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Donald Trump Redefines Hate Speech

Larry Rankin is among the millions of hardworking denizens of the world disillusioned by the abuses of the ultra-wealthy.

Teaching or “My Life as a Dog”

I’ve been an English teacher off and on for well over a decade. Despite my forays into other professions, I always come back to teaching despite my disdain for it. Why? It is the only vocation I have proven to be “exceptional” at. I’m not just good, I’m better than almost everybody on every level.

That said, I make mistakes every single day I teach, and I’m never satisfied that I’ve found the perfect system or that I’m without fault. That is why I am so good. Show me any teacher claiming to have it all figured out, and I’ll show you a teacher that is obsolete.

And I wouldn’t hate this job but for outside forces. I love my students. I never tire of finding ways to communicate with them. They always have so much to teach me. As to their misbehavior, I am virtually unflappable. A student can never do anything to make me hate them. It is the student’s lot in life to try things, to rebel. I can think of nothing more disturbing than a class of perfectly behaved students. Show me a room of perfectly behaved human beings, and I’ll show you what death looks like.

And what is teaching if not showing students the limits of things, where they can stretch and where they might be best to follow the path? We don’t get anywhere with absolute conformity, and though a student’s reaction from time to time may cause some level of disappointment, students are just being students. It’s expected, and when overboard, usually easily corrected.


What is Really Wrong with Education?

And then there’s the education system, its governance, the Nation’s governance. This is what makes me hate teaching so much. Clueless higher-ups feeding nonsensical ideas of how students learn to an ignorant public. And perhaps most disturbing of all, the way this culture reduces its teachers to spineless, squirming, jelly-like creatures whose sole purpose is not the benefit of students but self-preservation. And then society has the gall to make fun of what it has molded in its own image.

But I get by. I succeed anyway. Every time I hear some new idiocy I tuck my chin, grumble, then lift my head and say, “Rise above it.” Or I go to a common Monty Python line taken from The Knights of the Round Table: “Adopt, adapt, and improve.” And though I am often overcome with frustration, I can always see a way out.

That is until President Trump changed reality.

Skills in Persuasion and Rudiments of Defining Hate Speech

Some of the most important skills that educators facilitate are skills in persuasion. This isn’t true only of English teachers but history teachers, speech teachers, psychology teachers, etc. There aren’t many things in life that skills in persuasion won’t help you with.

And when it comes to teaching these skills, I always tell my students to pick a topic that is not overly broad, has at least two valid stances, and that doesn’t incorporate hate speech. I tell them that my leanings are usually liberal, but that regardless of their belief systems, I grade their essays by the quality of their argument with one caveat: I will not grade a stance that crosses over into “Hate Speech.” Then I give examples of things that are and are not hate speech.

For example, it is not hate speech to want to protect the English language by making it legally the official language of the U.S. Though I don’t agree we should have such a law, it is a valid argument in that it is defendable from many angles. Such an argument does become hate speech, however, when it deviates from immigrants knowing English is the official language to other underlying ideals like, “I don’t want them here because they’re different.” Or, “I want to make it illegal for them to come here if they can’t speak English.” Or, “I don’t want them here because their words sound funny.” Or, “Their skin is different than mine. I’m afraid they’ll be violent.” Or, “Their religion isn’t like mine.”

But what if that doesn’t make it hate speech anymore? What if Donald Trump has changed the status quo, and it is now ok to be racist, sexist, prejudice, or just plain ignorant?


What’s Wrong with a Muslim Registry? Everything!

Of all the things that are wrong with Donald Trump being President, the implications of open racism, sexism, and just general prejudice is what I have struggled with the most. What on earth am I talking about?

Let’s start with a textbook definition of hate speech. The American Bar Association neatly defines hate speech as language that “offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits.” (1)

Now let’s run through the policies that allowed Donald Trump to garner enough support to win the Electoral College.

Despite the recent denial of ever making such a statement, Donald Trump is on record several times as advocating a registry for Muslims, in some instances suggesting disturbing Muslims at worship in order to “sign ‘these people’ up.” (2) Well, that knocks out the first three things on the list: “threatens [and] insults groups, based on race, color, religion, [and] national origin.”

You don’t agree? Let’s analyze the concept of a Muslim registry. Islam is a religion. The vast majority of its adherents are of color and from specific nations. Above it going against the very foundations of our democracy to make a list of people based on religion and beyond the dehumanizing nature of doing such a thing, it endangers the lives of people who have this faith.

As an example, let’s compare the logistics of a proposed Muslim registry to another guffaw in recent U.S. history, the Japanese Internment Camps of World War II. Yet this is so much worse. At least with the Japanese Internment Camps the U.S. Government took on the responsibility of protecting this group from irate U.S. citizens. Under Trump’s plan Muslims would be validated as a threat to U.S. citizens by the Government and then left to fend for themselves amongst the general public.

