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OPINION

Why Are Progressives Afraid Of The First Amendment?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Not everyone in America appreciates the First Amendment. Before I reveal how I know that, please take a moment to consider with me a lesson from the not-so-distant past.

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In the biography, “Churchill: A Life,” author Martin Gilbert writes how Winston Churchill loudly voiced his grave concerns about the apathy shared by those seemingly impervious to the malevolent National Socialist Movement’s intention to steam through Europe like volcanic lava, destroying everything in its way, including free speech.

In direct response, Hitler began warning Germans about the “dangers of free speech” and said, “If Mr. Churchill had less to do with traitors…he would see how mad his talk is…” History revealed whose talk was really mad.

Truth is, Churchill’s words touched a nerve the annoying way truth always does. Hitler was incapable of engaging in intelligent debate, so he changed the subject, lied, and attacked Churchill’s character. Hitler knew his movement couldn’t stand on its own for what it really was, so the only alternative was to silence opposing views. Throughout Germany books were banned and ceremoniously cast into blazing bonfires intended to squash divergence of thought and stifle man’s God-instilled unquenchable thirst for truth.

Historical accountings provide a glimpse into the warped psyche of those behind a movement that wrongheadedly believed they could build something worthwhile by shutting down debate, then dividing a nation by race and ethnicity. They coldly chose their target, the Jewish race, and purged some of the greatest minds in history from all levels of teaching. Schools and universities suffered. Before the movement decided to burn bodies as well as books, Historyplace.com cites that “Jewish instructors and anyone deemed politically suspect regardless of their proven teaching abilities or achievements including 20 past (and future) Nobel Prize winners” were removed from their professions, among them Albert Einstein.

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I would’ve been one of those “purged professionals,” based on what I’ve heard lately from some disgruntled left-leaning readers. Because of my personal opinion about the president, one reader called me “a racist,” a religious bigot,” and “a political terrorist.” While calling me a “political terrorist” is noteworthy at least, most telling is this poor man’s statement that my column, as offensive as it was to him, “was permitted” in his newspaper.

Apparently, free speech is just for leftists.

Another comment made by one of those bloggers so “courageous” he remains anonymous, most likely typing from his command post in his parent’s basement wearing nothing but yellowing tightey-whities and yesterday’s breakfast crumbs embedded on his unshaved chin and sprawling belly:

“…although she is entitled to her opinion…she could be a candidate for the FBI’s terror watch list...” Suggesting that a newspaper columnist’s personal opinion is FBI watch list-worthy is ridiculous and simultaneously chilling. There seems to be a growing distaste for the First Amendment by those on the left.

Another newspaper ran a very long editorial on why they were dropping my column after running it the day prior. While it’s fair they questioned one of my references, please note the arrogance as you read this excerpt: “Imagine how informed and intelligent you think the average person is. Now realize that half of the world is less informed and less intelligent. Now give those same people unchecked ability to spout their uniformed and unintelligent opinions…”

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My favorite email this week came from a nice guy who asked me if I could see Sarah Palin from my house and if I could spell “psychotic rant.” He even offered some good advice: “Enjoy the winter. Eat a moose and listen to the Word of God speaking to you through your fillings.” He signed it, “Your Mentally Disordered, manure-heaping, progressive pal…” I enjoyed his humor and that he didn’t suggest I be silenced like some who’ve obviously not learned anything from the not-so-distant past.

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