HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Bernie Sanders Defends An... » Reply #237
In the discussion thread: Bernie Sanders Defends Ann Coulter [View all]

Response to brush (Reply #176)

Mon Apr 24, 2017, 07:58 PM

237. The idea of repressing RW free speech's widespread among Lefties, both authentic & not, & is serious

The notion of why get involved -- categorically, suggests that this is merely the action of a few "trolls" who are not worth the attention of Bernie Sanders. The opposite is the case. The issue of not allowing RWers like Ann Coulter ('no free speech for fascists') is a long-standing view of some on the Left (both authentically left & not) and is becoming more predominant among progressives in the current era than was true, say, 30 years ago. The overall issue is of importance and Bernie Sanders, as the best-known socialist in the US today has every reason to address it -- on his terms, when & where it is most favorable. It is important that it is known that progressives do indeed believe in free speech, even for vile characters like Ann Coulter. This is why the ACLU defended the right of the Nazis to march in Skokie (which was pushing the envelope in terms of provocation, but was nevertheless within bounds of expression that was rightfully defended). Remaining silent as an overall strategy for leading leftists, as you seem to suggest is the right way, leaves the field only to those -- who are more than a few trolls -- who do not believe in free speech.

A couple of other points. The right of demonstration against this speech should also be recognized, including even militant demonstration (like there was in Berkeley when Milo Yiannopolous was there -- and now he plans to return for a whole week of events -- though of course attacks against persons that are not like self-defense (eg from police assault) are NOT a protected right). Sorry about all the parens but there are exceptions to general rules and exceptions to exceptions. And if the militancy of the demonstration, even to the point of vandalism and other acts of uncivil disobedience that are short of real violence to persons creates problems for some speakers, that is all part of the conflict-allowance that is part of the First Amendment and the kind of society it presumes. Sure, some people might get prosecuted for "failing to disperse" or something, and then a jury might exercise the right of juror nullification and so forth. Often these demonstrations are treated as "violating" the free speech of speakers, as if there were some Constitutional prohibition of heckling.

But threats against and assaults against persons DO violate a person's right of expression, and it is important that progressives visibly are known NOT to universally embrace that (or remain conveniently silent). It is not sufficient to say that advocating higher military spending or Islamophobic views are automatically "assaults" and can be treated with violence, like "fighting words". The breakdown of this system of allowing speech and protest but disallowing personal assaults is perfectly comfy for the right.

There is the question of WHEN to be silent and WHEN to speak up about this. That is a strategic question. Bernie Sanders in this situation seemed to have been in a favorable enough environment where he could be free to express his views fully and they would reach his intended audience. HE chose to answer the question, a strategic question, and I have no reason to believe it was an egregious error in principle OR strategically for him to do so. I also think that other progressives should, without "Gitlinizing" (finger-wagging at militant Leftists generally) defend NOT Ann Coulter but the system of free speech.

I would also add that SOME kinds of speech, speech that as a practical matter seriously threatens persons within the community in the ways that Milo Yiannopolous does, like outing transgender people by name, or the threat (apparently) to do so with undocumented students and others in the campus community, also crosses a certain line that Ann Coulter (or what I've seen of her on Bill Maher) does not. I will never forgive her for her gloating response to the Nov 13 2015 attacks in Paris (which were on my birthday, as it happens), saying at that time that that day, Trump was elected president of the US. Vile creature. But that doesn't change the arguments here, which attempt to lay out some kind of principled basis for distinction b/t the allowable and the non-allowable.

Also, it should be noted that RWers come to Berkeley precisely TO provoke a response and to exploit it. That's why the Republican Club made the invitations -- to drum up support in the name of free speech. At the April 15 clash, there were MAJOR "alt-right" (neofascist) leaders from across the country. They knew a great photo op when they see one. The Leftists were mainly from the Bay Area. The tactics of physical assault are an arena where the alt-right people are very much at home (and even many Leftists conceded afterwards that the RWers got the better of the violent confrontations, aside from whatever the police did or did not do). It is a case of the maxim that when you wrestle a pig, both of you will get covered in mud & the pig will be right at home.

So the whole issue is one of many nuances and complexities, and it is very important, and Bernie was totally right to speak out about it

Lately there has been a lot of sniping at Bernie, the underlying agenda of which is to weaken his role as one leader of the progressive mobilization within and outside the Democratic Party. Much of this sniping comes at least ostensibly from the Left (many on the Left think that ANY effort w/in the Democratic Party whatsoever is anathema, but THAT'S WHERE MOST OF THE PROGRESSIVE MASSES WHO ARE WILLING TO EVEN VOTE OR BECOME ACTIVE ARE.

Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 271 replies Author Time Post
SecularMotion Apr 2017 OP
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2017 #1
spanone Apr 2017 #2
Wounded Bear Apr 2017 #3
mountain grammy Apr 2017 #4
emulatorloo Apr 2017 #5
uponit7771 Apr 2017 #9
whathehell Apr 2017 #56
brush Apr 2017 #115
JCanete Apr 2017 #119
brush Apr 2017 #133
QC Apr 2017 #134
brush Apr 2017 #138
QC Apr 2017 #141
brush Apr 2017 #176
LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply The idea of repressing RW free speech's widespread among Lefties, both authentic & not, & is serious
cloudythescribbler Apr 2017 #237
kcr Apr 2017 #143
whathehell Apr 2017 #213
TheFrenchRazor Apr 2017 #221
kacekwl Apr 2017 #222
brush Apr 2017 #224
Dr. Strange Apr 2017 #73
mythology Apr 2017 #18
guillaumeb Apr 2017 #36
Raster Apr 2017 #209
m-lekktor Apr 2017 #41
kstewart33 Apr 2017 #50
AJT Apr 2017 #29
LovingA2andMI Apr 2017 #35
True Dough Apr 2017 #51
J_William_Ryan Apr 2017 #53
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2017 #55
emulatorloo Apr 2017 #81
Trumpocalypse Apr 2017 #229
uponit7771 Apr 2017 #83
QC Apr 2017 #80
sammythecat Apr 2017 #126
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #152
Eliot Rosewater Apr 2017 #128
pnwmom Apr 2017 #131
ehrnst Apr 2017 #194
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #150
elleng Apr 2017 #153
katmondoo Apr 2017 #155
stopbush Apr 2017 #164
ThoughtCriminal Apr 2017 #166
kacekwl Apr 2017 #227
ehrnst Apr 2017 #196
Dustlawyer Apr 2017 #228
Eko Apr 2017 #238
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2017 #239
Eko Apr 2017 #242
ProfessorPlum Apr 2017 #259
Eko Apr 2017 #262
ProfessorPlum Apr 2017 #263
Eko Apr 2017 #264
ProfessorPlum Apr 2017 #267
Eko Apr 2017 #268
ProfessorPlum Apr 2017 #269
Eko Apr 2017 #270
boston bean Apr 2017 #6
karynnj Apr 2017 #89
boston bean Apr 2017 #92
karynnj Apr 2017 #95
Cha Apr 2017 #234
athena Apr 2017 #247
Exilednight Apr 2017 #250
TNLib Apr 2017 #266
uponit7771 Apr 2017 #7
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2017 #12
uponit7771 Apr 2017 #15
Kentonio Apr 2017 #17
uponit7771 Apr 2017 #21
Kentonio Apr 2017 #22
uponit7771 Apr 2017 #23
Kentonio Apr 2017 #31
uponit7771 Apr 2017 #49
Kentonio Apr 2017 #75
JCanete Apr 2017 #121
panader0 Apr 2017 #8
Nanjeanne Apr 2017 #10
NurseJackie Apr 2017 #99
Nanjeanne Apr 2017 #111
NurseJackie Apr 2017 #114
Nanjeanne Apr 2017 #206
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #210
NurseJackie Apr 2017 #212
Nanjeanne Apr 2017 #214
NurseJackie Apr 2017 #218
JustAnotherGen Apr 2017 #255
ehrnst Apr 2017 #217
Cha Apr 2017 #235
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #148
George II Apr 2017 #223
Ace Rothstein Apr 2017 #11
TexasProgresive Apr 2017 #13
Demsrule86 Apr 2017 #54
Glassunion Apr 2017 #65
Demsrule86 Apr 2017 #67
TexasProgresive Apr 2017 #107
Demsrule86 Apr 2017 #129
Exilednight Apr 2017 #251
Demsrule86 Apr 2017 #172
HopeAgain Apr 2017 #14
LovingA2andMI Apr 2017 #39
demmiblue Apr 2017 #40
Dr Hobbitstein Apr 2017 #77
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #154
Demsrule86 Apr 2017 #175
Amimnoch Apr 2017 #257
grantcart Apr 2017 #117
bullwinkle428 Apr 2017 #16
Dr. Strange Apr 2017 #123
pangaia Apr 2017 #19
demmiblue Apr 2017 #20
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #193
retrowire Apr 2017 #24
Dr Hobbitstein Apr 2017 #25
m-lekktor Apr 2017 #42
Dr Hobbitstein Apr 2017 #74
KittyWampus Apr 2017 #26
Kentonio Apr 2017 #34
HoneyBadger Apr 2017 #46
KittyWampus Apr 2017 #87
Kentonio Apr 2017 #97
kcr Apr 2017 #108
Kentonio Apr 2017 #109
kcr Apr 2017 #110
Kentonio Apr 2017 #112
kcr Apr 2017 #118
Kentonio Apr 2017 #120
