. It is not enough for them that abortion be legal, it must also be the case that any speech against abortion must be confined to areas where no one who isn’t already pro-life might hear it. It is not enough that same sex marriage be legal, it must also be illegal for anyone to refuse to participate in a same sex ceremony on religious grounds. It is not enough that taxpayer money must be used to pay for contraceptive drugs, it must also be illegal for hospitals and pharmacies run by Catholics to refuse to dispense these drugs even though doing so is a grave sin according to their religion. And it is not enough that the sale and distribution of lawful guns be restricted, but those who oppose such restrictions must also be silenced. As Michael Barone notes, they still believe that you should be able to parade about topless in public, burn flags, and receive government subsidies for “art” that consists of profaning sacred religious symbols, but when it comes to protecting the actual marketplace of ideas, Democrats are on the wrong side of the Constitution and freedom.
We stand on the precipice of an America that is fundamentally changed from the America we have always known. And the Party that controls the vast majority of the oppressive Federal bureaucracy believes that it has the right if not the obligation to silence dissent on critical issues that affect the direction in which the country as a whole might go. And if Americans don’t stand up and remove them from power soon, we might find ourselves unable to legally stand up any longer.