Is the U.S. in danger of losing its freedoms?
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Well, we were until November 8, 2016.
By David Blaska
The First Amendment will survive now that Hillary Clinton is history. She wanted to rewrite the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court, which ruled in Citizens United the government could not ban a movie critical of Hillary Clinton. She would have reinstated the McCain-Feingold Act, which prohibited people organized as corporations — labor unions or Koch Industries — from commenting on politics 60 days before a general election. Wisconsin spurned both Hillary and Russ Feingold.
We were in danger of losing the Second Amendment to a presidential candidate too anti-gun even for Bernie Sanders. In May 2016, The Washington Post presciently observed, “Hillary Clinton’s fierce anti-gun stance could backfire in the general election.”
Law-abiding citizens can walk the streets more safely now that the war on police is over. Donald Trump spoke at a memorial service for fallen officers.
The families of poor minority children remain free to choose better schools because Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will encourage a thousand points of light. There’s a reason
anti-choice Hillary underperformed in Milwaukee, where 28,000 poor minority families choose their schools, and it’s not voter ID.
Our universities are in the grip of gender and race agitators itching to shut down speech that blasphemes. The young totalitarians are succored by the likes of UW–Madison emeritus professor Daniel Bromley. He supports the heckler’s veto — at least, when they harass the right speaker. “A certain group of speakers, often sponsored by strategic political agents … appear on campus under the banner of free speech, when in fact what is on offer is a campaign rally by another name,” Bromley wrote for the Wisconsin State Journal.
A constitutional scholar might suppose campaign rallies would be the very sort of speech the Founders wanted to protect. Did candidate Barack Obama rally voters on the Madison campus? Should his speech be disrupted because “strategic political agents” sponsored his speech?
Republicans elected to the legislature last fall are responding with the Campus Free Speech Act to protect the free marketplace of ideas.
Even so, our freedoms remain under attack from the left. The Nation magazine declared “Anti-fascists will fight Trump’s ‘fascism’ in the streets.” When you can’t win elections, you break windows.
David Blaska is a Madison columnist and blogger. Find his blog at davidblaska.com.
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