Protesters Violently Riot Over Protected Political Speech

Op-Ed by STEVE EMERSON and PETE HOEKSTRA

March 15, 2016 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Voltaire – to whom variations on the quote "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" are attributed – is spinning in his grave after the events of the past weekend.

Protesters forced the cancellation or violently disrupted rallies organized by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, as the level of political discourse continues deteriorating over the 2016 election cycle. Ugly rhetoric is not limited to one party. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has provided his own incendiary comments by routinely targeting the " greed, fraud, dishonesty and arrogance " of Wall Street bankers.

It more befitted the goon squads of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or dictatorial strongman Vladimir Putin than citizens of a country founded by the principle that freedom of speech is the most fundamental freedom in the world. A principle that distinguishes fascist states from democracies...

The George Soros-funded MoveOn.org Political Action not only credited itself for the violence in Chicago, but promises more...They argue that nasty heckling is constitutionally protected.

Well, no, their behavior is not a constitutional right if they are suppressing the ability of others to voice an opinion. Somehow they must have missed their primary civics lesson in school about the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right of free speech to those with whom they disagree. But if they want to hold their own independent rallies in which they scream expletives, it is their right to do so.

Some are trying to make excuses for and defend those who are disruptive and perhaps threatening safety and security. Cable news talking heads even blamed Trump for daring to hold an event in Chicago...

This is maddening...

American political leadership needs to speak up against those who are illegally denying the right to free speech to others merely because that "other" free speech offends them...

©2016 Steve Emerson. Mr. Emerson is the Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Pete Hoekstra is the Shillman Senior Fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism and former Chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.