Thursday, June 01, 2017

Is the pendulum beginning to swing? More on leftist hate in Portland from Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times.

... of all people.

Here's the thing: leftist politics are hate.  From start to finish.

Leftists don't want to hear it if you're smart enough to disagree with their warped view.

And that is their privilege.  It's also how it should be... if they are so inclined.

The problem?

They don't extend that courtesy to anyone else.

Leftist hate comes neatly wrapped in a variety of packages... and all of them have one singular aim: to silence their opposition.

Speakers on college campuses positioned anywhere to the right of Mao are routinely chased off or shut down.

Odd, isn't it?

When was the last time conservatives rioted over a leftist speaker?  When was the last time a college campus cancelled a leftist... or even a terrorist... speaker because they couldn't guarantee his/her security?

And now, the wheels have come off the Wheeler Administration in Portland, Oregon... a center of fringe-left hatred and neocommunism.

A tragedy took place.  Two men were killed and one severely injured by a Bernie-supporting nutjob.  In his position and grand-high poobah of all things communist in Portland, Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Sodom on the Willamette, decided to use the Constitution of the United States as his own personal roll of toilet paper and demand... DEMAND, mind you, that the federal government pull a permit... issued months ago... for a pro-democracy, pro-America rally scheduled for June 4.

Wheeler, of course, has no legal right to stop these protests.

But more importantly, Wheeler has no moral right to speak out against them.  And the ACLU of Oregon?

They, effectively, told Wheeler to go pound sand.
They are right, of course: the First Amendment was never to be interpreted as the First Suggestion.

Wheeler, of course, is no moron.  He KNOWS he's wrong.  And like most leftists, he simply doesn't care.

He wants to silence those who disagree with him... which is a common thread among those on the left.

The gutsy move for Wheeler would have been to actually support the scheduled protests as he has supported ALL  protests.

But that is too much to expect.  Instead, he's using an incident which has absolutely nothing to do with these protests as some sort of leverage to attempt to stop them.
We are all free to reject and protest ideas we don't agree with. That is a core, fundamental freedom of the United States.
Unless, of course, you live in Portland.

Then?

Not so much.

And that brings me to Danny Westneat's column in the Seattle Times.

Westneat, hardly the most conservative fellow, seems to have a different take.  That he would write this and put up with the resultant crap storm that broke as a result, made me pause for a moment and wonder:

Is the pendulum starting to swing back... even ever so slightly?

Read it for yourself and you decide:
Oregon ACLU puts principle over politics — and gets booed

Originally published May 31, 2017 at 6:30 am Updated May 30, 2017 at 8:57 pm

How much do liberals love the First Amendment? Enough to join in the fight for an ‘alt-right,’ pro-Trump rally? The Oregon chapter of the ACLU in Portland suddenly finds itself testing how much its supporters really believe in free speech.
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By 

Seattle Times staff columnist

Life sure is easier for the ACLU these days when it’s lined up on a particular side. Any side opposite Trump.

Take the tiny Oregon chapter. Buoyed by a vow to fight President Donald Trump in court, the Oregon ACLU has seen its membership more than quadruple, from 10,000 to 42,000, just since last fall’s election.

But now, suddenly, it has seemingly switched sides — at least in the eyes of some supporters.

“Sounds to me like the Alt-Right has now infiltrated the ACLU,” read one angry message to the organization Tuesday.
 
“So, the ACLU now stands firmly behind any and all hate speech. Got it,” read another.

“I’m not giving any more money to your organization,” said a third. “You’re more willing to stand with white supremacists than with true justice.”

What happened is the ACLU did what it’s supposed to do: It stood up for free speech. Only this time the speech is a provocative, right-wing rally planned Sunday in downtown Portland by “Patriot Prayer,” a group for “Trump, Freedom, and America.”

On Monday, the Portland mayor, Ted Wheeler, asked that the permit for the rally be pulled. He said the demonstration has no place so soon after the racially charged MAX-train killings of two men last Friday, allegedly by a man who has attended some ‘alt-right’ rallies in the past.

“I’m reminded constantly that they have a First Amendment right to speak,” the mayor said. “My pushback on that is hate speech is not protected under the U.S. Constitution.”

Oh yes it is, responded the ACLU.

“The government cannot revoke or deny a permit based on the viewpoint of the demonstrators. Period,” the local ACLU chapter pushed back.

I caught up with Mat dos Santos, ACLU Oregon’s legal director, who said the group’s position is indeed politically awkward in such a liberal city. But he said the organization was shocked the mayor had the constitutional basics so wrong.

“The city is grieving, so it’s understandable there are intense emotions,” dos Santos said. “But it’s a huge problem for a government leader like a mayor to start policing what is acceptable speech. It’s very troubling. So we felt we had to say something.”

What the mayor said is also factually untrue. Hate speech — bigoted or denigrating words directed at groups — is constitutionally protected. It only becomes unprotected if it threatens specific individuals or incites violence.

Some blamed the pro-Trump group for inciting the MAX train attack, while the group said the attacker is not a member, and that it had even booted him out of one rally for making racist comments.

Patriot Prayer is the same group that rallied to[sic] much concern in Seattle’s May Day, but here they ended up smoking a peace joint with left-wing protesters.

Dos Santos says defending free speech has become “a very heavy lift” for the ACLU.

“We get by far the most pushback on this issue from our members,” he said.

That’s because parts of the left want to adopt the European model where hate speech isn’t protected in the public square, he said. On the right, there are calls to limit protests — even what protesters can wear — plus President Trump himself has suggested jailing flag-burners and cracking down on others in the act of dissent.

“It’s not easy to talk about when there have just been hate killings in your city, but more than ever the First Amendment itself is on the line,” he said. “Do we really want the government deciding who can speak? The government I know will eventually use that power to silence the marginalized.”

The last time I wrote about the ACLU — after a couple of local Republicans joined the group in protest of Trump — a slew of conservatives wrote to say it’s nothing more than a liberal front.

“The ACLU is dedicated only to liberal causes, not the Constitution,” went a typical response. “The only way they will ever get more than token conservatives is if they represent the actual principle of freedom.”

Well, here you go: Turns out principle over politics does still beat on, barely, in this hyperpartisan world. Though maybe not for long, because by the sound of it, it’s less popular than ever.

Danny Westneat’s column appears Wednesday and Sunday. Reach him at 206-464-2086 or dwestneat@seattletimes.com
I rarely agree with Westneat.  I rarely agree with the ACLU because far too often, it appears that their angst has been limited to issues that concern the rights of the political left over the political right.

And, I would have bet good American money that such would have been the course they would take here... the far less resistant course of finding an excuse to go along with Wheeler's program.

But they didn't.

They not only took the road less traveled: in Oregon, they took the road few have even ever heard of.

And Danny Westneat of the left-leaning Seattle Times are lauding them for it.

As they should.  As well all should.

1 comment:

Pete Masterson said...

For a better understanding of what's going on, it's worth the time to watch this presentation (Taped at an event called "LibertyCon" -- Liberty Convention put on by the European Students for Liberty.)

https://slideslive.com/38900442/antilibertarian-ideologies-on-the-march-trump-le-pen-putin-the-existential-threat-to-liberty

He explains that we are seeing a repeat of the collectivist ideas of the 1920s and 1930s, with philosophical input from Herbert Marcuse, Ernst Junger, and philosopher Martin Heidegger.

While I don't necessarily agree 100% with this presentation, there is a lot that is correct. (And it's rather scary.)