Before I go on (because I know some moron’s going to get their thong in a knot about it) – I AM NOT DEFENDING TRUMP’S STUPID TWEET ABOUT JAILING OR REVOKING THE CITIZENSHIP OF FLAG BURNERS! That is a patently stupid idea, goes against our values of free speech, and to have the President-Elect floating around something like that is really dumb.
Besides, I’d rather these idiots be allowed to burn the flag and open themselves up for criticism and ire from people who actually give a crap about what America stands for, rather than keep us guessing as to who the real morons are.
That being said – does anyone remember the Flag Protection Act of 2005? The one the Hillary Clinton co-sponsored in the Senate? (along with that RINO dork that used to be one of my senators, Bob Bennett. Yes, I know he passed away relatively recently. Doesn’t mean I have to suddenly like his politics).
Basically, the law would make it illegal to burn the flag and came with a one-year jail sentence –
Again, that was a terrible position to take. But you can’t fight this bad idea unless you understand that it’s popular, and bipartisan.
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) November 29, 2016
Now where have I heard the idea of a one-year prison sentence for flag burning before? pic.twitter.com/l8Vw4iTs9p
— Joe Colangelo (@Itsjoeco) November 29, 2016
And the New York Times didn’t take too kindly to the idea back then (ah – the good old days when the NYT wasn’t kissing Hillary’s ring every chance they got) –
Hillary Clinton is co-sponsoring a bill to criminalize the burning of the American flag. Her supporters would characterize this as an attempt to find a middle way between those who believe that flag-burning is constitutionally protected free speech and those who want to ban it, even if it takes a constitutional amendment. Unfortunately, it looks to us more like a simple attempt to have it both ways.
Senator Clinton says she opposes a constitutional amendment to outlaw flag-burning. In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that flag-burning was protected by the First Amendment. But her bill, which is sponsored by Senator Robert Bennett, Republican of Utah, is clearly intended to put the issue back before the current, more conservative, Supreme Court in hopes of getting a turnaround.
It’s hard to see this as anything but pandering — there certainly isn’t any urgent need to resolve the issue. Flag-burning hasn’t been in fashion since college students used slide rules in math class and went to pay phones at the student union to call their friends. Even then, it was a rarity that certainly never put the nation’s security in peril.
This is not a “But Hillary did it worse” thing, so don’t get that started (the election is over, in case you hadn’t noticed). Like I said at the beginning of this post – it’s wrong for Donald Trump to suggest jailing flag burners and it was wrong for Hillary Clinton to suggest it.
Is burning the flag a despicable action? Absolutely.
Is it protected speech? Absolutely.
Can we criticize ungrateful punks for doing it? ABSO-FRIGGEN-LUTELY!
But we do NOT want the government to make laws against it.
We as regular people can take care of this disgusting behavior without legislators and presidents having to codify it into our lawbooks. After all, if we’re for small government and don’t want the feds meddling in our lives at every turn and corner, it’s better for us to take care of these relatively minor problems ourselves.
What Trump and Hillary have both proposed is a good example of government overreach into our lives. While the intent seems to be good (and we all know where good intentions lead), what they’ve suggested it not the way to do it. And the results in reality would have far worse consequences.