RUSH: Hey, the Supreme Court has handed down a decision that’s gonna have some ramifications. They have ruled for, in favor of an Asian-American rock band that calls themselves The Slants. Snerdley, you’re a big music guy. Have you ever heard of The Slants, Asian-American rock band called The Slants? I never have. You have heard of them? You like their music? Ohhh, but you’ve not heard their music, you never heard of ’em ’til the story hit? All right. Well, get this.
In a win for Asian-American rock band The Slants — and this has got possible ramifications, good ones, for the Washington Redskins. The Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot refuse to register trademarks that are considered offensive. The government cannot do that.
Now, this is gonna be a mighty blow to people on the left who basically are trying to destroy the First Amendment. And, you know, this is a fascinating topic and something I think we should delve into. It’s out there in front of us, and I think subliminally we’re all aware of it, but much of what the left is trying to accomplish requires the First Amendment’s free speech clause to be obliterated when they engage in violence and bullying tactics and threaten violence, whenever a conservative appears on the college campus, for example. And when there’s no condemnation of that, it’s a direct assault on free speech.
And this is fundamental to the left’s overall quest to transform America. There must not be free speech. Not only that, folks, not only is there an all-out assault on free speech, they want to go after you for what you’re thinking. Now, we’ve long known that within the context of the so-called hate crime, which means if you commit crime, you’ve got a bigoted attitude about the victim before you even commit the crime, then you’ve really been bad, you committed a hate crime. You didn’t just kill somebody, you hated them before you did it, and that’s almost as bad as killing them in the left’s distorted, perverted view of everything. Make no mistake, they’re going after free speech, and they want to be able to criminalize what you are thinking.
Can I give you an example of that? Remember this sordid tale, this kid that committed suicide while his girlfriend was on the phone urging him to do it, and they tried her for manslaughter, and she was convicted because the judge — what kind of a judge — where did we get — A guy commits suicide, no matter what anybody said to him, he did it. He had the final say-so, yes or no. It was his free will that caused him to commit suicide. It wasn’t her words. But she has been convicted of manslaughter. This case needs to be thrown out and the judge wanted everybody to believe, “Well, you know, she was trying to encourage and her thoughts were transmitted and who knows what effect.” We can’t go there.
Now, when I saw this, it makes me wonder about the evolution of our culture and society. We’ve always, folks, despite the takeover of the judiciary by leftists, despite that we have always trusted or believed that people who wear the robes, with acknowledged exceptions, have a respect for the justice system, which is blind. We know there’s bias in politically ordained cases, but in criminal cases we’ve always trusted that judges are a cut above. And we can’t do that, not with some of these rulings on Trump’s travel ban.
If you read some of the writings of these appellate judges at the Ninth Circuit and the Fourth Circuit and even at the federal district court level, it’s clear that we do not have independently intelligent members of the judiciary anymore. In other words, the defining down of our culture, the eliminating of the concept of critical thinking has reached great heights. For a judge to agree with the concept that somebody can be convicted of manslaughter when they had nothing to do with the actual act of this kid’s suicide, what it is is the judge acknowledging that somebody should be penalized for their thoughts. Somebody should be penalized for their free speech, when the free speech, when the speech did not do the killing.
Now, we’ve been trending in this direction for many, many years, but there are cases that come up that make you realize we may be at the point of no return here. Not all judges have life terms. Some are elected, depending on where they serve, what courts they’re on, but I found this just over the top. So now it’s right in line with the fact that the left wants to eliminate free speech and to criminalize it at the same time if they disagree with it, and even go so far as to criminalize thoughts.
So with the Supreme Court ruling that the government cannot refuse to register trademarks that are considered offensive, this is gonna have a ripple effect throughout the left because this is maybe the best ammunition, for example, the Washington Redskins have had. The sports media left has been on a tear to get the Redskins to be forced by some command-and-control central authority to drop the name Redskins because it offends them. There are many Indian organizations that are saying, “This doesn’t offend us. We’re not bothered by it.”
Some say it does. But there are plenty who say it doesn’t. But the sports media’s offended. And since they are the deciders, since the sports media, since all of the media gets to determine what’s right and wrong and what is and isn’t, when they’re offended, that’s the end of the deal, the end of the road, everybody should be offended. And they’re offended by “Redskins.” And they’re probably gonna be offended by the name of this Asian-American group that calls them The Slants, obviously a reference to eyes.