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Trump is to Women as Salt is to Slugs

By now we’re all familiar with the lewd Trump tape from 2005 in which Donald Trump details his entitlement to sexually harass women because he is wealthy, and though that is damning of him and an electoral system that would see him elected to our Nation’s highest office, at least it was said off the record, to a reporter nonetheless, but off the record. He had to apologize for it, regardless of how hollow that apology was. (3) I say this because at least if it was off the record and apologized for, we don’t have our President supporting this instance of hate speech on an official capacity.

But that makes the statements he made during an official ABC interview in 1994 all the more disturbing. In this bizarre interview, among the many deplorable affirmations Trump makes are the similarities of women and buildings, that women don’t belong in business, and the expectation that his wife be done up like a model when he gets home and have dinner on the table or else he has the right to be verbally abuse her. (4)

If You Ain’t Like Me, Go Hang from a Tree

And that knocks out most our list of things that constitute hate speech. But what about the disabled? Surely a person electable by the U.S. Electoral College would not make fun of the handicapped, not in this modern era?

Serge Kovaleski, a reporter “who suffers from a congenital joint condition,” pointed out the utter fallacy of a statement made by Trump. Trump was trying to substantiate the absurd urban legend that New York Muslims stood in groups numbering in the thousands cheering as the Twin Towers fail. Trump even reminisced that he personally overheard their triumphant merriment.

When it was explained to him that no such revelry was ever credibly established, Trump declared that Serge Kovaleski had detailed the event in an article for the Washington Post. Kovaleski, not wanting his good name to be soiled, pointed out that the event was never substantiated by anybody.

Trump, like the grade school bully seeing he is intellectually bested, decided his only face-saving course of action was to humiliate Kovaleski by physically mimicking his disability in front of hundreds at a rally. (5)

And this isn’t by any means everything or even most. It’s just a snippet of some of the disgusting low-points of our President’s entirely base existence.


The True Definition of Hate Speech

Though hate speech has a textbook definition, in real world terms, it isn’t defined by textbooks at all. What is and is not hate speech is ultimately defined by society. This has always been true. For example, a student writing a persuasive essay touting the positive effects of a segregated society would be thought to be making a perfectly logical argument if it were 1950. Even a paper detailing the moral wrongness of a mother pursuing a career would be greeted with much fanfare in such an era.

And let’s look to a more modern example. We are on the precipice of finally as a Nation validating gay, lesbian, and transgender unions. Even in Bible Belt states the majority of citizens are starting to see how preposterous the idea is that we can change sexual predilections. Barring major setbacks, in just the matter of a few years the support of any agenda to exclude homosexuals will be labeled as hate speech. In comparison, if you go back a few decades, homosexuality was an offense punishable by incarceration.


The Effect of Being Trumped

The point is when the official elected to the highest office in the land openly supports views that have long been established as hate speech, embodies it, revels in it, officially endorses it, the effect is palpable. As a result, I’m just lost right now. What am I supposed to tell my students? One of the reasons I’m such a good teacher is that I adhere to a code. A big part of that code is that I won’t prejudice my assessment of student work with my own moral concepts of right and wrong. That doesn’t mean I have to put up with just any viewpoint, though. Society dictates that certain beliefs are out of place in academia.

What’s out of place now? The Electoral College just appointed an openly prejudice women-hater that doesn’t balk at publicly making fun of the disabled if they stand in the way of his pride. And that’s the big thing here: these weren’t missteps. These aren’t ignorances hanging back in the shadows. These are official stances of the President of the United States. With the lewd 2005 tape Trump got caught being himself. With the rest of this stuff he didn’t get caught. This is the person Donald Trump has chosen to be seen as publicly, and even though we didn’t actually elect him, it still reflects on the rest of us that this is the sort of lifestyle and the sort of thinking we support.

If a student comes up and says they want to write a paper about the merit of verbally abusing women or shooting immigrants who sneak over the border or doing away with cripples because they are different, what am I to say? It’s all publicly fair game now.

The way I see it, if I continue to teach, it is either break my ethics code or condone hate. With these being my only two options, the only way to keep my integrity is to walk away until the world gets sane again.




“Debating the ‘Mighty Constitutional Opposites’: Debating Hate Speech”


“What Trump Has Said About a Muslim Registry”


“Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005”


“Donald Trump compares women to buildings, swears he’s not a chauvinist during sexist 1994 interview”


“Donald Trump Criticized for Mocking Disabled Reporter”


Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 27, 2018:

Linda: thanks for dropping by and chiming in.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 27, 2018:

Lana: that's me. I just don't even know how to feel. That this could happen, it just can't be fathomed.

Things Trump is not: smart, charismatic, a good speaker, diplomatic, logical, religious (yet he has the religious right's support), moral, good at business....

I just don't know how to even react to what his appointment by the Electoral Collegemeans says about this country and its people.

