During these difficult and divisive days we are lucky to have reporters like Nick Martin, editor and writer of The Informant, a publication dedicated to keeping track of the many hateful extremists who infest the land.
Unlike many of us in the news business, Martin is willing to delve deep into the lower intestine of the internet, the dark, fetid bowel of social media one needs to explore in order to find and expose those who spew the most noxious and repulsive doublespeak.
For example, Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers.
A while back the Arizona Senate – Democrats and Republicans alike – censured Rogers for a speech she gave at a white nationalist conference calling for public hangings and for her ugly social media attacks on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
She claimed at the time it was an attack on her free speech, a concept Rogers has never quite grasped.
And still doesn’t.
Freedom to spew hateful attacks
After all, the fact that you can publicly complain about an attack on your free speech actually proves that you still have free speech.
Still, she went on her rant. And continues to rant. And continues to draw contributions who share her hateful, conspiracy-driven beliefs.
Just recently, Martin noticed something Rogers posted on the right-wing extremist social media site Telegram (founded by a Russian billionaire).
“Freedom of Speech is a human right granted by God. Companies and governments who go against this are going against rights that make up the essence of humanity.”
And followed it with:
“The nasty vile satanic demons who post wicked pictures and videos on my channel have a special place in hell for their evil. Get behind me Satan!”
Martin noted that Rogers apparently deleted the posts that she found to be “wicked.”
If Rogers believes free speech is “granted by God” then is it not free to everyone, even “nasty vile satanic demons,” which, in her mind, probably includes Democrats and journalists?
Free speech is a concept Rogers will never understand, mostly because she only wants it to be free for those with whom she agrees.
It’s actually about just the opposite.
Tolerance for the foul-smelling
Free speech means tolerating even those whose speech is foul-smelling and vile.
For example, no one prevented Rogers from calling the white nationalists at the America First Political Action Conference in Florida “patriots.”
As she did.
Likewise, she was free to sing the praises and express love for the group’e racist, anti-Semitic leader, Nick Fuentes, who told attendees at the gathering, “Now, they’re going and saying, ‘Vladimir Putin is Adolf Hitler,’ as if that isn’t a good thing.”
Rogers was free to tell her legislative colleagues, as she did, “I will personally destroy the career of any Republican who partakes in the gaslighting of me simply because of the color of my skin or opinion about a war I don’t want to send our kids to die in.”
She was free to call fellow lawmakers communists, as she did.
She was free as well to call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, bravely standing up to Russian aggression, “a globalist puppet for Soros and the Clintons.”
Another little Rogers gem.
Shutting down those inner demons
The censure she received has not interfered with her free speech in any w
The U.S. government does not, and cannot, punish someone for such speech.
In fact, the only person who appears to be imposing limits on free speech is Rogers, who would appear to be dealing with all manner of frightening inner demons.
But does not want to hear what they have to say.
Reach Montini at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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