The void of basic constitutional knowledge is a testament to our terrible education system. Leave it to Geraldo Rivera to pose ridiculous questions with easy answers on Fox News’ The Five.

The libertarian side of me sometimes likes Geraldo, but I feel as though as he’s aged, he’s lost his touch and maybe a few of his marbles. Luckily, the show has Judge Jeanine Pirro to verbally smack down his flimsy arguments.

Yesterday, the two septuagenarians went at it over free speech and the controversies that continue to follow the likes of Elon Musk and Kanye West. You’d think Geraldo would know what constitutes free speech, given that he is a lawyer after all.

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What do you Think?

Geraldo asked what the Judge thought about free speech and Elon Musk, stating “It’s one thing to be anti-woke, but it’s not anti-woke to be repealed by Kanye West praising Hitler or Nick Fuentes being lavishly celebrated at Mar-A-Lago, that’s not woke.”

Let me say I think we can all agree that praising Hitler is idiotic and disturbing. What this has to do with wokeness is beyond me though. 

Judge Pirro bit back at Geraldo, saying that you can’t tell someone they can’t speak just because you don’t like what they have to say, citing the 1969 Supreme Court case Brandenburg vs. Ohio.

“No matter how repulsive this speech is, America was founded on the concept of free speech,” said Pirro. “Hate speech is protected. I’m tired of saying it.”

For those of you who need a brush up on your Constitutional Law, Brandenburg vs. Ohio held that the government can’t punish inflammatory speech unless it directly incites or produces “imminent lawless action.” 

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Jews and Nazis

This recent debate about free speech, including hate speech, is thanks mainly to Kanye West and his usual nonsensical ramblings. Most recently, on InfoWars, Kanye said, among other things, “I like Hitler.” 

“The Holocaust is not what happened.” Kanye went on to say.Let’s look at the fact of that. Hitler has a lot of redeeming qualities.”

The Holocaust is what happened; that’s a fact. While I didn’t personally know Adolf Hitler, I think it is safe to say he didn’t have any redeeming qualities.

Had he some redeeming qualities, I imagine his beginning career as an artist would’ve taken off more, and perhaps we would be having a vastly different conversation today. Later, Kanye tweeted a picture of a swastika embedded in a Star of David, getting him booted by Elon Musk from the platform. 

As a society, our obsession with outdoing each other by calling one another Nazis is concerning in and of itself. I could probably write an entire article just on that phenomenon alone. 

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The First Amendment

There is a lot of garbage on social media; trust me, I know. I spend a lot of time on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn for my various professional ventures, and there’s trash on all of them. 

It comes from all sides, too, not just the far right, and I’ve even received some hateful speech, shocking, I know. Stanford scholar and lawyer Daphne Keller explained that what we see on these platforms is “lawful but awful” speech, saying that it may be “offensive or morally repugnant to many people but protected by the First Amendment.”

When Geraldo asks the Judge, “are we free to say that Jews will not replace us” she’s spot on in her response that yes, we are free to say that.

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Musk’s Mistake

“The thing that makes America different from every other country is that we have the right of freedom of speech which means we have freedom of thought. We are not a fascist nation,” Said Pirro, which I believe is her best point from the exchange. 

It’s interesting that we would support someone spouting nonsense about a fascist like Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. While interesting, it isn’t hard to understand. 

Elon Musk himself had previously tweeted that “This is a battle for the future of civilization. If free speech is lost even in America, tyranny is all that lies ahead.”

I agree, and for the most part, I think Elon is a ‘free speech absolutist’ as he likes to call himself. While taking down the swastika image was a sound decision based on his Twitter rules, I think it’s a mistake to suspend Kanye’s account.

It’s interesting how West gets ‘dumped,’ so to speak, by all of his sponsors for anti-Semitism. Yet, Balenciaga issues a tepid apology for featuring children with bondage teddy bears, and they seem to be doing okay. That’s not to say that Adidas and the like shouldn’t have dumped Kanye, if anything, that proves that free speech in this country works.

The best disinfectant is sunshine, as the adage goes, and hiding hate speech helps it grow. Kanye’s ability to blast his BS freely and openly allows everyone to see him as mentally unstable, bloated on fame, and anti-semite.

The Condemnation Cycle

I’m getting tired of the left screaming at me that I have to condemn this or that publicly and how my lack of repetitive public condemnation of obviously abhorrent behavior means I align with said actions or statements. I don’t give two you know what’s about what Kanye West has to say.

I also don’t care who former President Donald Trump invites to his estate and dines with. I love this idea that if I don’t condemn President Trump for eating with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, that makes me an anti-semite and a white nationalist.

I think it’s pretty gross that President Biden invited Chrissy Teigen to the first state dinner at the White House, who bullied teenagers and told one to kill herself. However, I don’t think that liberals should have to condemn it publicly. 

Kanye West is free to repeatedly make an ass out of himself, just as 75% of the MSNBC payroll does daily. We should be thankful we live in a country where they can because if they couldn’t, they’d be doing it in the dark, which is way more dangerous.

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