Linda Robinson on January 26, 2018:

Wow, a tremendous hub. I have to say you went into great detail with the subject and hit on many awesome points of the topic. I especially enjoyed the parts about Donald Trump. Extremely interesting, wonderful read. Take care and definitely stay crazy. :)

Lana Adler from California on January 18, 2018:

Larry, I have tremendous respect for teachers like you. Your students are lucky to have you. So so lucky. Everything you've said about the teaching profession is true.

Now, about "the man of the hour." I'm still not used to the fact that Trump is President. What a bizarro world we live in! I still don't know how to react to him. Do I hate him? Do I laugh at him? Do I pity him? And what about all those poor schmucks who voted for him? Are they to blame or was it the DNC's arrogance and lack of vision?

Goddamn it, Sanders should have been President. And hey - maybe he is, in a parallel universe. As Liz Lemon said, "I want to go to there."

P.S. Love your drawings.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on October 22, 2017:

Jo: that's the whole thing. I get along with students. I understand students. They behave exactly as they are supposed to, good, bad or otherwise, and it's my job to figure out how to get through.

I don't understand the infighting and stupid political nonsense. It has no place in education. It's unprofessional.

Always enjoy your feedback. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on October 19, 2017:

Larry, about 50 years ago I quit my job as an English teacher. This past weekend I was invited back to the 50th reunion of one of my classes, and I remembered how much I had enjoyed these kids. For the first time in 50 years, I thought I might have made a mistake in leaving. I let the system defeat me, but I had loved the students and they had loved me.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on October 02, 2017:

Larry: I would contend it's hard to find a worse President than Andrew Jackson. He was an absolute racist monster, but in modern terms, this is such an embarrassing black eye for the U.S.

I have my Master's in English, but honestly, I think sometimes the insistence that our President's speak well is an over rated quality, but this bum is just so inarticulate and artless, it's sad.

Every time he's on TV I think of The absurd humor of Monty Python.

Donald Trump doesn't get satirized. He is satire.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on October 02, 2017:

Besarian: I really, really liked Sanders, but I still don't understand the negativity regarding Clinton. I think she would've made an excellent president.

i don't think she was a candidate for the sake of getting a woman in. She has a great track record in politics l. I'm not going to pretend like she wasn't a step down from Obama, but who wouldn't have been?

Oprah in some ways would be a candidate like Trump. Don't get me wrong, She would no doubt be a much better President than him, but who wouldn't?

I mean in the sense that she represents the unknown. She's a business woman, not a politician. Without a political track record, there is really no way to know how she'd perform in the Nation's highest political position.

Larry W. Fish on September 29, 2017:

An interesting article. It would be nice if we had a president that talked good English and gave speeches that did not spread hate. My feeling now is that we have the worst president in American history. So sad for our country.

Besarien from South Florida on September 27, 2017:

Not a Trump fan, but I'm in favor of him speaking his sad little mind on every conceivable topic no matter how delusional, inappropriate, or instigating. Is he hateful- well sure he is. He always has been. Often, he also sounds rambling and nonsensical these days too. Maybe he will one day bleat or tweet something so repugnant that even his staunchest supporters and die-hard Apprentice fans could not bear to stomach it.

The Dems needed to embrace their liberal base and stop with all the sleazy pole-dancing for corporate interests. We the voters are on to the fact that this is how we all ended up here in this state of political despair. There is also no point in Dems trying to appeal to the last minute undecided swing voters because they don't exist except when they get surveyed by annoying pollsters. "I don't know yet," really means "go far away from me" because who anybody votes for isn't anybody else's bees wax, unless like me you just don't care who knows anymore.

I sorely regret that the DNC threw behind Clinton when Sanders was in every way a better candidate. I voted for Clinton but only to vote against Trump. I couldn't bring myself to not vote at all.

Democrats will always have to run on ideas in order to win. They have to excite the electorate and create a high turn-out, too. At least Sanders was a fighter, a peppy underdog pressing the debate into the realm of real issues that have an effect on just about everybody one way or another- like green energy, infrastructure, job retraining, and college debt.

I do think Clinton would have done a better job as President than Trump, but he out-campaigned Clinton by the length from one side of his ego to the other- quite a bit, in other words. Plus, even Trump, who has talked about himself at length in third person, never once sounded as preordained and wholly entitled to the position of President the way Hillary Clinton has managed to sound in every single speech she ever made since 2004.

No woman is going to become President just because she is a woman or even a First Lady or senator or Secretary of State. Eventually though, some amazing woman will get the job just because she is the best candidate and runs the best campaign. Maybe Oprah should throw her hat in the ring? Seriously, who wouldn't vote for Oprah? She is the rags to riches American Dream come true. She can handle the media. She can make any idea sound like it may have merit. She can sit down and talk with anybody. Vote Oprah because she doesn't need to put her last name on buildings. In fact, she doesn't need her last name at all. Oprah/Gayle 2020

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on August 14, 2017:

JOC: Always more fuel for the fire. Thanks so much for dropping by.