kcr Apr 2017 #122
Kentonio Apr 2017 #127
kcr Apr 2017 #132
Kentonio Apr 2017 #137
kcr Apr 2017 #139
Kentonio Apr 2017 #233
PJMcK Apr 2017 #27
MicaelS Apr 2017 #187
Kali Apr 2017 #28
Bradical79 Apr 2017 #30
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2017 #38
asiliveandbreathe Apr 2017 #32
Dr. Strange Apr 2017 #82
MichMary Apr 2017 #96
moriah Apr 2017 #33
demmiblue Apr 2017 #37
Demsrule86 Apr 2017 #43
Hell Hath No Fury Apr 2017 #44
Orsino Apr 2017 #45
delisen Apr 2017 #47
NurseJackie Apr 2017 #60
Voltaire2 Apr 2017 #48
leftstreet Apr 2017 #58
A-Schwarzenegger Apr 2017 #52
PatsFan87 Apr 2017 #57
whathehell Apr 2017 #61
leftstreet Apr 2017 #63
Glassunion Apr 2017 #79
QC Apr 2017 #98
HughBeaumont Apr 2017 #116
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #160
Nanjeanne Apr 2017 #208
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2017 #88
Warren DeMontague Apr 2017 #256
uponit7771 Apr 2017 #113
whathehell Apr 2017 #59
G_j Apr 2017 #62
kcr Apr 2017 #64
Hassin Bin Sober Apr 2017 #101
kcr Apr 2017 #106
NastyRiffraff Apr 2017 #66
NurseJackie Apr 2017 #86
mackdaddy Apr 2017 #68
aquamarina Apr 2017 #69
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2017 #85
aquamarina Apr 2017 #163
ehrnst Apr 2017 #192
Sen. Walter Sobchak Apr 2017 #70
forjusticethunders Apr 2017 #94
Sen. Walter Sobchak Apr 2017 #100
forjusticethunders Apr 2017 #258
SixString Apr 2017 #71
Volstagg Apr 2017 #72
retrowire Apr 2017 #76
Demsrule86 Apr 2017 #151
retrowire Apr 2017 #156
Demsrule86 Apr 2017 #169
QC Apr 2017 #173
Demsrule86 Apr 2017 #179
QC Apr 2017 #185
Demsrule86 Apr 2017 #186
QC Apr 2017 #188
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2017 #225
retrowire Apr 2017 #174
Demsrule86 Apr 2017 #178
retrowire Apr 2017 #189
Demsrule86 Apr 2017 #181
Lotusflower70 Apr 2017 #78
lies Apr 2017 #84
Adrahil Apr 2017 #90
Dem2 Apr 2017 #91
beaglelover Apr 2017 #93
bettyellen Apr 2017 #102
bobalew Apr 2017 #103
liberal N proud Apr 2017 #104
benpollard Apr 2017 #105
RhodeIslandOne Apr 2017 #124
nini Apr 2017 #125
Arazi Apr 2017 #130
cwydro Apr 2017 #135
onecaliberal Apr 2017 #136
kcr Apr 2017 #140
QC Apr 2017 #144
kcr Apr 2017 #146
QC Apr 2017 #149
kcr Apr 2017 #159
QC Apr 2017 #161
kcr Apr 2017 #165
QC Apr 2017 #171
kcr Apr 2017 #180
QC Apr 2017 #183
Cha Apr 2017 #253
QC Apr 2017 #260
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #271
Ms. Toad Apr 2017 #201
moriah Apr 2017 #246
ehrnst Apr 2017 #219
Ms. Toad Apr 2017 #236
ehrnst Apr 2017 #241
QC Apr 2017 #245
onecaliberal Apr 2017 #145
kcr Apr 2017 #182
Cha Apr 2017 #254
Cha Apr 2017 #252
Starry Messenger Apr 2017 #142
trueblue2007 Apr 2017 #147
JustABozoOnThisBus Apr 2017 #190
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #205
riderinthestorm Apr 2017 #157
Snackshack Apr 2017 #158
redwitch Apr 2017 #162
Softail1 Apr 2017 #167
Tarheel_Dem Apr 2017 #168
Warpy Apr 2017 #170
ehrnst Apr 2017 #191
Warpy Apr 2017 #197
ehrnst Apr 2017 #200
Warpy Apr 2017 #202
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #203
ehrnst Apr 2017 #215
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #204
lovemydogs Apr 2017 #177
ehrnst Apr 2017 #216
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2017 #226
ehrnst Apr 2017 #184
William769 Apr 2017 #195
ehrnst Apr 2017 #198
ehrnst Apr 2017 #199
MyNameGoesHere Apr 2017 #207
Raster Apr 2017 #211
Soxfan58 Apr 2017 #220
CajunBlazer Apr 2017 #230
CajunBlazer Apr 2017 #231
Beartracks Apr 2017 #232
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #244
Dorian Gray Apr 2017 #240
X_Digger Apr 2017 #243
Raster Apr 2017 #248
Egnever Apr 2017 #249
stevenleser Apr 2017 #261
romanic Apr 2017 #265
Please login to view edit histories.