They Never Give Up: Washington State Bill Would Destroy Free Speech and Criminalize Opposing the Left
BY ROBERT SPENCER
Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.
Leftists hate dissent. Every far-Left regime that has ever held power, from Paris to Moscow to Phnom Penh, has cracked down, and cracked down hard, on those who dared to hold views that opposed those of the ruling elites. Leftists in America are no different. The hard-Left Biden regime tried last year to silence dissidents with its ill-fated Disinformation Governance Board, and while that initiative failed, the Left has not recovered any appreciation for the freedom of speech. A new bill in Washington state would establish a mini-Disinformation Governance Board in that state, criminalizing speech that opposed the Leftist establishment’s line.
Such a board would most certainly be in violation of the First Amendment, but when have Leftists ever cared about observing the niceties of the Constitution? Liv Finne, director for education at the Washington Policy Center, said of the proposed Washington state measure: “This bill will create a two-tiered justice system where some people have free speech and others don’t, and that is a dangerous path for us to be set upon.” Indeed.
This sinister bill is based on the recommendations of a report last year about how to prevent “domestic terrorism” from the office of Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. In the report, Ferguson claims that “domestic violent extremism encompasses various forms of extremist and political violence like threats, coercion, and intimidation, online disinformation, extremist recruitment and government infiltration efforts, and the general spread of extreme white supremacism and anti-government ideologies.”
The implication is clear: what Ferguson and his cohorts consider to be “online disinformation” must be shut down so as to stop “domestic violent extremism.” As the judgment of what constitutes “disinformation” will be left to Washington state’s far-Left authorities, this will inevitably translate to the forcible silencing of voices that oppose those of the Left.
The report makes this even clearer when it calls for “innovative thinking on community-based efforts to prevent domestic terrorism and inoculate against disinformation.” State funds are to be used to carry out this “inoculation” so that when a luckless Washingtonian happens upon the writing of some patriot, he or she or xe will recognize it immediately as that “disinformation” that the good and selfless state authorities have been warning about and turn away from it without a second thought.
It may not be so easy as all that, however, as the Soviets and Communist Chinese and all the rest found out in due course. Fox News noted Thursday that “specifics on how the state might prevent radicalization and extremism are scarce in both the bill and the attorney general’s report.” Nonetheless, Finne notes that while the bill “itself would not criminalize any speech or association,” doing just that “is the natural next step of the commission, which is supposed to identify existing legal options and potentially new legislation for addressing extremism.”
The “extremism” about which the report is concerned is not coming from Antifa and Black Lives Matter; the report “cautions against implementing any laws that could be ‘disproportionately used against BIPOC’ communities or other marginalized groups.” Of course! We can’t have any more “systemic racism.” And so “the attorney general’s report singles out online disinformation, anti-government ideologies and the ‘general spread of extreme white supremacism’ as examples of domestic violent extremism.”
So here again we see the claim that “white supremacism” constitutes a major terror threat, which is something that Old Joe Biden, Merrick Garland, Christopher Wray, and other key figures of the current regime in Washington, D.C., have repeatedly claimed. The only thing lacking is the actual “white supremacists,” so law-abiding, non-racist, but non-Leftist Americans will be forced to play the role.
Finne makes the agenda clear: “It’s obvious that this is targeting certain groups in our society without basis. Speech is not violence. Violence is violence. To equate the two is outrageous and wrong.” Yes, but equating conservative speech with violence is one of the foremost strategies of the contemporary Left. The report and bill in Washington state is a prototype of what Leftists would like to roll out all over the country and impose on a federal level as well.
The First Amendment constitutes a formidable obstacle to their plans but only as long as there remain five Supreme Court Justices to uphold it and not nuance it away. Already Leftists parrot the claim that “hate speech is not free speech,” a neat propaganda slogan that has no basis in either logic or law but which makes it clear that more assaults on the First Amendment are in the offing. Patriots should be aware and resolute.