JOC from Syracuse, NY on August 13, 2017:

This article carries even more weight after the events of this weekend in Virginia.

Missing Link from Oregon on June 17, 2017:

ha ha ha! no surprise to me that your Trump hub has generated lots of comments--- He is a lightning rod in that regard. I see some of your other hubs have lots of comments too however. I enjoyed looking over some of your hubs tonight. We have not interacted for a long time. Hope you are well!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on April 08, 2017:

Vladimir K.

Your words, "Really, when people go so low as to attack his 10 year old son, or his daughter in the plane - then what is that "new definition of hate""

Did you agree with the person who ran for president and attacked Chelsea Clinton who described her as a rag mop who should be run over by a Mac truck driven by her mother. Yes I have the article taken from the "New Republic Newspaper" if you could call it a newspaper, I call it a rag mag.

paula/fpherj48 on April 08, 2017:

Larry.....This is without a doubt, an excellently-written hub, despite who may or may not agree with your opinions. My enjoyment here at HP, is not only "writing" of course, but reading, learning, sharing & simple interactions with our fellow-writers. BTW, the drawings are yours?~~your caricatures are terrific! (Envy~I cannot draw, to save myself!)

Politics (and religion) are my least favorite topics of any and all topics imaginable. It should easily follow that I have a severe aversion to Politicians &....get ready: a full-blown disgust for Self-proclaimed preachers, self-righteous & delusional rear-ends who are simple-minded enough to think anyone with a brain takes them seriously~~bible-bangers, who are largely illiterate, fearful & obnoxious, filled with pure hatred, & lack of tolerance and common sense.

These are the topics and accompanying individuals I normally choose to avoid like the plague they are, so that I can maintain a peaceful, happy, healthy and productive life. Thus far (6 decades plus, this works like a charm)

However, I am impressed by superb writers and know excellent work when I see it.....I can also appreciate a damned good argument when I read it. I applaud you.

Finally, like my brother, Mr. Holland & dear friend, Val....I've commented and now I shall "zip up," & follow them to the exit.

The election is over. The fall-out will remain for a long time. What will be....will be....and regardless of what a single one of us says or does, it will always only be background noise, because in spite of the power "WE, the people are suppose to have," the hard core fact of reality is~~we have none. Do any of you actually think we do?

Wishing everyone a nice weekend! Peace, Paula

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on April 08, 2017:

I am on the side of the constitution in this matter. I don't say that because I want Trump to be able to go on saying inane things but because freedom shows us reality. Suppression shows us nothing. We would not know the kind of person he is without freedom of speech. Let him keep saying exactly what he thinks and believes. Eventually, everyone will tire of it. He has a big mouth, a big ego, and a big wallet. That is the totality of the man. A free society allows people to freely reveal their true selves. That is a good thing, especially when it comes to politicians. We need to know the real person. The real issue is that so many Americans knew the kind of person he is, yet voted for him. That is the problem. Disgusting politicians will always exist. The only way to sort them out is to hear what they have to say and then vote them back into private life. So let them speak.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on March 15, 2017:

Catherine: I always love hearing from you. Thanks so much for dropping by.

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on March 12, 2017:

You don't just teach students English, you teach them how to think. I don't mean what to think, but how to use reason. Bravo.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 09, 2017:

Right on, Larry! Trump is an embarrassment to humanity. I don't need to go into detail, as we're all aware of his behavior and inept way of speaking.

I think you need to keep on teaching. Our students need solid morals and strong guidelines. For you to deny that to our youth would be a sacrilege. Just say "no" to the direction our current leader is taking us and be the pied piper. You'll have plenty of followers. "Believe me."

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on February 09, 2017:

Just a few concepts. I think I'm just spinning my wheels trying to say anything else here. That doesn't mean I have nothing left on the topic, but like People Power said, we're off on so many tangents here and each one an issue unto itself. I've said what I want to say. You're welcome to add whatever else you want and I'll print it unless I just can't due to Hubpages standards.

I will part with two more concepts. When a lawyer knows they don't have a strong case, the classic response is to try to deflect from the case by talking about whatever. I see a lot of people essentially trying to "win" this way. Please, just admit you were duped by a conman and Gave him enough to be appointed president. At the very least, come to that conclusion in 4 years or so:-)

Second, I'm always amused by the childish last word concept. Just because you're speaking last doesn't mean your victorious. That's an article in and of itself, lol.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on February 09, 2017:

Wow what an article on the president of the USA! Did you do these drawings? Your heading: Trump is to Women as Salt is to Slugs, now that got me thinking. Who supported him so he got the job? There must have been enough USA citizens who saw merit in him next to the Clinton's? Were they maybe hoping that he would have the courage to do a major cleanup of major political players and the corruptions that have been going on for decades? That is an observation from an outsider. Greetings from Cape Town

Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on February 08, 2017:

You developed a very strong argument from your point-of-view, Larry. I'm not going to tell you things aren't tough in Washington D.C. Trump had a struggle getting his cabinet picks through, but they're in. The travel ban is something to keep our eye on.