Somebody came along and said, “You guys can’t call yourselves that.” They said, “Oh, yeah?” And the Supreme Court says there is no government authority that can refuse to register trademarks just because they are offensive. This ought not be this big a deal. But because of the evolution of our society, it is a big deal. It’s considered a big win. I have been worried about this whole concept of “The Offended” and the power they have. You have a group of 500 people and two of them are offended so we have to stop everything we’re doing. So 498 people have no problem, two of them are offended, so we have to stop it. We’ve been trending this way. This is putting the brakes on it, at least in a minor way.
But you keep a sharp eye because the assault the left is taking and committing on our country includes free speech at the top of the list. The fastest way to eliminate any opposition is to criminalize it. And what worries me is that they have had years to get judges on courts that might actually agree with that, because they are such deep left-wing partisans.
RUSH: By the way, that Supreme Court ruling that says the government cannot refuse to register a trademark because it’s offensive, that was an eight-to-nothing, unanimous ruling. That’s right. Even Breyer and Ruth “Buzzi” Ginsburg went along for that. So maybe, at least on this issue, the Supreme Court was not nearly as divided as we would expect it to be. It’s still divided. And we’ll find out if these Trump travel bans ever get there.
RUSH: Belle Harbor, New York, Sean, welcome. Great to have you with us on the EIB Network. How are you doing today, sir?
CALLER: Oh, good afternoon, Mr. Limbaugh. Longtime listener and longtime caller. First time I got through.
RUSH: Well, I’m glad you made it. Thank you.
CALLER: All right. Listen, just for introduction, I’m a retired FDNY fire chief in New York. I understand the necessity of restrictions on freedom of speech, such as you can’t yell “fire” falsely in a crowded theater, you know, Oliver Wendell Holmes, the clear-and-present-danger doctrine. But my question here is where we draw the line. And I’d like to give you two situations and see what you think, because I don’t really have an idea on this myself. Two situations. One is, can a person be found guilty of manslaughter for talking a person into committing suicide, right, which we saw today. And the second situation, a man on a ledge about to jump and people screaming “jump, jump, jump,” can they be found guilty of manslaughter?
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: And add to that a man with a megaphone who screams to a crowd, “Kill the cops! Kill the pigs!” A riot ensues, a cop dies, is he guilty of manslaughter?
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: Where do we draw the line?
RUSH: In the first two instances, I think you’re describing suicide. Now, the case that brought this up is girl, her name is Michelle Carter. She’s a teenager, and she had a boyfriend who was gonna kill himself, and then he decided not to. So she gets on the phone and says (paraphrasing), “You’re a coward, go ahead, do it! Do it! You don’t mean anything if you don’t do it.” She started encouraging him to do it for whatever reason, and he did it, all right? And then a judge found her guilty of manslaughter, and people are reacting to this, “This is crazy. She did not kill this kid. He did. He committed suicide. There is no way that her speech or her thoughts can be held accountable for the action that he took.” This is a lot of people’s thinking.
Other people, where our society is right now, you don’t bully, people are influencing others in unfair ways. The judge obviously thought, and I think it’s indicative of where we are in our culture now, the judge obviously thought — everybody so focused on what people say about them and so just revved up and waiting to be offended, and everybody — I’ll tell you what’s happened. More and more people are not even given credit for having the ability to think and act independently, that everybody is the result of some stimuli, that nobody does anything unless they’re told to it.
My experience with it is with this show. When this show first started, and even now, Sean, the left-wing media tells people that the people in this audience are mind-numbed robots. That you don’t do anything ’til I tell you to do it. You don’t think anything until I tell you to think it. When this program came along it was the first national conservative radio or TV program ever, and the left was way out of sorts about it. So they immediately began insulting the audience and assuming that nobody could independently think this stuff.
So it was because I was a Svengali and a pied piper and I was telling people what to think and I was telling people how to vote, and that’s not at all what was happening here. Those people already believed what they believed. I just came along and validated it. But the left has been pushing this idea that people are not independently able to come to their own opinions about things or conclusions. They’re not able to independently act, that some evil or some ill influence is behind it, and so here comes a judge —
CALLER: How about the guy with the megaphone who yells at the crowd, “Kill the cops! Kill the pigs!” A cop gets killed, is he responsible for the death of that cop?
