Ted Lieu: The Most Honest Democrat

Here’s a Democrat who has finally gone on record about wanting to regulate speech.

For many Democrats, there’s no such thing as free speech, other than speech with which they agree. If a lot of these politicians had their way, you or I wouldn’t be able to make any statements that didn’t fall squarely in line with leftist orthodoxy.

Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) is one of them. He spoke recently with CNN about Google’s testimony before the House of Representatives, and he made an interesting statement.

He told anchor Brianna Keilar, "I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech. The First Amendment prevents me from doing so, and that's simply a function of the First Amendment, but I think over the long run, it's better the government does not regulate the content of speech."

Lieu went on to say that he wished companies would do a better job regulating their own platforms. But Twitter seized on the first part of Lieu’s remark. Here’s one example:

In response to Elliott Hamilton, Lieu kind of condescendingly said he was defending the First Amendment, and I suppose he was to an extent. But the problematic thing is that Lieu is basically saying, “We have speech protection in the First Amendment, but if I had my way…”

I’d be willing to bet that Ted Lieu isn’t alone among his party. The Democrats have more than just one representative who would go whole hog in stopping content they don’t agree with, if not for the Constitution.

We have one more reason to be grateful to our Founding Fathers. They protected us from people like Ted Lieu.

Comments
No. 1-6
RhymesWithRight
RhymesWithRight

Let's be completely honest -- there is nothing outrageous in Lieu's statement.

We all -- on every side -- would love to be able to silence those whose views we fined to be offensive, obnoxious, and wrong.

Yet at the same time, we all -- on every side -- recognize that the First Amendment forbids us from using the force of government to act upon that impulse.

Because if we -- regardless of side -- were to successfully use government to silence those we disagree with, we know that same power could be turned on us.

Therefore it is better that we -- regardless of side -- recognize that the First Amendment imposes a wise and needful limitation on the power of government that must be respected and which we should be thankful for.

JASmius
JASmius

Both partisan tribes want to regulate speech content these days. What is at least as noteworthy about Lieu's comment is when he goes on to say, "The First Amendment prevents me from doing so, and that's simply a function of the First Amendment, but I think over the long run, it's better the government does not regulate the content of speech." That's a much higher level of respect for the Constitution than Donald Trump ever displays on the topic of free speech.

Gus2268
Gus2268

Every day I’m thankful for the founders’ foresight to limit the power of wannabe tyrants like this. It’s not perfect but it’s good and necessary. Unfortunately we are slowly slipping towards the European model, where free speech is not highly regarded and people are jailed or otherwise punished for wrongthink.

Imhooked
Imhooked

I think the writer of this article is reading too much in his statement

technophobe
technophobe

Well, liberal democracies tend to regulate speech differently. In the United States, freedom of speech is pretty much absolute (with the exception of false speech which might immediately cause harm). In many European democracies, freedom of speech is a little narrower. I happen to think that the way we do things in the USA is better, philosophically, but instead of pointing and laughing it's actually worth pointing out that the extent to which a democratic government should regulate the content of speech is actually a pretty nuanced philosophical debate.