Ronald Reagan reminded us of the need to always fight for, protect and defend our freedoms, because freedom is never "more than one generation away from extinction." Liberty is not the sort of thing lost all at once; it disappears bit by bit through proposals like those recently advanced by Sen. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, New York Democrat.
They propose to have the National Telecommunications and Information Administration watch television, listen to radio and surf the Internet on a scavenger hunt for speech that they say encourages "hate crimes."
The Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014 represents the latest effort to deputize the federal government as the online speech police. "It is important," says Mr. Jeffries, "to comprehensively evaluate the scope of criminal and hateful activity on the Internet that occurs outside of the zone of First Amendment protection."
What type of speech goes beyond the reach of the First Amendment? There is no doubt the Internet has its dark corners. The same freedom that allows us to explore new ideas, criticize our government and post cat pictures also serves as a platform for misguided individuals to spew invective and racism. It's an unfortunate byproduct of liberty.
What the congressional Democrats are targeting, however, isn't virtual Ku Klux Klan rallies. The left slaps the "hate speech" label on just about anything with which it disagrees. They aim to shut down conservative voices.
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- Judy Chaffee
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