While we may not know the outcome of the election until after the courts are finished with the cases, Joe Biden is still going forward as if he’s the president-elect.
In fairness, he probably should. If the courts find for President Trump, he’s out a bit of time and energy–something a man his age doesn’t have much of–but if it doesn’t, then he’s out time for transitioning the government that he can never get back. While I hope his time is wasted, it’s not a bad move.
Unfortunately, a member of Biden’s transition team is giving us a good glimpse into how little any of our rights matter to the former vice president.
President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team leader for US-owned media outlets wants to redefine freedom of speech and make “hate speech” a crime.
Richard Stengel is the Biden transition “Team Lead” for the US Agency for Global Media, the US government media empire that includes Voice of America, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Stengel, an Obama administration alumnus, wrote last year in a Washington Post op-ed that US freedom of speech was too unfettered and that changes must be considered.
He wrote: “All speech is not equal. And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails. I’m all for protecting ‘thought that we hate,’ but not speech that incites hate.”
Stengel offered two examples of speech that he has an issue with: Quran burning and circulation of “false narratives” by Russia during the 2016 election.
“Even the most sophisticated Arab diplomats that I dealt with did not understand why the First Amendment allows someone to burn a Koran. Why, they asked me, would you ever want to protect that?” Stengel wrote.
Now, let’s remember that many of those “false narratives” were shared in good faith by people who believed those narratives. Besides, Russia advanced false narratives playing to both sides.
And we live in a country where burning the American flag is considered protected speech, but Stengel wants to punish people for doing the same thing to a particular book?
What about the Christian Bible? Would that fall into the same view in Stengel’s mind?
He actually called the diplomat’s question “fair,” but let’s also remember that this is a region of the world that believes it’s fair to chunk gay men off of rooftops and prevent women from leaving the house unescorted by a male relative. I’m not sure I really give two damns what they consider right and anyone who thinks their criticism is “fair” is someone who I care even less about.
Look, free speech is far less controversial than our Second Amendment rights. It shouldn’t be the case, yet it is. Meanwhile, we have a member of Biden’s transition team openly calling for infringement on our right to speak our minds in unapproved ways.
And yet, this is someone Biden turned to and is trusting as he looks to take office in January.
We already know that Biden has little appreciation for our Second Amendment rights. His entire gun control platform shows just how little he respects our rights.
At least now we know that with Biden, there’s no reason to believe any of our rights are sacred.
To those who voted for the man, both living and dead, I say that you simply brought this not just on yourselves but potentially on the rest of us. At least the dead voters had an excuse.