The recent Democratic Convention in San Francisco produced all sorts of popcorn-munching moments for conservatives looking for a few laughs. Many of these came from the slate of 2020 presidential primary candidates who showed up to flail wildly at Joe Biden, despite the fact that he was on the other side of the country. But the big shindig wasn’t just speeches and photo ops. The various committees had plenty of official business to attend to, including passing a new batch of resolutions for the coming election cycle.
Most of it appears to have been fairly rote material that you’d expect from the California franchise of the party, but one, in particular, has caught some media attention. It appears that the dreary old First Amendment we’ve all been stuck with for centuries just isn’t working for California Democrats anymore. As such, they decided to insert some modifications. Josh Hammer at The Daily Wire has the details. (Emphasis in original)
The Daily Wire has dug a little more deeply into the California Democratic Party’s resolutions produced as a result of the convention, and the Golden State’s Democrats appear to have a wee bit of a free speech problem. Specifically, one of the recitals that opens California Democrats’ Resolution 19-05.94 seems to state that the protection of the First Amendment, while generally “critical,” is nonetheless “limited to exclude hate speech.” Yes, seriously. Here is the full text of the recital (with emphasis added):
WHEREAS, Protecting First Amendment rights is critical, but is also limited to exclude hate speech using the concept that offending statements first should be viewed through the lens of the party experiencing the hate, and that Jews, LatinX, African-American, Asian Pacific Islander, Muslims, Disabilities and LGBTI communities can be targets of oppression and hate speech for a variety of reasons.
Ah, yes. Here we go again with the “hate speech” and the liberal love of thought crimes. As Josh points out, in the vast majority of cases, the term “hate speech” in this context actually just means any speech that liberals don’t care for or find offensive.
The problem with that is that unpopular speech has always been recognized as the most important speech to protect from government oppression or suppression. The First Amendment protects your right to speak your mind, including if you hold some seriously offensive ideas, like claiming that one race is inherently inferior to another. The flawed arguments that such speech isn’t protected are generally based on a single Supreme Court ruling dealing with “fighting words,” but that doesn’t apply here.
The problem is that too many liberals don’t just draw the line at almost universally condemned speech like that. Simply having a different opinion on matters ranging from Title IX to abortion to gender identity can see you labeled as engaging in “violent speech.” And when that happens, you will be silenced if they can find the means to do it. It’s bad enough that we already have private companies “deplatforming” people for these types of so-called hate speech. (That’s not a First Amendment issue. The Bill of Rights doesn’t protect you from bad decisions made by YouTube.) We certainly don’t need such distortions of the First Amendment built into the platform of one of our major political parties.