Of course it’s absurd to think anyone is trying to shut down free speech in America just as it’s absurd to think anyone is trying to take our guns, but if I were a statist and wanted to restrict the First Amendment, these are a few of the things I would do to make it happen.
1.THE BIG NUDGE
First of all, to get everyone in line, I’d form a new “nudge” department as imagined by Cass Sunstein and led by behavioral scientists who want to “improve the government” and nudge the public into thinking the right way.
If that didn’t work, I’d set up re-education camps.
Remember when Don Jones. the Miami Dolphins safety, tweeted “omg” and “That’s horrible” when Michael Sam kissed his boyfriend on TV upon learning the St. Louis Rams picked him up. Sending him to an Orwellian re-education camp for expressing his unfiltered opinion was a great idea. The fine and suspension weren’t enough and the re-education camp was a nice touch.
Jones apologized of course. Everyone is always apologizing ad nauseum for everything they say these days.
2. FREE SPEECH ZONES
A favorite is the free speech zone, particularly in colleges. Get them while they’re young! Don’t let them think they have the right to free speech just anywhere.
Setting up free speech zones is a great way to eliminate free speech. Menacing students who offend anyone with their speech is a good way to weave the concept into the tapestry of society.
Indiana University Southeast and Colorado College in Colorado Springs prohibit “any act of ridicule…or embarrassment,” and Northeastern University, in Boston, prohibits the use of university computer resources to “transmit or make accessible material, which in the sole judgment of the University is offensive.”
“This gives the university carte blanche to censor any electronic communication of which it disapproves,” Robert Shibley, Senior Vice President of FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) noted. “You’re teaching [college students] that they’re not equipped to live in a free society.”
3.SHUT DOWN DISSENTING MEDIA
Another move I’d make is to shut down opposition media such as Fox News, Drudge and Talk Radio. I might put through The Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014 so I can monitor and bully the media or I might conduct a Critical Information Needs Study (CIN) and use that to shut down stations or require them to give equal time to liberal viewpoints while not demanding the same of liberal networks.
One who hopes to shut down free speech can only sing the praises of Dianne Feinstein who is trying to shut down alternative media. Alternative media doesn’t follow the rules.
Then, to be sure I completed the job of eliminating free speech, I’d go after investigative reporters, news services, and anyone who works for Fox covertly. I’d even tell a FISA court that a reporter was a traitor so I could spy on him and his family.
I’d certainly go after religion. I’d declare Catholics, Evangelicals and Orthodox Jews terrorists and put that in the training manual for army recruits while at the same time removing the words “jihad” and “radical Islamist” from the same manual. I’d make certain that “God” and bibles were considered proselytizing and ban it from the military. I’d even add some atheist chaplains, an oxymoron if ever there was one.
One of my favorite tactics by the Pentagon came when an army chaplain wasn’t allowed to write “there are no atheists in foxholes” in an article for the “Chaplain’s Corner” of an army newsletter.
I’d do my level best to take God out of schools even if it means a student can’t mention God in a commencement speech. That’s too much free speech. We can’t have that. It might offend a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Harassment laws and protected classes of people are a good way to go. The Department of Justice under Eric Holder set some new harassment rules in motion that are in line with this thinking.
The DOJ issued extremely broad harassment rules for colleges that are, according to them, an agreement that “will serve as a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country to protect students from sexual harassment and assault.” Their footnotes make it clear that every institution that takes one dollar in funding will be affected.
The DOJ wrote in a letter that “sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault or acts of sexual violence.” By including verbal, they are including any speech! Asking for a date could be a problem.
They further stated that “sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.”
They ruled out all objectivity when they said that objectively offensive has been used as a factor in determining if a hostile environment has been created but that is NOT the standard to determine whether conduct was ‘unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature’ and therefore constitutes ‘sexual harassment.’”
In other words, the conduct, which includes speech, does not have to meet any standard of reasonableness. It simply has to be unwelcome conduct for any reason.
6.ATTACK RODEO CLOWNS
Then there are the little things we can all do as a member of the collective.
I’d make certain that any rodeo clown teasing the president is declared a racist and banned from the rodeo for life. Those little messages are important. They frighten people who need to earn a living and they will fall into line.
Vilified rodeo clown
The tyrannical Politically Correct movement is very effective. I like the Massachusetts ban on the word “illegal”, for example, when referring to “illegal aliens” even though that is the terminology in our law.
Having a president behind limiting free speech is most helpful. When President Obama spoke to the UN in September 2012 about the faux video protest in Benghazi, he said this: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” He added that slander against Christianity must also be condemned.
I don’t buy either of those but, like I said, if I wanted to get rid of free speech, this would be one great way to do it.
7. SHUT DOWN THE INTERNET
Finally, I’d take over the Internet and begin regulating it as if it were a utility like the phone company. In fact, I’d pretend the purpose is to open up the lanes to everyone but I’d make sure the law includes a section allowing me to play favorites.
My motto would be, if it’s not broken, take it over.
I’d certainly cancel the contract with ICANN and turn it over to the statists in the U.N.
I’d have the FEC set up a kind of Chinese censorship board like Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel would like to do. Ravel wants to add regulations that would result in treating all blogs, videos, and Internet sites like PACs. Until now they have been free of most FEC rules. It hasn’t happened yet but they won’t stop until it does.
These are some of the steps I’d take to eliminate the First Amendment but I think the Democrats are beating me to it.