Michigan Democrats escalate the left's war on free speech

Nothing threatens a ruling class like free speech. Free speech points out policy failures, corruption, stupidity, and all sorts of other things that tyrants must hide to maintain their hold on power. With this in mind, contemplate the fact that the Michigan House of Representatives just passed a bill banning speech that allegedly causes “mental anguish.” In my lifetime, we’ve gone from “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” to “she hurt my feelings, so you must arrest her.”

The Epoch Times reports:

A bill moving through the Democrat-controlled Michigan State Legislature would make it easier for prosecutors to bring felonious “hate crime” charges against dissident speech.


The proposed legislation, HB 4474, would amend the state’s Ethnic Intimidation Act of 1988 in order to consider it a hate crime if a person is accused of causing “severe mental anguish” to another individual by means of perceived verbal intimidation or harassment.

The amendment defines the words intimidate or harass as a “willful course of conduct, involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable individual to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested…”

“Words are malleable,” Attorney David Kallman of the Great Lakes Justice Center (GLJC), a non-profit legal organization dedicated to preserving liberty in America, told The Epoch Times. “They can be redefined by whoever is in power.

“Under the proposed statute, ‘intimidate and harass’ can mean whatever the victim, or the authorities, want them to mean. The focus is on how the victim feels rather than on a clearly defined criminal act. This is a ridiculously vague and subjective standard,” he said.

“The absence of intent makes no difference under this law. You are still guilty of the crime because the victim felt uncomfortable.

Words certainly are malleable, as campus leftists have been at pains to demonstrate for the past decade and more. Microaggressions and neoaggressions mean that all speech will be in the crosshairs of the neurotic, paranoid, delusional, and power-hungry. No one will be safe because all speech can be run through the subjective filter of damaged and dangerous people, and then fed to government operatives for prosecution.

Image by Pixlr AI.

This problematic outcome is especially true given the rising aggression of transactivists or, as they’re increasingly known, “transtifa.” (See this conduct, for example.) These are the people with the aggression of men, the emotionalism of women, and the violence of the mentally ill. They are a trifecta of danger and, in Michigan, they will control all speech. Indeed, according to the same Epoch Times article, if the law in Michigan were to pass, I’d instantly be arrested for what I just wrote:

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, testified that Michigan has the fifth-highest number of hate crimes committed per capita in the United States, with many more incidents not reported.

She stated that HB 4474, and similar early judicial intervention measures, can help prevent initial non-violent hate crimes from escalating into murder.

“You can literally save lives,” Nessel, a lesbian, told the committee.

Verbal threats and murder are already illegal. What this Michigan law is policing is thought.

Should the proposed legislation become law, Michiganders will find themselves like the townspeople in “It’s a Good Life,” the famous Twilight Zone episode based on Jerome Bixby’s 1953 short story of the same name. The premise is that a little boy has unlimited power, including the power to read minds. If people’s thoughts displease him, he destroys them. The result is that the surviving townspeople try to blank out all their thoughts, thinking only happy things—which becomes increasingly difficult as the slaughter goes on.

Of course, the proposed law is completely unconstitutional because it is the very definition of government censorship. Framing it as something that “can literally save lives” doesn’t save it from gross overreach. However, as many have noted, the Constitution is only a piece of paper that establishes a limited government and, in the Bill of Rights, reminds it that rights reside in the people, not the government. If our American government abandons the good faith that has restrained it for the past 232 years, then we effectively have no Constitution.

It is to be hoped that Michigan citizens prevent this law from being passed and that, if they fail, the Supreme Court calls it the unconstitutional abomination that it is.  

If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com