“Inciting Violence” a Very Dangerous Idea

So many threats to our Constitution! Particularly the First and Second Amendments, which protect our rights to our bodies and minds.

One of the most dangerous ideas out there makes a comeback after incidents like the bomb threats against Democrats and the brutal slaughter of Jews attending synagogue yesterday.

The idea is that someone can “incite violence” and therefore be partially responsible for these actions.

No, that’s not right. Nobody held a gun to the head of these killers or terrorists and made them shoot, threaten or mail bombs. The responsibility for such actions belongs with the person who does them. End of story.

The left makes this argument from a position of ignorance and convenience, as usual. “President Donald Trump is responsible for the violence.” Aside from the fallacy of the “inciting violence” argument, and even if you accept that argument, it makes no sense on its own terms. As the prime minister of Israel will tell you, Donald Trump is the best friend his country has had for a very long time.

President Trump does not hate Jews. How could he be responsible for the slaughter at a synagogue even if he did? But he doesn’t even hate them. He’s a staunch defender of Israel, of Jews in America, and was the only presidential candidate in 2016 to defy political correctness and openly talk about specifically Islamic-based terrorism. (Interestingly, coincidence or not, we have seen less of that terrorism since he came to office.)

The issue goes way beyond President Trump. “Inciting violence” is a rationalization for curbing free speech, altering the outcome of elections and all manner of other things leftist totalitarians can be expected to propose.

In America, we have a First Amendment. You have a right to say what you wish, think what you wish, and express your thoughts and ideas to whoever is willing to listen. Even if President Trump were guilty of expressing the ideas his detractors claim he is guilty of (he is not), this speech would be protected by the First Amendment.

The moment we start going down the road of claiming that “inciting violence” is illegal is the moment we have shelved the First Amendment. With Democrats poised to seize any power they can latch onto again, it’s a very dangerous time indeed for the First Amendment in America.


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