Wild Bill on January 24, 2017:


That doesn't even make sense.

Plus, if I am a troll like you said, why are you trying to antagonize me?

jgshorebird on January 24, 2017:


Honorable Canadian:

I go by the old adage, better to light one candle than curse the darkness. I don't need to change the world. But I'm fairly certain others are reading this and thinking about it. Good enough for me.

A PM or a President sets the tone. I'm just surprised that such an uneducated guy, maybe it was his dad, is PM there. Speaks volumes to me. If one cannot state that a person is unfit for office based upon his ideas, then one is at an extreme disadvantage. That is the essence of LR's hub. It is akin to requiring one to censor ideas, because hate is just so gall darned negative.

Debate about ideas (not people) promotes peace. The absence of it, promotes hatred and divisiveness.

And sure you care about people's preferences. If I showed up at your door and told you to sign a petition to ban alleged free Canadian healthcare, I'll bet you'd care. That's politics.

And in America, like football and hockey, wrangling of this nature is a pastime. It is, I think, cultivated -- or use to be -- in our schools. We were told to always fight for what is right, not simply accept ideas because group-think voted for them.

But this gentlemanly discussion is, to me, not about Trump so much as it is about hate speech censorship and the ability of a nation to list its enemies, even if they hide behind religion.

And as to your concern that some of us seem to want to investigate, to uncover to facts, the evidence, and to put our case forward, mind you I spent a lifetime catching rapists, thieves, lairs, murderers, you name it. I've simply, in my semi-retirement, chosen to find and expose the enemies of reason...just for fun. Must be in my genes. Of course, I use to really irritate my professors as well.

I guess, like you, I'm different -- as are we all.

And smelling the roses, listening to great music, admiring fine art, watching the sunrise across the lake, reading vintage LR (his fiction), is just as important, to me, as debating the ideas which could inhibit my enjoyment thereof.

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on January 24, 2017:

Wild Bill, yes I am banned from the forums, but you're banned from HP. :P

ValKaras on January 24, 2017:

JGshorebird - Without trying to be too philosophical about it - "reality" is what you make of it. Personally, mine is wrapped around my having something like a life, not sacrificing it for a sterile collectivism where I have no control. What was the last time you actually produced a change on a national scale? I mean you - personally. I am a pragmatic dude, and barking at the Moon is not my favorite pastime.

To me it makes absolutely no difference what my Prime Minister says about Fidel Castro. Besides, I am not responsible for any stupidities of this world, so it's not up to me to fix them. Also, I don't see any advantage in being able to call my Prime Minister names.

As for a "rose colored perception not being reality" - it really depends on what you call "real", which brings us to the definition of optimist/pessimist, who perceive a glass as either half-full or half-empty. While my peripheral vision allows me to see all the crap going on, I process factual reality in a way which is life-promoting, not sabotaging the basic priorities of my life, like happiness, harmony in my relationships, and peace of mind. I think it's cheap and mindless to live life switched on a reactive "automatic pilot" programmed with a set of knee-jerk reactions. I think it takes some brains to think out of the box, not to maintain a mental keyboard of buttons to be pushed by the society and politics. It's just too easy to join the crowd and blend with the human mass. It's a little harder to figure our own place in the universe and dare to be different, even at a risk of being weird.

I see myself as a law abiding citizen, not a wishful social reformer.

Of course, there are pissed off people in Canada as well. Not necessarily because of "taxes", but because of bad stress management, bad life styles, the usual "human condition". Also, not because it's so "cold" here - you guys have a strange image of us here, this is not all an Eskimo land. It would be like saying that America is a swamp with alligators and snakes crawling around, just because you have it in your tax-free Florida. Our summers get hotter than in some of your states.

I am a self-designed individualist, a meditator, and a believer in personal sovereignty - and people's political preferences don't bother me one way or another. Speaking from the perspective of this mindset, I simply responded to the obvious lack of interest down south to "calm the ball" and allow your president to show what he is made of, rather than indulge in all that political ranting that will not produce one bit of a difference, except possibly in the national level of cortisol, blood pressure, and blood acidity. I don't give a rat's behind about "vulgarities of life" as you call them, and I am far from a tendency to worry about some hypothetical attacks, bombardments, crime violence, etc. Look, by some "miracle", I have lived to be 72 in a robust health, a happy camper by every definition of the word.

So, maybe our disagreements are stemming from our different priorities. While I still see sense in letting Trump do his job without our pretending to know anything about how to run a country - I take it as a much less important detail of life than my listening to a good piece of classical music, like Albinoni's "Adagio" or something.

Well, to each their own, I guess.

