The First Amendment, the president suggested, doesn’t protect “bad” speech. Here’s how he’d rewrite the next nine amendments in the Constitution.
resident Donald Trump came close to rewriting the First Amendment while speaking to the kennel’s worth of right-wing lapdogs, trolls, conspiracy theorists and media hackers he convened at the White House on Thursday for his “Social Media Summit.”
Saying that Google, Facebook and Twitter were guilty of “discriminating against conservatives,” Trump vowed that “all regulatory and legislative solutions” available to the federal government would be used against the companies “to protect free speech.”
Rather than defining free speech in positive terms, Trump explained what free speech isn’t. “To me free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposefully write bad,” Trump said. “To me that’s very dangerous speech and you become angry at it. But that’s not free speech.”
If Trump thinks negative and critical commentary don’t qualify as free speech because they’re “dangerous” and make him “angry,” he’s reversed the First Amendment, which was designed to protect the right to say bad things about “good” things.
It’s easy to imagine that Trump’s complete revision of the First Amendment would define freedom of religion as the right to attend a church of Trump’s choice, that the right to assembly was reserved only for people attending MAGA rallies, and that the freedom of the press belongs to those who praise Trump.