The “I have a dream” speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. in August 1963 is considered a signature moment in the struggle for civil rights in America, and the crowning achievement to King’s mission to see freedom and equality for every American.
But if Donald Trump had been president at the time, King wouldn’t have been allowed to give his speech because protests at the National Mall where he spoke during his March on Washington would have been illegal.
Always on the lookout for ways to silence anyone who refuses to praise him as the embodiment of perfection itself, Trump is seeking new regulations to ban demonstrations and protests using the National Park Service as his muscle.
The proposed regulations would not only ban protests at the National Mall, but also Lafayette Square across from the White House, and the Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalks in front of Trump International Hotel. If enacted, the proposal would close off 80 percent of the White House sidewalks, place new limits on spontaneous demonstrations, and force “approved” protestors to pay a fee to exercise their right to free speech.
Hey! Maybe charging people to exercise their rights is how Trump and the GOP plan to fix the budget.
But seriously, this is just the latest example of how Trump puts his egomaniacal narcissism ahead of the Constitutional rights of the peasants and commoners he sees as obstacles to his dictatorial ambitions.
Trump has attacked freedom of the press with his “Fake News” spiel and has called unfavorable media “the enemy of the American people;” attacked the right to bear arms by supporting Democrat anti-gun proposals and supporting efforts to seize guns without due process; attacked privacy rights by expanding NSA spying and renewing FISA702; and attacked property rights by expanding civil asset forfeiture laws.
This isn’t the first time Trump has suggested making protests illegal, but with the current state of affairs in Washington, we could see this latest effort become law now that Trumpservatives are making conservatives extinct.
The GOP has bought into Trump’s anti-free speech rhetoric. For example, Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) recently proposed 15-year jail sentences for wearing a mask while injuring, oppressing, threatening, or intimidating someone else who is exercising their constitutional rights. While appearing to address criminal activity, the title of the bill (Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018) reveals its true intent — shutting down a specific group of political activists who happen to oppose the GOP.
George Orwell once said that ”If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” We used to believe that in America, but in the Age of Trump, we could soon see the day where the voices of those who dare to tell the President or others in Washington what they don’t want to hear are silenced by Big Brother.
Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.
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