Free speech vs. political intimidation

When is the line crossed between fee speech and political intimidation. I feel any kind of political intimidation should be taken very seriously and prosecuted. Knocking someones hat off, harassing them during dinner, kicking or hitting their cars etc. When is the line crossed?

Say what? Maybe you could argue verbal “harassment” at dinner is speech, but the other examples are not. If anyone harasses me at dinner I will get up and leave. If it is happening at my home they will get up and leave.

Are you under the impression that the bolded actions are speech?

I am not confused about it all but I think a lot of other people are. I believe if a person chooses to wear a hat or carry a sign or have a stupid bumper sticker they have a right to do that without any form of harassment.

Right, but what if they choose to wear a hat, and have their friend knock it off, while another friend films it, and then they put that out onto the interwebs, claiming that it was actually a liberal who knocked off the hat?

Is that free speech? Sure it is. But it is also lying, which, as the president that these liars support has demonstrated, is perfectly legal.

Not that all such actions are staged fake outrage producing attempts. There are people who claim that it really happens to them.

Well, the hitting and taking of the hat and the spitting on it are all wrong, IMHO, but the cursing, nah, that’s free speech. He feels it is for no reason, but he knows what the reason is.

Try wearing a Michigan hat at an Ohio State game. Probably gonna get a similar treatment. Why would someone wear a Michigan hat at an OSU game? For the same reason that you would wear a MAGA hat in a strongly liberal city, to piss people off, to try to get a reaction.

Yeah, that’s not how freedom of speech works. You don’t get to be free from the consequences of your speech. Not condoning any physical actions, not condoning any sort of ongoing harassment or vandalism. But if you see a person in a MAGA hat, and you tell them, “Fuck you very much, you vile piece of shit.” and keep on walking, that’s freedom of speech.

It’s trolling, plain and simple. Be an ass, try to get anyone at all to get upset with you being an ass, and then paint your political opponents as all of them always being the same as this one person that you have managed to anger with the actions that you have taken with the specific intent of causing an angry reaction.

No, you idiot. You expose one individual for what he does when confronted by your support of hatred and divisiveness. That you want to use this incident that you have provoked to “expose the left” just goes to show the levels of disingenuousness these trolls will go to.

That there are those who will eat it up is a sad state of affairs, but it, once again, only reflects on the people who encourage these reactions, and the people who actually believe that these individual reactions are reflective of anyone but the troll and the specific individual that fell for the trolling.

I think you have developed a very dangerous way of thinking that can only continue to escalate tensions and divisiveness. Showing support for something should never invite any form of harassment. Being verbal and going public with your views is different, it invites counter views.

I should be able to go out to dinner, or the movies, or just for a walk, without being harassed by people wearing MAGA hats or carrying signs or having stupid bumper stickers.

But, since they have the freedom of speech to express their opinion in public, I also have the freedom to express my opinion of their opinion in the same venue.

Why do you think that freedom of speech means freedom from consequence of speech? Why do they have unlimited right to express their opinion, but I don’t?

I think that you have developed a very dangerous way of thinking that can only continue to escalate the idea that some opinions are beyond reproach, that using your own freedom of speech in response to someone else’s is somehow wrong.

That is a very wrong and dangerous idea, and it is very catchy with the far right.
ETA: I also specifically did say that I don’t condone harassment, so not sure why you would say that. You are saying that showing support should never invite any sort of negative response, whatsoever. Showing support for something is going public with your views, there is no difference there.

I am not on the far right by any stretch of the imagination. This country has always respected the rights of others to have their own views. By your logic if I believe being gay is wrong I would have the right to harass gays. It is not my job to judge your lifestyle or politics.

As I have now twice specifically said that I do not condone harrassment, your logic does not follow.

However, you do have the right to harass gays. You can walk down the street wearing a shirt that says “God hates Fags!” and there is nothing that anyone can do to stop it. You can even carry a sign. You can yell it out, and even if you use a megaphone to preach it to the rooftops, the most that you may be looking at is a noise disturbance violation.

