There are no two ways about it, this is truly a bad and disastrous moment. Our very fundamentally American right to protest is under threat…and honestly, that makes protest more important than ever! So if you want to join the critical resistance, now is the time that you must take this viral grassroots call to action!
And now Trump is threatening protest at all by picking up on criticism about flag burning yet again. The thing is there is proof as Think Progress says that “if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”
That’s bad enough. But moreover, there is no indication “either in the text of the Constitution or in our cases interpreting it . . . that a separate juridical category exists for the American flag alone.” If someone chooses to express a political message through flag burning, even if that message is contempt towards the United States, the Constitution protects that speech.
And you know what gets especially scary and daunting? The president-elect of the United States has proposed stripping a political protester’s very status as an American. In the process, he would take away that person’s ability to vote — and thus to vote for someone other than Donald Trump. Today, Trump proposes this consequence for a very specific category of speech that most Americans view as odious. But once a person’s voting rights can be made contingent upon their beliefs, or their silence, then elections become increasingly meaningless.
And now the question we all must contend with is whether we too will be brave and sacrifice enough to stand up for vulnerable people and fight all that Trump stands for. Because these rights to protests are themselves under threat. So will you sit back and be comfortable…or will you stand up with the rest of Americans and take this grassroots call to action?