Left's Fear of Opposing Speech

RNLA Executive Director Michael Thielen wrote today citing examples of how the liberal establishment fears and tries to stifle speech by its opponents:

In 2017, in an effort led by Hillary’s former lawyer Marc Elias, establishment Democrats are now attacking Democrats on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity for having the temerity to try to bring bipartisan balance to the investigation of the electoral system.  Elias implied that long-serving Democrat Secretary of State, Bill Gardner of New Hampshire, is not a real Democrat because he accepted an appointment to serve on the commission. 

Next, Elias’ ally Rick Hasen wrote an op-ed calling on another Democrat, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, to resign from the commission because Hasen, like other liberals, has pre-determined that what the commission will do and say will be offensive and wrong before the commission has even begun its work.  Instead of wanting Democrats to have a seat at the table on President Trump’s commission — to hopefully represent the Democrats’ perspective and engage in an intellectual discussion for the benefit of the country as a whole — Hasen declares that Dunlap’s speech and participation would serve no purpose.  The speech of the commission must be opposed before it even occurs, because of its association with President Trump. These lions of the law, known for their skills of argument, are apparently fearful they will be unable to counter the findings if they allow the commission to do its work. . . .  

In New York, for example, liberals have declared war on 501(c)(3) nonprofit charities, requiring them to disclose their donors if the organization gives donations or in-kind support to 501(c)(4) groups that are lobbying in New York.  Disclosure of the 501(c)(3) organization’s donors is required even if its grant was to be used specifically for non-lobbying purposes.

Partisan Democrats like Marc Elias are naturally opposed to anything involving Republicans, but it is disappointing that Prof. Hasen has pre-judged the report of a commission that has not even begun its work, when he has been willing to point out the shortcomings of a flawed report that supports his policy preferences.  There is likely to be something in the Election Integrity Commission's report and findings that even liberals can agree with, but they are not willing to wait for the commission to do its work and see what it finds.  The commission is going to examine improper voter registrations, which is something even liberals and Democrats agree is a problem.

Instead of welcoming robust debate so that the best ideas are honed and prevail, a concept that is at the very core of our American system of government, modern liberals want to silence speakers who don't share their views.  This is a frightening impulse that should disturb both liberals and conservatives, especially when backed with the power of government as in New York.