P.S. About the First Amendment

We are receiving messages and comments about the First Amendment in relation to our Charlottesville discussion. They're fair questions and comments. 

Here's what I want to quickly share with y'all, in the spirit of love and transparency: 

  • I believe in the First Amendment. I believe in the right of people to peacefully express even the views I find most repugnant. 
  • I believe that culturally and civically and then judicially, we need to have a conversation about what "incitement" to violence means. 
  • I also believe that just because you can speak, it doesn't mean you should. Do Nazis and Klans-members and white supremacists have the right to assemble at confederate monuments? Yes, unless and until that assembly crosses the incitement line. However, politicians, businesses, and those of us who fervently oppose them should condemn them for doing so. 
  • I think it is beyond past time for conservatives to stop shrugging their shoulders and essentially saying, "that sucks, but First Amendment, right?" And that's my intention. The tepid reaction to Charlottesville by the President was not about the First Amendment. The "but Antifa" reactions are not about the First Amendment. I'm not going to pretend otherwise. 
    • Side note: we'll talk about Antifa sometime soon. There are problems there, to be sure. We're not going to do it in a "but Antifa" way. There is, for me, no moral equivalence. 
  • My constant refrain: you're free to speak. You aren't free to speak without consequences. 
  • Plenty of people are willing to use their platforms to emphasize freedom of speech and assembly. In this moment, in this instance, I'm not willing to use mine that way. My voice, my work is to say, "that's wrong. That's unacceptable in America in 2017, and our businesses and politicians and families must say so in both words and actions." 
  • I always feel that we are in relationships with our listeners. I hope that our relationships can withstand disagreements about the issues that we prioritize and the ways that we choose to use our voices. As in all relationships, there are defining topics and moments -- bottom lines are critical. For me, a bottom line is to ensure that I never use Pantsuit Politics to intentionally hurt people. I think that meeting the news out of Charlottesville with a lengthy dialogue on the rights of  white supremacists would cross that line. I hope you understand.