Wild Bill on January 24, 2017:


Just to clarify something that you said: "Wild Bill: You represent the conservative right. Even though we see eye to eye on relatively little, it is important you express yourself as you see fit."

You perceive me as a representative of the conservative right, but that does not mean it is a reality. I am an American Citizen and that is what I represent. Political parties can change, but not my allegiance to my country.

Unfortunately, we need political parties to represent us in government, but that does not mean I represent them. You should try not to define a person by a few comments. This is also an unfortunate trend in our social media driven times; sometimes we feel the need to "define" others as well as ourselves in 15o characters or less.

jgshorebird on January 24, 2017:


I'll need to respectfully disagree. Socialized Canadian healthcare is well known for extreme delays, supported by your very high taxes, with a lack of innovation. Your own citizens are railing against it. Many still come here for treatment and pay cash. I have Canadian neighbors who emigrated, due to the taxes there. Florida has no income tax. We just tax the tourists. Please visit.

America has far fewer "freedom issues" than does the Great White North. No country is heaven, but it is not about dirt, is it? It's about one's right, as discussed/debated (semantics) in this hub, to speak his/her mind, without concern about the moods of others, i.e., hate speech police.

I'll need to remind you that being a pacifist, unarmed, opens your country up not only external, but all kinds of internal threats; but I don't think you will see that. Your lack of ability to defend yourself is not my concern. You can smack them with spoons I guess. Canada is not crime free. Criminals still have guns there.

And I won't defend my nation's penchant for "sticking our noses" or "policing the world" because we shouldn't. Neither should any nation. On the other hand, should another nation make real threats, be warned. We might insert spies, bomb you, take over for a bit, do a little trade war, boycott etc.

Neutrality is not pacifism either. I am fairly certain, that if attacked, Canada would bomb the crap out of the enemy...and invade if necessary. With many allies on her side.

And spare me. Your nation is no more adjusted than ours. How many times has Quebec wanted to go it's own way? It's not about multiculturalism. That is yet another "hate speech" like side show. It's about human rights. Do not color each other. We are all equal, under the law, not monetarily, not physically, not sexually, not racially. We are all different. Every single person is "cultural." Work from the person up, not the skin color down.

And about debates and discussions. Semantics, my friend. Obama was a master at couching debate within the dialogue. The blistering reproach. But formal, structured debates, not the media mock-ups you see on TV, but the decisive and articulate, even accusatory narrative, are the very rich substance of free speech. An art, certainly. Would the wise man lose a debate to an highly intelligent and insane megalomaniac? Probably. So you need to watch your power hungry politicians, just like we need to watch Trumpy. And correct me if I'm wrong, does not Canada have laws against such free speech? I mean could I call your Prime Minister "bonkers" for having praised Fidel Castro? Talk about daft. But then again, Trump wants to be friends with Putin? Really? Or is he negotiating?

It seems the essence of your discussion leans heavily in the "hate speech" genre. A genre, if you will, of "silent movies" and wonderful drown out the perceived vulgarities of life.

Dear sir, your "rose colored" perception is not reality. The reality is. Both ugly and sublime. And I fear that the cold has cracked your perspective and the warmth here, heated mine.

ValKaras on January 24, 2017:

Jgshorebird - Seeking rational solutions is not a senseless pacifism of a"rolling over" tendency, to borrow your expression. Canada is not boasting about being "the richest and the best country in the world" - but here I can stay in a hospital for a month and have all kinds of treatments for free. I don't know how accepting such system looks like "rolling over".

On the other hand, you guys are so busy having your "freedoms issues" and spending billions on senseless wars that there is no money left for this basic human need.

As for guns, Canada is not a "heaven" either, but we still don't need guns along with forks, knives, and spoons. After all, more people die in car accidents and by doctors' malpractice than in violent crimes, so guns are not really doing much.

We have a multicultural society where people don't worry about being black, brown, or yellow, or gay, or a woman. Our liberalism is not like yours, it's adjusted to Canadian mentality and our international neutrality - not to mention an absence of a tendency to stick our nose into everyone else's business because of "our national interests"(?).

All in all, my friend, I love American people, but your leaders have not been making much sense lately.

There is a mountain of a difference between "discussions" and "debates". In discussions people are trying to get to some point of common -sense logic where everyone could more or less agree. Families discuss where to go for holiday and it's healthy. Debates, on the other hand are right from the start aiming at proving others wrong.

I perfectly understand a need for discussions. Even a plane is 99% of the time off its course, making constant adjustments - but still going in a right direction. With debates, we are talking about "over-corrections" where a sense of a direction gets questionable.

But anyway, it seems like I am not really sticking to my decision to exit from this verbal exchange which is increasingly showing a lack of a direction.

