Tucker Carlson Slipped Up on Hate Speech

Tucker Slipped Up on Hate Speech

An action can be wrong and still not a crime. Cheating on a spouse is wrong, but it’s still legal. There are no laws against infidelity – here in New Jersey at least. With hate speech too. Even though it’s wrong, hate speech is legal and protected under the First Amendment Freedom of Speech and Press.

Hate speech is wrong. Even though I think that hate speech is wrong, I still respect Nugent and Tucker’s right to express it.  Tucker slipped up last week, accusing journalists of attacking free speech. People can call out hate speech without challenging free speech.

Nugent and Tucker’s hate speech is wrong because it takes away a person’s humanity. 

With Hate Speech

Nugent dehumanized Democrats in his announcement last week. During his speech, he refers to fellow citizens – people who have stories, family, and friends of their own – as  “enemies of America”.

“Think of what the enemies of America have done over the last 14 months… I love you people madly, but I’d love you more if you went forward and just went berserk on the skulls of the Democrats and the marxists and the communists.” (Nugent)

The announcement shows the natural progression from hate speech to violent crime. First, Nugent refers to Democrats as less-than-human when he calls them “enemies”. Then, he suggests that the audience subject their community members, neighbors, family, and friends to violence by going “berserk on” their “skulls”. 

Most audiences understand that violence against people is wrong. The dehumanization of a group of people changes that moral code.  Fully-human citizens deserve respect. People that are made to appear “less than human” don’t – in Nugent’s view. Accordingly, he believes that it’s okay to commit crimes against them.

Tucker’s a Wolf

Like Nugent, Tucker dehumanizes Democrats. During last Monday’s show, he presented Democrat leaders as perpetrators of a made-up problem. Carlson refers to Biden and other elected officials when he describes them as leaders that hate speech

Tucker was referring to the Biden Administration and other Democrat leaders. With the comment, he suggested that it’s okay to hate these representatives since they are haters themselves.  Then, he imagines a confrontation between these Democratic leaders and the general public over free speech.

My ability to write and post this article, as well as Tucker’s nightly broadcast, testifies to the health of free speech in our nation today. Tom Head‘s discussion here reviews the court cases through the years that upheld the Right to Free Speech. “The Supreme Court has been reluctant to impose broad restrictions (on The First Amendment),” he writes.

In Sheep’s Clothing.

In Tucker’s fictional scenario, a hateful group of Democratic leaders are lying to the public and conspiring to take away the First Amendment. To support his argument, he references the shooting in Buffalo.

“So because a mentally ill teenager murdered strangers, you cannot be allowed to express your political views out loud.” (Tucker)

The journalists that questioned Tucker’s use of hate speech were following a logical train of thought. Nugent’s remarks demonstrate the link between hate speech and hate crime. The Buffalo shooting was a hate crime. In response, Tucker portrays them as part of a deceitful conspiracy.

“That’s what they’re telling you. That’s what they’ve wanted to tell you for a long time, but Saturday’s massacre gives them a pretext, a justification.” (Tucker)

Tucker presents Democrats as less-than-human when he characterizes them as attackers of free speech. His repeated contrast between “they” and “you” in the language dramatizes a made-up contrast between “good” and “evil, “perpetrators” and “victims”, and presumably, “Democrats” and “Republicans”. 

Calm Down.

Tucker appears to be a defender of free speech. In fact, he’s defending free speech for himself and trying to limit the speech of anyone that criticizes him.  By accusing journalists of undermining the First Amendment, he unfairly discredits them.

In this example, Tuckers attempting to silence them and take away their Right to Free Speech.

Engaged in hate speech, Nugent and Tucker aren’t offering solutions or meaningful arguments. They are in fact drumming up unhealthy emotions that can translate into violent crime. Dehumanizing people and misleading the public with false scenarios is wrong, even if it’s legal.

Instead of letting hate speech stress you out, learn about the policies that Republicans and Democrats support by visiting their sites. Or, make an effort to discuss politics at a Meetup or with a Book Club in your community. Read more moderate views on politics by visiting my blog, The Happy Centrist.

Thank you for your attention. Double thanks for following me here. 

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