The First Amendment has symbolized the cornerstone of American freedoms for hundreds of years but its worst offenders belong in a jail cell, a new poll suggests.
According to a poll conducted by the Campaign for Free Speech, 48 percent of respondents said “hate speech” – however that is defined – should be illegal and 51 percent said the First Amendment should be “updated to reflect the cultural norms of today.”
The poll, conducted in September, posed free speech-related questions to 1,004 respondents from age 21 to age 73, who represented different regions of the country, and who are black, white, or Hispanic.
Reacting to the poll, author and historian David Barton says some respondents support free speech but want it to be accountable.
“Some of them don't want free speech,” he says, “if it disagrees with what they believe.”
The push to limit free speech remains a daily tactic on the far left – from college campuses erupting over speaker Ben Shapiro to New York City banning the term “illegal alien” from being used by employers and law enforcement, even though “alien” is a recognized term for foreigners.
Millennials led the “yes” over criminalizing hate speech at 51 percent, compared to 46 percent with Generation X and Baby Boomers. Among those suggesting hate speech should not be a crime, 33 percent of Baby Boomers answered no, 31 percent of Millennials said no, and 28 percent of Gen-Xers said no.
Of those that think hate speech should be illegal, 54 percent think jail time is appropriate.
A total of 31 percent said “hate speech” should be allowed, and 21 percent, or 211 respondents, told the poll they were “unsure.”
Barton tells OneNewsNow that things started going off the rails when the courts started considering things like flag burning and pornography as types of speech.
“What's happened now is they've broadened speech to be anything that you do – if that's something you express,” he says. “And that's just never the design that it had.”
The free speech poll published last week at about the same time Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s billionaire CEO, was being grilled by far-left lawmakers over his refusal to ban President Trump’s political ads.
“Do you see a potential problem here,” lectured Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, “with a complete lack of fact-checking on political advertisements?”
“Well, Congresswoman, I think lying is bad,” Zuckerberg replied. “That's different from, in our position, the right thing to do to prevent your constituents or people in an election from seeing that you had lied.”
Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described Democratic Socialist, went on to grill the CEO about meeting with “far-right figures” to discuss media bias, and suggested that The Daily Caller website has “ties” to white supremacists and should not be allowed as a “fact-checker” for Facebook.