The House of Representatives censured Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib for making statements that many believe were calls for the destruction of Israel, including the common pro-Palestinian chant, "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." But should protesters — and even members of Congress — be able to make statements like this? Or should we ban anything deemed a call for genocide, anti-Jewish, or pro-Hamas? Glenn argues that he'd rather be able to hear it from their mouths directly so he knows exactly where they stand: "What is shocking is that there are so many [in the West] so eager to do so." Glenn warns of the dangers of embracing a culture that silences speech it doesn't like, even speech it finds abhorrent.
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Well, they have censored now Rashida Tlaib -- she has now been censured in Congress.
Now, it was over her anti-Israel statements. However, they didn't do it last time.
GLENN: But this time, she said that Joe Biden was a genocidal maniac. And gosh darn it, they got it done this time.
STU: Yeah. We talked about this literally yesterday. That they let Rashida Tlaib get off with all of her anti-Jew comments.
But I bet they have a better chance of censuring her now that she's bashed Joe Biden. And that's exactly what happened, 22 Democrats came on board. For that particular vote.
GLENN: Yeah. So she wept openly. Like a little girl, here she is.
VOICE: I can't believe I have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable.
STU: What. What.
GLENN: Oh, boy. Here she goes.
STU: Oh. Ilhan Omar is going to give it a hug. Have to get it in the camera shot as well.
GLENN: Standing with you. I'm here for you.
VOICE: We are human beings. Just like anyone else. My city, my grandmother, like all Palestinians just wants to live her life with freedom and human dignity we all deserve.
STU: All Palestinians feel that way. Some of them raped and murdered Jews and put children in ovens and live streamed the murder of grandmothers to their family members. Some Palestinians did that. I wouldn't say all fall into the category.
GLENN: Did you notice that her mom, who wants to live -- or her grandmother wants to live in dignity, is completely covered head to toe?
STU: Well, her eyes want to live in dignity. Because that's the only part you can see. Yes.
Very heartwarming. She has the performative cry thing down very, very well.
GLENN: Oh, she went nuts.
STU: She is nuts.
GLENN: Yeah. Going into, this is what I would expect from a body that owned slaves. You know, 100 -- it's -- yeah. She's nuts.
STU: Not only nuts. But boring. Boring.
GLENN: Yeah. So free speech. Free speech. Is this free speech?
Is this free speech at universities?
Do we have free speech?
Because you can barely say whatever you want, when it comes to killing Jews.
You have a gag order on a presidential candidate. You have big tech collusion. Pressuring of the press. Mostly peaceful protests, that are not mostly peaceful are okay. But some actually peaceful ones are not okay.
You can call for the murder of a president, while we sift through the sediment-free layers of that same presidential speech.
To prove he was calling for an insurrection.
And who is Ray Epps again?
Meanwhile, hoards are our street.
They are marching to that catchy tune from the river to the sea.
But I thought inciting violence was out. Should calls for genocide be protected?
Here's an uncomfortable position. Hamas supporters should be able to chant, from the river to the sea, just as Nazis should be able to March through Skokie.
That's my position.
If we can only see who they are and what we -- what they think.
If we listen closely, they tell us who they are. And what they attend.
That does not mean we support them.
It doesn't mean we ignore them.
It means we listen carefully.
When you are saying, to the river to the sea, that's all of Israel. That is a call for genocide.
If we listen to people, it's actually an advantage. But we have to be wise.
The shocking thing is that -- that so many are allowed to call for genocide in America. That's -- that's not the shocking thing.
What is shocking, is that there are so many right there, in the shining cities of the West. So eager to do so.
You should be allowed to say it. But look at the number of people. And they're not countered by a Million Man March. Saying, no.
This isn't who we are. If protests turn to burning cities down. Or breaking into capitols.
Those committing the violence, are to be punished.
Violence is violence.
But I would bet you, that as we saw at the White House, last week. When they were trying to tear down the gates around the White House, if they would have gotten through, they would have found a way to make that a mostly peaceful protest.
Opinions are sometimes really despicable.
But opinions are opinions. It's not violence.
But in the yearning for safety, or someone just to protect us, we accept -- many of us accept that some speech is dangerous.
