There is no democratic right to hurt people or democracy itself
Countless enemies of democracy, equality, and freedom for all will scream scandal. They will claim that blocking their power is an assault on their liberty. And they are right, especially when they’ll sit in jail. But fighting the enemies of democracy is not undemocratic or even paradoxical. It is the safeguarding of freedom for all. Democratic rights and liberty are not stand-alone rights. They are only for those abiding by the rules of equality.
Why should Freedom of Speech not allow for falsely shouting fire in a crowded theatre but anything be allowed online? The California State Legislature just approved a bill to curb extreme and dangerous content on social media, including hate, disinformation, and harassment. I salute the people who got this done and suggest celebrating this milestone as a great day and victory in the fight for human dignity and rights for all. May it encompass ever more abuse and ever more jurisdictions adopt it.
The Dutch saying goes: Soft doctors make stinking wounds. Not the faint of heart nor timid, naive liberals should safeguard democracy. Being nice to its enemy will not cut it and means being cruel to the innocent. The bigots can’t be trusted. Leave them a little slack, and they will produce abuse. The power-hungry, control freaks, and con artists must be cornered totally.
But who will decide if vaccination dangers and stop the steal are hoaxes, or if claims of racism, hatred, bigotry, and climate change are swindles? The judiciary. They already rule who’s guilty and who’s innocent, what’s proper and what isn’t. At first, we’ll have some dirty judges but in the end, those will be weeded out. The majority will triumph and be right because: “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”
Today happens to be a great day to try acting like an activist.