Even Nazis Deserve Free Speech

There’s a very famous quote often misattributed to Voltaire that goes, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” That no longer seems to be a very popular sentiment in America. That’s too bad because those words cut to the heart of the First Amendment.

Moreover, it’s doubly important that universally despised groups like Nazis and white supremacists should have free speech. The usual response to this is something akin to, “So, you like Nazis, huh?” Well, no. Did you catch the “universally despised” comments? I’ve been conservative for decades, I’ve gone to Republican conferences, I’ve talked to hundreds of people on the Right and I have literally never met someone in person who likes Richard Spencer, David Duke, the KKK or the Nazi Party. Certainly people like that exist, just as there are people who are fans of Bill Ayers, Margaret Sanger or the Communist Party, but white supremacists are a marginalized fringe group in America.

In any case, this is the key point that liberals and even some conservatives eager to prove their undying hatred of racism to liberals (Sorry, guys, they’ll be calling you Nazis next week anyway) don’t understand. If the speech of even Nazis and the KKK are protected despite the fact that they are considered pariahs on both the Left and Right, then the speech of groups that are considered equally abhorrent by much of the population, like the Communist Party, Planned Parenthood, Antifa and Black Lives Matter, are equally protected. In other words, your free speech tomorrow depends on whether or not the free speech of repugnant groups is protected today.

The usual response on the Left to that is something akin to, “I like those groups much more than Nazis or the KKK and so here’s a flimsy reason why it’s wrong to take away their First Amendment rights, even as the government censors groups I don’t like.” That’s intellectually dishonest reasoning put forth by people who are confident that they can get away with their horrible behavior because they don’t believe that the shoe will ever be on the other foot.

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source: http://www.dailywire.com/news/19864/hawkins-even-nazis-deserve-free-speech-john-hawkins#