Some needs to be silenced.
Because someone might hear it. And start thinking. And then start doing the wrong thing.
Voting the wrong way. Not behaving as they should. Only, who decides?
This is not about whataboutism. Or right versus left.
This is about how important and open and an even playing field really is.
And the only one that really counts. The playing field of ideas.
There's a court case, Whitney versus California. And Justice Louis Brandeis, who I despise. He wrote, listen to this carefully.
Quote, those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change.
They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty.
To -- to courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning.
Applied through the process of popular government.
No danger flowing from speech, can be deemed clear and present.
Unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent.
That it may befall before there's an opportunity for full discussion.
If there's a time to expose through discussion, the falsehood and fallacies to avert the evil by the processes of education. The remedy to be applied is more speech. Not enforced silence.
Now, this guy, 20th century. Early 20th century. Twentieth century Wilsonian progressive.
Okay. Big with Wilson.
And a lot of that sounds really good. Right?
Starts well. Ends well.
But there in the middle, it goes wildly off the rails.
Did you necessity the giant carve-out?
Speech is good.
Unless full discussion cannot control its effects fast enough.
Okay. Now who decides that?
Because we're having that discussion right now. With global warming.
It's something that is not supposed to happen for another 50 or 100 years.
But we have to act right now. No discussion. Discussion is over.
You must not say this thing, because someone might hear you think, act.
Before we have time to feed them the approved truth. Then all speech has to be censored and filtered. After all, if I speak, you will hear.
And as soon as the words are out, well, in telling what might happen.
America, and after it, the West, used to be justly admired for one of its greatest innovations.
Peaceful transfers of power.
A democratic Republican process, resting on none other than free speech. An open marketplace of ideas.
An even playing field.
We supposedly choose our leaders and our policies, based on robust debate. Where all of us make up our own minds.
But is that true?
How many people are making up their own minds?
How many people are engaging.
I mean, look at what Google is doing. Look how social media is shaping.
Do you have free will? We're at the beginning of that debate.
And transfer of power, used to involve violence, wars, revolutions.
Coups. But we found a better way. So that when a Trump or a Biden enters or leaves the White House.
No tanks are needed, mostly.
But that only works with an even playing field. An open market. If one side can get their thumb over the other, for safety, then that all goes away.
And the alternative to free and open debate, is just like the alternative to free and open transfer of power. Violence.
The alternative to violence is dialogue. Real dialogue. Not the dialogue that's like, well, I will see if you can come my way.
No. Let's have a real dialogue.
If debate is not an option, what remains is force. Political force, at first. Eventually, actual force. Shout, shove, then shoot.
We're stuck after shove, right now. Will we go to shoot? Or will we reverse ourselves?
Because if a disagreement becomes intolerable, then you have to come up with a solution. And what is it the Palestinians are shouting in our streets now?
A final solution.
It's probably no accident, free speech is in the First Amendment.
Even though, that amendment is actually third in the Bill of Rights originally, submitted for ratification.
Is it a coincidence?
Or is it a finger of God?
One thing we know, the Bible doesn't have a First Amendment commandment.
But it does have plenty on speaking the truth, and it is crystal clear on the need for a playing field.
Don't recognize faces in Deuteronomy.
It means treat all people the same.
Kings and commoners, white and black, rich and poor. Democrats, Republicans. Ultra MAGA and Never Trumpers.
No special treatment, good or bad.
Because God wants us to be more like him.
He makes no distinction.
He demands the same of all of us.
Equality, not equity or safety.
Including speech. Neither God nor the First Amendment. Have carveouts.
Like, I mean, unless it's a micro aggression.
Unless it's unpopular, and makes people uncomfortable.
There are no carveouts. God is clear.
The truth needs to be spoken, especially when it's unpopular, uncomfortable, or dangerous, even in the face of tyranny.
That's when it's needed most of all. Darkness prevails if there is no light.
More light. Not less. More speech.
Not enforced silence. More honest questioning, not blindfolded fear. You have to make up your own mind.
You have to hold to the truth. You have to speak without fear.
If enough of us do, then none need to fear for those when lie. Or those who speak evil.
Because there will be enough of us speaking the truth. Fix reason firmly in her seat.