As The Daily Wire reported earlier this week, the California Democratic Party’s convention in San Francisco last weekend was … interesting. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who positions himself as somewhat of a “centrist” within the increasingly far-left Democratic Party, came out in opposition to such statist tomfoolery as “Medicare for All,” the “Green New Deal,” and socialism itself. Amazingly, the California Democratic Party convention attendees had the audacity to boo Hickenlooper for his very brave stance against the most immoral and destructive economic worldview ever known to man. TheBlaze reported:
While speaking at the California Democratic Party convention, Hickenlooper told the San Francisco crowd that if Democrats want to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020, they will need traditional Democratic values in their corner — not socialism.
“If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer,” Hickenlooper said.
The denunciation was met with immediate blowback, including a sea of boos lasting more than 30 seconds.
Alas, The Daily Wire has dug a little more deeply into the California Democratic Party’s resolutions produced as a result of the convention, and the Golden State’s Democrats appear to have a wee bit of a free speech problem. Specifically, one of the recitals that opens California Democrats’ Resolution 19-05.94 seems to state that the protection of the First Amendment, while generally “critical,” is nonetheless “limited to exclude hate speech.” Yes, seriously. Here is the full text of the recital (with emphasis added):
WHEREAS, Protecting First Amendment rights is critical, but is also limited to exclude hate speech using the concept that offending statements first should be viewed through the lens of the party experiencing the hate, and that Jews, LatinX, African-American, Asian Pacific Islander, Muslims, Disabilities and LGBTI communities can be targets of oppression and hate speech for a variety of reasons.
This is, to put it mildly, utter and absolute legal tripe. Many leftists tendentiously cite the 1942 U.S. Supreme Court case of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire for the proposition that the First Amendment allegedly does not constitutionally protect the amorphous and indefinable concept of so-called “hate speech” (which is often a thinly veiled guise for mere speech that leftists dislike), but the reality is that Chaplinsky does no such thing. As Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief noted in a tweet exchange with Chris Cuomo back in 2015, Chaplinsky has to do with the (itself constitutionally dubious) “fighting words” doctrine — which is legally distinct from what modern leftists tend to call “hate speech.”
The “fighting words” doctrine from Chaplinsky deals solely with scathingly insulting language that, merely by being uttered, tend to incite an immediate infliction of injury or other breaching of the peace.
Such attempts to limit the scope of the First Amendment are hardly new for those on the Left. Many leftists have excoriated in no uncertain language the landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Citizens United v. FEC, which merely affirmed the longstanding constitutional principle that political speech is central to the original public meaning of the First Amendment. “[I]t is our law and our tradition that more speech, not less, is the governing rule,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the Citizens United majority. Nonetheless, many Democrats have attempted to expressly overturn the Citizens United decision.