You logic, however says that there is nothing that anyone can even say about it either.

I did not say that you are on the right. I said that your rhetoric that speech should be free from consequence is a favorite sentiment of the right.

Now, to the reactions where people get their hat knocked off, I do not condone that, but I do see it as a natural consequence that was known ahead of time. Look at the story that I posted. That guy was looking for a reaction, and was pleased when he got one, because now he “can expose the liberals for who they really are”.

Like I said, wear a michigan hat to an OSU game, and see how long you keep it. I would not condone someone taking it from you, but I would expect it to hap[pen, and unless you (royal you) are a complete moron, you would expect it to happen, too. Any surprise is fake and feigned.

Now when your Michigander troll gets his hat knocked off as he passes through the home side stands of the OSU vs Michigan game, can he really then claim to be exposing Ohioans for who they really are? Or is he just demonstrating that if you act like an ass in front of enough people, then one of them will react inappropriately?

You have the right to express your opinion by wearing a shirt that says “Deport All Gays, Jews, Liberals, Muslims, Foreigners, and Minorities.” And everyone around you has the right to express their opinion by shouting at you until you are kicked out of a privately owned and operated restaurant. And then we as a society have the right to judge both you and the people who shouted at you and decide if any of you should be fired from your job, or have your house picketed day and night.

You have the right to express the opinion “Deport All Gays, Jews, Liberals, Muslims, Foreigners, and Minorities,” but you don’t have the right in a civilized country to be treated in any particular way by the private citizens around you after expressing that opinion.

The current jurisprudence in the US is that you do NOT have the right to be free of verbal harassment. Up to a point, and that point is inciting an imminent threat of violence. Restaurant owners can kick you out if you are yelling at someone for wearing a MAGA hat, but the government generally can’t stop you from verbally “harassing” someone on the street (or in a restaurant).

I’m on board with this. They can’t assault you are damage your property, but they can tell you what they think about whatever political position you are advertising, as long as they don’t break laws related to obscenities, disturbing the peace, etc.

I think that “harassment” is a loaded term because it can easily be interpreted to mean something that is perfectly legal or something that is not. But more or less within the boundaries I expressed above, “harassing” someone verbally isn’t going to land you in jail or get you fined.

You said the government generally can’t stop you from verbally “harassing” someone on the street (or in a restaurant). This is only partially correct. The government can stop you from verbally “harassing” someone in a restaurant or private business. If a business owner tells you to leave because you verbally “harassing” another person and you refuse to leave, the police can definitely arrest you for trespassing.

There’s a difference between someone holding a sign on a street corner or publishing an op-ed in a newspaper, and someone pursuing someone and harassing them.

The former does not actively intrude on others; the latter is akin to stalking.

What would they be charging you with? Would it be for verbal harassment, or would it be for trespass?

No, the owner is exercising his rights to private property and the use thereof. The police are arresting you for refusing to respect the property rights of the owner.

If the owner is fine with it, then the government will not step in.

Well yeah, pursuing someone and harassing them is more than akin to stalking, it is stalking.

However, passing someone on the street and commenting on their hat is neither.

Now, it feels like harassment, and the victim of receiving a comment about their choice in hat slogans may feel as though they are being stalked, but just because you have multiple people expressing the same sentiment about your choice of who you show public support for, doesn’t mean that you are actually are being harassed.

Harassment is context-dependent.

The nature of the relationship between the people involved is a factor. So is the nature of the behaviour itself.

If you have a good friend who every time he meets you he yells “You worthless ungrateful bastard! Get out of here!” and you always reply “Get out yourself, fascist pig!” and then you both laugh, that isn’t harassment, as long as you both like it and as long as neither of you complains.

If I randomly showed up at your house and yelled at you like that, it would be a different story.

And if one time he went way over the line and started beating you up instead of just yelling at you, it would absolutely be wrong, regardless of your previous consent or lack thereof.