Thursday, March 19, 2015

So This is My Formal Apology to the ACLU

My respect for the ACLU grows every year.

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it and I'll arrest you for saying it.

Europe will prosecute you for "hate" speech (and define what "hate" means), but outside of college campuses, we don't do that. The author above thinks it is awful that free speech here is so "restrictive and repressive" because we don't define and ban such speech.

Dear God, please get the woman a dictionary.

When I was younger, I reflexively disliked the ACLU. Yes, I grudgingly admitted, Nazis had a right to free speech. And yes, popular speech doesn't need constitutional protections--only unpopular speech needs that.

But it seemed distasteful to defend them. So while in theory I could not complain about ACLU efforts to defend such scum, I found it difficult to applaud the ACLU.

I could not have been more wrong.

Failure to defend very unpopular speech leads to more and more things being deemed wrong and subject to forceful suppression. The ACLU was absolutely right to defend Nazis, as repulsive as those Hitler-worshiping creatures are.

Funny enough, maybe there is a connection between declaring certain thoughts hateful and pushing people to the most hateful part of the spectrum of that type of thinking:

At a time when racism, fascism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and Islamophobia are surging in Europe, it is now more important than ever for the United States to finally fulfill its international human rights obligations and enact a law against all forms of hate speech.

Of course, you have to trust the author's definition of all those bad things. But given she thinks all those things are surging in Europe, shouldn't she consider it odd that she says we need the hate laws that Europe has in order to prevent the hate that Europe has from growing here?

Actually, when you read the article, it is such a wonderful cliche of ultra-left Bizarro World orthodoxy that I had to check to see if it was from The Onion. In many ways, it is actually quite funny. Indeed, if it is satire, it is very funny and well constructed.

But just in case this is a serious argument against free speech as practiced in America, let me say that the author is an idiot and the arguments against free speech are nonsense and dangerous to all of us.

And I'll keep the ACLU number handy, I suppose. I apologize for tolerating rather than embracing them for so many years.

I'm assuming the ACLU is still a free speech purist organization that hasn't been absorbed into the ulta-left collectivist Borg, of course, as so many groups do drift. So my apology is conditional.

Tip to Instapundit.

UPDATE: A late update on ACLU staff layoffs, via Instapundit, who writes, "What I hear is that they’ve moved too far left, too fast, and it’s hurt their donations."

So my condition may not have been fulfilled. I'm (still!) wise beyond my years.