RUSH: I don’t know. We wouldn’t know until the case is brought. But in one instance we have a suicide, and in the other case we would have a homicide, in your description. So you’ve got a riot and a cop gets killed and there happened to be people saying, “Kill the cop, kill the cop,” and somebody fires. I mean, it’s hard to predict how a judge or a jury would go. But now with this case, as a precedent, I hope it gets overturned. I hope it’s appealed and gets overturned. Stop and think of the ramifications of this.
RUSH: I mean, this woman, Michelle Carter, she may be just downright mean. She may have no heart. She may just be brutal, getting on the phone and telling this guy to kill himself, ’cause he said he was going to, and if he doesn’t now he’s a coward and whatever. But she didn’t kill him. And yet so many people are coming along thinking he didn’t do, he’s a victim, she did it. This is 180 degrees out of phase. If we’re gonna start penalizing people for things they say or things that they think, but don’t actually do — now, I know what some of you think. “But, Rush, you just got through saying that the Democrats turned this Hodgkinson guy into a lunatic.” I do believe that.
I don’t think the Democrats pulled the trigger, though. I don’t want anybody indicted besides this guy if he was alive. Don’t get confused here, folks. I’m not saying Bernie Sanders killed anybody. I’m saying what’s going on is that the Democrats are the ones creating mind-numbed robots. The Democrats are the people that believe people are incapable of independent thought and independent action. That they can be controlled, that they can be manipulated, and that they should be. And therefore they think you in this audience are manipulated by me because they don’t think. They don’t have enough faith in people to think they’re capable of independently taking care of themselves and making the right decisions in life. That’s part and parcel of liberalism.
But with this precedent now, it could well be that if you encourage verbally somebody to go shoot somebody and then they go do it, depending on the judge, I shudder to think what could happen now in terms of culpability. Finer legal minds than mine would have to weigh in. But we’ll have to see if this isn’t overthrown. I hope this is appealed and gets tossed out. This is really, really dangerous territory. What do you think? I mean, you’re fire department, you’ve been around mobs, I’m sure.
CALLER: I don’t have an answer. I’m like you. I guess I’m adrift at sea. I look at both of them. People who yell, “Jump, jump, jump” I think are disgusting, but do they have the legal right to yell that, and the guy that yells in the microphone, “kill the pigs,” does he have the right to do that? I don’t know. Maybe everything should be on a case-by-case basis.
RUSH: The thing to watch here and to track sociologically is something that’s been happening for a while, and believe me the left has politicized virtually everything, which is why, if we really want to try to understand many things, we have to look at the ideological and political characteristics or aspects of any event. And one of the things that the left has been building is that self-reliance is bad. It is selfish, it is heartless, it is mean-spirited, self-reliance, taking care of yourself.
The left has also been building the notion that people who do things themselves should not be held accountable, such as many people in prison, the left tries to make them victims. So this is rife. The kid that committed suicide fits right in with the latest liberal mantra, “He was a victim of a mean-spirited bully, a mean-spirited young woman who didn’t care about him and talked him into it and goaded him.” But you can’t criminalize that by punishing her for manslaughter, except that they did. Except that they did.
So it fits right in with the fact that you’re not responsible for what you do. Somebody else made you do it. Somebody else inspired you. Somebody else manipulated you. You’re not responsible for what you do. The left has to believe that in order to believe that too many people are in prison unconstitutionally and illegally. And they also believe that you can’t make up your mind on your own without outside influence. And these kinds of cases, obviously we have a judge here who believes all that left-wing diatribe and rhetoric.
Anyway, the difference in your question may actually come down to suicide versus homicide. It may be a fine line. ‘Cause I can hear somebody making the case if you’ve got a riot, a bunch of people with megaphones, somebody has a gun, and there are constant chatter, “Shoot the cop, kill the cop,” and somebody finally pulls the trigger, are the people on the megaphones responsible for the guy pulling the trigger?
Now, in a homicide, I don’t know how — it would depend on the legal arguments, obviously. But my interpretation is with the left building on their beliefs as they are, wanting to penalize free speech, wanting to penalize private thoughts, depending on who was doing the talking and who got killed, I can see the left going after that kind of thing and trying to criminalize it, meaning using a microphone and urging people to kill the cop.