So, let me see if I can resist the next temptation. - Be well, my friend. Val

jgshorebird on January 24, 2017:


This defense of ideas so critical to the preservation of these United States, indeed any peaceful nation that wishes to maintain a basic set of freedoms is not "intellectual debate." We are not sowing discord, but attempting to prevent, in some small way, the disintegration of our system of governance, which is not always harmonious. This is not heaven, it is earth. Until the political winds blow free, there will be discord. Many of us will not just roll over for a Canadian system, for example.

And at least in America I can own a handgun and protect my family. So many lives are saved each year here, that to state otherwise would mean you support the harmony of the deceased, my friend.

These American debates are not the dark Olympics, yet. We are still attempting to reignite the torch. It is when we ignore the slow creep of statism, adjust each day to the proffered harmony of the majority, which tends to draw ever closer to the abyss of centralization and control, that we lose game. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is never guaranteed. One must actually work for it. And debate.

ValKaras on January 24, 2017:

Larry - "On my way out of all this" let me add just these few final words. I was not naïve to expect you to "agree" with me - for then you would have to either revise or delete your hub, which is logically unthinkable.

What we are doing here is typical for the existing political discord in America. This lack of finding a common ground, but insisting upon an ideological conflict is - from my mindset of harmonious coexistence - quite unhealthy. For a lack of a better expression, it's merely a kicking the crap back and forth ad nauseam for a sheer purpose of outsmarting each other.

The body of a nation can be compared to a body of an individual - and when there is a constant inner conflict going on - there is no excuse like "freedom of speech" to make it sound healthier. It seems to be inherent in people - at least in those who somehow "need" guns in their households - to see a threat everywhere out of a paranoid existential fear - while, paradoxically, the only real threat to them would be peace, when they would have no public outlet to discharge their private emotional issues.

Indeed, just look at America being constantly at war, constantly insisting on having an enemy, and creating one when he doesn't show by himself.

And then it doesn't seem enough to have those terrorists for enemies - an inside one has to be created as well. A perfect solution - elect yourselves a punching bag to have someone to curse while sweating out those bullets of private dissatisfactions and frustrations over life not catering to our idea of a happy life.

I still have to see one symptom of a goodwill to find a common language in all this. The theme is involving extremes like a "Hitler and hate and new definitions of both". I am just wondering - how is America to prosper with everyone pulling to their side and adding oil to that eternal flame of a dark Olympics where there are no winners, just a bunch of ever fighting and whining losers. I wonder what ever happened to a rational tendency to unite efforts towards a healthy political reality.

So, Larry, as you can see, there is no room for a silly peaceful and constructive Canadian neighbor in this discussion. I am not quitting it because I have "no stamina" for this endless outsmarting echo of the elections - but let's say it's not to my intellectual taste to continue.

In its own category of a trigger for another round of the favorite national pastime, your hub was certainly good and effective, judging by the activity of commenters. You are a good writer, my friend. And I am calling you "my friend" because I am not a politician, but I say what I mean, and I don't need a conflict with you as if to "prove something to myself". I am quite comfortable being myself, without any intellectual trophies. All the best to you. - Val

jgshorebird on January 24, 2017:


Sure it is a matter of winning and losing. And you don't have to participate. I do think, however, that this was a good hub. Very thought provoking -- controversial -- which simply begged for a response.

Hitler on Censorship: Mein Kampf -- "...convince the masses, whose slowness of understanding needs to be given time so they may absorb information; and only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on their mind." He would have loved the concept of hate speech. Nazis even burned novels by Ernest Hemingway.

Mike Russo from Placentia California on January 23, 2017:

jg: It's not a matter of winning or losing. Your replies go off on too many tangents with too many scenarios that you set up for me to reply coherently and you ask too many questions. I don't know if your questions are rhetorical or you expect me to answer them. I would like to but to break each one done would require too much space in these comment windows.

jgshorebird on January 23, 2017:


Then you lose by default. You're sending your "Hate Speechers" home before the ninth inning. Pick up your hate speech bats! Play ball! The crowd is jeering. My bases are loaded and you walk out?

Mike Russo from Placentia California on January 23, 2017:

jgshorebird: I like to reply paragraph by paragraph to those I'm discussing issues with, but you have just overwhelmed me with your rants...Sorry, I don't know where to begin. I'm amused how you carry on a dialog with yourself. Maybe you should be a script writer.

jgshorebird on January 23, 2017:


If I don't use the First Amendment, I don't lose it? So as long as I keep quiet? Anyone can be at odds (not at war) with the media. Again the smear word: “war.” It's a partially free country, remember? Are you saying Trump can't refuse to answer questions from media outlets that publish unsubstantiated information about him? Other media outlets called it trash and refused to do it. Are we to answer to every tabloid? Every two-bit loud mouth with a chip on his shoulder? If someone said you liked to watch girls peeing on beds where Obama slept, having zero evidence of same, would you ever talk to that someone again? Trump and you can both remain silent. Free speech is also the right to be quiet. A media outlet is not a fairy princess who can wave sparkly dust in the air and whisper, “I was just kidding...and Trump did you watch the pee-pee girls or not? Do you wear pink underwear? Huh? Come on, you can tell me.” That's why the Tabloids get sued.

