Dinesh D'Souza Wants National Guard To Use Force On Liberal Protesters Again, For Free Speech
On an episode of The Ingraham Angle this week, Dinesh D'Souza swung by to have a chat about "How To Defeat The Anti-Free Speech Thugs." The "anti-free speech thugs" he is referring to are college students who protest appearances by, say, Milo Yiannopoulis, Richard Spencer, or perhaps even Dinesh D'Souza. You know, because protesting things is not a form of free speech protected by the Constitution. At least not if you're a liberal. If you're a Nazi and you need to express your discontent by running a protester over with your car, different story entirely. There are rules to these things!
The only way to truly protect "free speech," Dinesh explains, is for the government to crack down on those dang hippie protestors and make them shut up, by use of force, if necessary.
I think that Trump is -- Trump's step is an important first step, but it's only the beginning.
I mean, as this stuff escalates, when you have antifa violence in places like Berkeley -- let's remember, Berkeley is a state university. It's fully accountable to the First Amendment, and the First Amendment is not less valuable than, say, the 14th Amendment, which protects civil rights.
So, if I were Trump, I would consider, in extreme circumstances, sending in the National Guard, because sending in force to protect basic constitutional rights is actually an appropriate use of force.
Now, I realize that Dinesh D'Souza is a very well-respected historian of shit he just made up himself ten seconds ago, and that I am but a simple country, uh, person who has had actual conversations with human beings who lived through the Vietnam War era in her life and is capable of Googling, but it doesn't seem to me like this worked out so well the last time? For either side?
When the United States sent in the National Guard to deal with anti-war protestors at Kent State in 1970, they killed four students and wounded nine others. The image of the National Guard -- poorly trained at that time and often populated by people like George W. Bush who were too rich to go to Vietnam -- murdering a bunch of kids protesting sending the poor to die in a stupid, pointless war was not exactly a shining moment for the pro-war side. It's largely regarded as a turning point at which enthusiasm for Vietnam started waning.
Of course, this is Dinesh D'Souza we are talking about, so it is entirely possible that in his version of history, the massacre at Kent State is a national point of pride and that everyone agrees that it would have been much better if students had been banned from protesting altogether, and then shoved in a room and forced to listen to a representative from the John Birch Society. Because, again, that is true free speech.
It's kind of impressive, frankly, that with all of the right-wing violence in the last few years, people like D'Souza are grasping so tightly onto the idea that it is only Antifa and the left going around hurting people, because things got out of hand at one protest two years ago. A protest, at which, by the way, neo-Nazis and other far right groups were also extremely violent, as they so often are. Just for one example, Nathan Damigo -- who later founded Identity Evropa -- was arrested for punching a female protestor in the face.
Oh! And a bunch of the people scheduled to speak during that week of protests were people, like White Power Barbies Lauren Southern and Brittany Pettibone, who openly advocate for ethnically cleansing America in order to make it a homeland for white people. This, Dinesh D'Souza may want to consider, would include him. That is a threat of violence in and of itself, on account of the fact that it would be real hard to get 39 percent of the nation to just move somewhere else without any.
If violence happening at one protest is a reason to bring in the National Guard to force people to shut up (in order to protect free speech!), then I guess D'Souza should probably also recommend that same remedy for neo-Nazi protests. Or, say, the Proud Boys. Or anti-abortion groups, who are also known to be very fond of killing people.
While D'Souza wants to make it look like there are anarchists running around doing "propaganda of the deed" to poor, innocent neo-Nazis who just want a chance to express their feelings in a peaceful way, it is clear by every possible metric that the Right is more likely to engage in violence than the Left is. They're more likely to hurt people and they are more likely to kill people. And they're doing it more and more often these days.
Now, we wouldn't say that these many, many documented acts of right-wing violence are violating our First Amendment, because we know what the First Amendment is, but by D'Souza's definition, that is exactly what they are doing. So perhaps he should get some Windex and take care of his own glass house before sending the National Guard into ours.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse