Home Budget & Tax News Commentary: Capitol Carnage Is No Excuse for Stifling Speech

Commentary: Capitol Carnage Is No Excuse for Stifling Speech

Five people, including a San Diego woman and a Capitol Police officer, are dead after rioters seized the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a scene that looked from some developing world dictatorship. We strongly condemn any violence or rioting, in all its forms, whether committed by MAGA or Black Lives Matter supporters.

President Trump, who fueled the riots, is facing potential impeachment. Today, the Wall Street Journal editorial board, the nation’s leading conservative voice, called on the president to resign. In these fractured political times, everyone must come together to oppose violence and riots and recommit to fundamental principles of free speech and persuasion.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. Progressives will use this carnage as an excuse to further stifle free speech. The New York Times has published multiple pieces calling for stricter tech censorship in response to Wednesday’s events. And consider this recent headline from NBC: “Recall effort against California governor an attempt to ‘destabilize the political system,’ analysts say.”

See what they’re doing here? Now any speech that criticizes government officials can be turned into the moral and legal equivalent of a riot. If progressives can marginalize those who support limited government as dangerous radicals, they can clear the path of their biggest obstruction to implementing their political and cultural worldview.

As we recommit to rooting out political violence in all its forms, we must also guard against progressives conflating free speech and violence.

Jordan Bruneau
Jordan Bruneau is communications diretor for the California Policy Center.

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