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Thread: Trump Rallies and the misunderstood First Amendment

  1. #1
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    Default Trump Rallies and the misunderstood First Amendment

    I just spent an inordinate amount of time listening to talk radio and watching cable news shows opine, incorrectly, on the First Amendment (whilst visiting with an under-the-weather relative). So knowing the vast reach of our Forum, I am going to post here and straighten this whole thing out once and for all (Or at least get it off my chest).
    OK-The First Amendment simply says that CONGRESS shall make no law abridging the right to free speech. After 2+ centuries of Constitutional amendments (like the 14th) and Supreme Court interpretations, the First Amendment is now understood to say the GOVERNMENT shall make no law abridging free speech.
    Is Donald Trump Congress or the government? Of course not. THERFORE, he is free to impose whatever rules he wants at his rally's (dress code, hand salute, signs, whatever he wants-it's his friggin event, he gets to make the rules). And, the citizens who dont care for what he is saying have NO constitutional right to disrupt his rally or to interfere with his right to conduct it however he wants to.
    End of discussion.
    IF protesters want to protest, they must so outside the rally venue.
    IF the talking heads' interpretation of free speech were right, then anyone could interfere with any group's efforts to assemble and express their thoughts, as loudly and inappropriately as they want. In other words: dont like the Catholic religion, go into their service every Sunday and disrupt it, dont like a lecture being given on a nearby campus, attend and yell until it shuts down.
    So all the First Amendment means is, for instance, that no government agency can establish standards defining what we are allowed to say. The First Amendment has a very, very, very limited scope and application. Which is, of course, totally consistent with the Framers' belief that people would do best with as little government control of their speech and thoughts as possible.
    I am no fan of the Donald or his rabble-rousing speeches. I am just saying that the First Amendment gives me zero authority to enter his rally and to disrupt it, or even to enter wearing a Rubio T-shirt or to hold up a Cruz sign inside the rally.
    I feel better aleady-And I know that, since this is a private (Non-government) Forum, with its own rules, the moderators can delete this post and I will have suffered no violation of my First Amendment rights.
    Last edited by Kitcat; 03-12-2016 at 01:40 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I agree with you. And I despise this crook as well. I think the protesters did themselves not a favor. The people who hate Trump don't need the protest and the folks who adore him will only be confirmed in their belief (faith?).

    That said, while they are entitled to enforce rules for their rallies I think it is unwise for the Trump campaign as well to remove or manhandle individual peaceful demonstrators. After all, this guy strives the be "the government" and such an attitude does not bode well for the First Amendment if he should become the Man. He made some related comments already. The incident with the guy punching the face of somebody being led out by police also shows what kind of brain dead hater folks Trump attracts. Maybe not all but to speak with Trump "And some, I assume, are good people".
    Last edited by slomove; 03-12-2016 at 02:09 PM.

  3. #3
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    I agree - the First Amendment and "freedom of speech" only applies when one of parties involved is the congress/government. If the government is not involved it's just citizens expressing themselves. In this case it boils down to manners and being polite.

    To my knowledge there is no law that says I can't go to church on sunday morning wearing an anti-religion T shirt.......the only practical thing that keeps this from happening is peer pressure and respect for the institution. I think where the trump thing has come off the rails is that trump himself has shown disrespect and contempt for so many and that they feel compelled to push back and shout him down. He expressed himself and they countered.

    It's the same with a KKK rally........they get a permit and they say what they say and fly their flag and they are legally within their rights to do so. And likewise those that disagree with the KKK can stand across the street with their own flag.

    I think the old adage "if you can't take it, don't dish it out" and trump wants a one sided conversation. It doesn't work that way in public life. It may work that way in his private business but once out in public all bets are off. Or as my dad would have said - "don't sh!t where you eat."

    dave

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    It should also be noted that Trump and his supporters are also wrongly claiming that their First Amendment rights have been violated

    Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) tweeted at 3:44 AM - 12 Mar 2016 :

    The organized group of people, many of them thugs, who shut down our First Amendment rights in Chicago, have totally energized America!
    http://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/s...153475584?s=17


    Between having protesters arrested and claiming he would introduce legislation to make it so he can sue the media for saying bad things about him, sounds like he doesn't much believe in the 1st Amendment



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  5. #5
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    Kitkat, I agree with you 100% on your assessment.

    Mopho, Trump is a lot of things, but he is no constitutionalist or conservative.

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    Which Donald Trump is being discussed. He seems to say one thing to get some more attention, the when challenged he waffles. I guess that makes him a politician. That said, he's not my choice.
    I'm currently reading The Narcissist next door (by Jeffrey Kluger) and the first sentence in it is this "It can't be easy to wake up every day and discover that you're still Donald Trump"
    Life happens while you're making other plans
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    I have pretty much been a conservative ever since I moved out of my parent's place but if he is selected, I will vote for anybody else. I am so embarrased by him and his diatribes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slngsht View Post

    Mopho, Trump is a lot of things, but he is no constitutionalist or conservative.
    Agreed


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  9. #9
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    Rude interruption at the Bernie Sanders campaign





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  10. #10
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    Nothing rude about it. Just exercising her second amendment rights to bare her 38s.
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