Basic Civics Primer

Basic Civics Primer June 1, 2018

Free Speech

So, for instance, Samantha Bee, like Roseanne Barr, has a perfect right to say what she likes without the state punishing her.  She cannot be jailed for her vile insult to Ivanka Trump any more then Roseanne Barr can be jailed for her vile insults to Valerie Jarrett or Susan Rice.  Indeed, the state cannot even jail Donald Trump for his hundreds and hundreds of vile insults to almost everything with a pulse.  Yay freedom!  In the words of Voltaire, I despise almost everything Trump says, but I will defend to the death his right to say it.

This does not mean that the rest of us have to lend such people our ears.  It does not mean that ABC owes Roseanne Barr a TV show. Rather, ABC had a perfect right to cancel her show when she finally got noticed for her vile racist tweets.  Nor does anybody owe Samantha Bee a show and if her audience complains loudly enough or her sponsors bail or her network ditches her, that too is not censorship.  That’s the Market.

But, because Trump is an instinctive authoritarian despot with no grasp of the first amendment and a deep hostility to free speech, he does not get this and so, the White House has demanded that Bee’s show be cancelled.  And that, my friends, is censorship and is precisely what the first amendment exists to prevent.

The state has absolutely no business telling us what we can and cannot say.



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