Will Candidates Soon Be Arrested for Promoting the “Wrong” Ideas?

August 11, 2017

by Terry Schilling


This article is part of series focusing on Lens of Liberty, a project of the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation.

In a Liberty Minute entitled “Arrest that Candidate,” Helen Krieble discusses the troubling attacks on our right to free speech, and how some want to arrest others in order to silence their ideas:

I am more worried than ever before about the push by some leaders to silence the speech of those with whom they disagree. It’s a trend that frightens me.

Even in a presidential campaign which should produce discussion and debate on major issues, one prominent organization has actually called for the arrest of a major candidate because its leaders disagreed with his political views.

Ironically the same organization recently called for neutrality on the internet to protect free speech. They should look through the lens of liberty and remember that in America, the people have the right to consider all opinions and if we disagree with some candidates, we defeat them in fair elections, not throw them in jail.

Unfortunately, all too often freedom of speech only goes one direction — to the Left. Many on the Left continuously preach tolerance while simultaneously attempting to silence anyone who disagrees with their way of thinking.

However, the notion that the political views of a major party candidate and their supporters could be considered grounds for imprisonment is ludicrous at best — and downright frightening at worst. Unfortunately, as Krieble touched on in a previous Liberty Minute, our students are being taught in an environment that encourages “safe spaces” over the free exchange of ideas.

In fact, recently, conservative author Ben Shapiro was threatened with arrest by DePaul University police as he attempted to give a speech to the college’s Young America’s Foundation chapter. Similarly, riots broke out on UC Berkeley’s campus when it was announced that Ann Coulter was to speak on their campus.

In America, the answer to bad speech has always been more speech — not the prohibition of speech. When someone promotes bad ideas, it is our duty, not to silence or punish them, but rather to explain why they are wrong and win the argument. This requires a trust in our fellow man and an understanding that government doesn’t know best — the people know best and will end up making the right decision.

To believe that bad speech needs to be punished or silenced is to lack faith in the very principles that America was founded on — that government of the people, by the people, and for the people is the best way to ensure freedom and prosperity for society and the best way to prevent tyranny:

Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government: When this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. -Benjamin Franklin

When people react to free speech in such a violent manner, and others are threatened with arrest, it is high time we take a good hard look at our society — preferably through the Lens of Liberty.


Terry Schilling is executive director of the American Principles Project.

Archive: Terry Schilling

9 comments on “Will Candidates Soon Be Arrested for Promoting the “Wrong” Ideas?”

  • Gozo Rabat says:

    “LOSS OF PRIVILEGE” MIS-TAKEN AS “DISCRIMINATION”:

    Let’s use Starbucks as an example familiar to most of us:

    This company seeks not to offend its non-Christian workers or customers, by saying “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” at a time when most faiths have festive holidays. It is Christianists who consider this a “War on Christmas,” when all parties are freely exercising First Amendment rights.

    The presumption of beleaguerment by Christianists rests solely in the loss of a longstanding “entitlement” to have their faith imposed on everybody else. The related Conservative view is similarly myopic, as displayed here. Bob Jones University is the best-known example of the kind of censorship lamented here, and mentioned by jk105.

    Regards,

    (($; -)}™

    Gozo!

  • jui says:

    Arrested for “promoting the wrong ideas?”

    Schilling points out the outrageous problem but finds the root of this evil in the wrong place. It was Trump’s Alt Right supporters who rammed a car into people with the “wrong idea” and a 32-year-old woman is now dead.

    Schilling did not condemn a previous editorial on this very blog page that tried to normalize the hate group ADF, an organization that would put gays in prison.

    Schilling needs to look in the mirror if he is interested in exposing totalitarianism.

  • Jk105 says:

    Yes Terry, those right wing religionists colleges that ban gay student organizations and fire professors who support same sex marriage are indeed frightening monsters. Thank you for pointing out these obstacles to real freedom. We need to prevent this tyranny.

    • elcer says:

      Is this a wide spread practice in most or even many colleges and universities, JK105? I think not. I think the opposite is true.

      • jk105 says:

        It is a widespread practice in many conservative religious universities.

        Yes sir, it unfortunately is. And it is hypocritical to condemn such intolerance only when it happens on the left.

      • Alan Crawford says:

        So, to promote tolerance and prevent bigotry, you advocate intolerance and bigotry toward religious moral absolutes. It is the freedom to practice ones religion, as it has been historically accepted, that the left must try to eliminate from public life in order to advance their radical agenda. Your comment has tended to prove the premise of the article. Thank you and God bless.

      • jk105 says:

        Alan Old Boy, you are confused–go back to school and learn some reading comprehension.

        Nowhere do I ever advocate using government to deny right wing religionists the right to practice their vicious faith. As a church-going Christian, I urge you to try a little honesty.

        However, the same free speech you have to spit hate against gay people means I have the same free speech to use in condemning your bigotry. You don’t get a free pass. Thank you Jesus!

        I pray for your deformed soul.

    • Alan Crawford says:

      So, to promote tolerance and prevent bigotry, you advocate intolerance and bigotry toward religious moral absolutes. It is the freedom to practice ones religion, as it has been historically accepted, that the left must try to eliminate from public life in order to advance their radical agenda. Your comment has tended to prove the premise of the article. Thank you and God bless.

      • jk105 says:

        Alan Old Boy you project your totalitarianism onto others!

        How have I advocated intolerance and bigotry towards religious moral absolutes? I’ve done no such thing. As a church-going Christian, I am repelled by your dishonesty–shouldn’t one of the 10 Commandments admonishing lying be a moral absolute? You certainly don’t share it.

        I object to government preventing you from belching your disgusting right wing religionist views. I would never use the brute force of government to deny right wing religionists a legal marriage. Yet, right wing religionists time and again use government to impose their heinous views on people who don’t share their poisonous views.

        It is your hypocrisy that I most object to.

        I pray for your deformed soul.

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