Hillary’s Continuing Attack on the First Amendment

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Thinking Minnesota: Issue 4, Spring 2016

Liberals Try to Censor Movie Critical of Hillary Clinton

Dinesh D’Souza has made a documentary titled Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party. The film is critical of Mrs. Clinton, as you might imagine, and also recounts the pro-slavery, pro-segregation history of the Democratic Party. Understandably, liberals aren’t happy with the movie, and some have tried to shut it down.

In Florida, a Democratic Party official tried to persuade a movie theater not to show Hillary’s America on the ground that it “portrays his party’s presidential nominee in a negative light” and could cause violence against Democrats. If you think that is laughable, you are right. It is hard to imagine a more central exercise of First Amendment rights than to criticize a major political party and its presidential candidate.

Here in Minnesota, unfortunately, liberals’ efforts to suppress political speech have been more successful. A theater in Burnsville, Paragon Odyssey 13, has canceled its scheduled showings ofHillary’s America, apparently because the film is “too political” and “too many people complained about it.” So the liberals who tried to shut up one of their political opponents, succeeded.

There is an irony here: liberals are bitterly opposed to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which they have vowed to overturn. What did Citizens United hold? The specific ruling in the case was that the federal government cannot constitutionally ban the showing of a movie that was critical of…Hillary Clinton. That’s right–we have been down this road before.

No one likes to be criticized, but if you run for president or other public office, it goes with the territory. For a political party to try to suppress books, movies, magazine articles and blog posts that criticize its officeholders or candidates for office, whether by federal statute (as in the Citizens United case) or by bullying campaigns against movie theaters or publishers, is unAmerican.

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