Trump can't shut down the media any more than you can grow wings on your eyebrows. You know that. He can't have his way. Ever hear of Congress? The U.S. Supreme Court? Are you practicing Trumpisms now? Or the Art of the Smear?

And I will tell you – I don't think all presidents wanted to muzzle the media, but “Hate Speech” rules could.

Again, the crowd issue and alternative facts. Conway simply means that there's an argument. You've entered the “spin zone” now. The pull of the leftist media (in many cases) and the Trump-Wing mouth pieces.

About responsibility. Sure, people should not lie. If Trump lies big, about a major thing, say he says that his company takes no money from Saudi Princes at his casinos, but it's proved that they do – I have no problem with impeachment. So let's focus on the meat and not the carbs. Carbs have too much sugar.

I can't think of any case where Obama lied. I think he was a fairly honest socialist. Much like Karl Marx. But I have problems with his politics. And Benghazi, etc..


I differ of course. One cannot change the definition of the concept. Free Speech is itself. I can have it or not. If I say free speech, so long as it's pleasant speech, it's no longer free. “Hate Speech” is an effort, albeit a small one, to slowly eat away at our right to say and write and draw what we please, in public, without legal consequences. Will there be moral hazards? Sure. I would not condone taking tax money, for example, to buy nudes of Jesus with a camel. I would not stop the same artist from selling the same work and placing it on a privately owned New York skyscraper, along side all of the gang graffiti, for all the world to see.

If I say free speech means I can make threats to kill people, I've gone too far.

These are the “boundaries.” Go beyond that and you chance the slow creep to statism, despotism and the like. IMO.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 23, 2017:

Just want you guys to know that the only comment I've deleted is the one by Wild Bill where he used a link. The only reason I deleted that is because I believe so to be in keeping with the policies of Hubpages. As moderator, I will also delete anything I find overly vulgar or threatening. Again, I do this because it is the interpretation I have of the site's policies.

The point I'm trying to make is in a venue like this I wouldn't censor people of my own volition. Even if someone is doing something threatening, better to have it published here for legal records.

JG: I still feel like you're confusing free speech with hate speech. True, those definitions can overlap, but for the most part they're different things.

Val: I want your comments here if you feel you can still add something. No, I don't agree with the majority of what you say, but I like the fact that you come from a place that is a little different than others.

Wild Bill: You represent the conservative right. Even though we see eye to eye on relatively little, it is important you express yourself as you see fit.

Randy, Jo, People Power: All us liberals, though we may disagree on this and that, it means the world to me that you guys come by and support this argument.

To all of you, please don't let this thing get overly ugly. As long as we don't do that, we have a really interesting thing going here.

The reason I'm not saying more is not because I don't care but because I'm almost out of data for the month. I'm being censored for lack of money, lol.

Mike Russo from Placentia California on January 23, 2017:

This is what the first amendment says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Notice it says Congress shall make no law...

Wild Bill on January 23, 2017:

PP said: "The President of the United States has a responsibility to tell the truth."

Of course. Politicians are widely known for their honesty! lol

Mike Russo from Placentia California on January 23, 2017:

The President of the United States has a responsibility to tell the truth. I read Trump's book, The Art of the Deal where he outlined his techniques to manipulate deals. He has one technique called "Truthful Hyperbole." This is where he exaggerates and stretches the truth to the threshold of not being the truth. If that works, then he lies and continues to tell lies until people believe they are the truth. A case in point is Kellyanne Conway talking about Spicer and the crowd size. She said it was an "Alternative Fact." A fact is a fact, it can't be both ways. I know that crowd size is a trivial issue. But you can't have a president who tells lies and then denies it. And don't give me Obama and "If you like your doctor you get to keep him."

The first amendment is a right, not a law, if you don't use it, you don't lose it. Trump is on the threshold of violation of the right to free speech by being at war with the media. If he had his way, he would like to shut them down and have his own "Trump News Outlet." He is already trying to control the press core by picking and choosing who should attend. Don't tell me that all presidents would like to do that.

jgshorebird on January 23, 2017:


That fact that words may or may not have consequences, does not give you the right to ban them. Are you talking about word or letter arrangements? Which ones grow so afoul of your kind heart that we must seal our lips? Whose responsibility is it to deny these words or combinations of them? The alleged moral majority? Absent a threat, must we be jailed for calling each other names? Fined or silenced for being naughty?

Slander and defamation are not crimes, but civil infractions. Go sue someone if you choose. See if you win.

The first amendment is not a judgment call, unless you believe in a “living” U.S. Constitution. I'm an “Originalist.” It means what it says. Speak freely in public and private. It is not crime to be a jerk or a liar, unless you're lying about – say – a murder. It is a crime to shut others up, however, if you feel offended by racy words. It is a crime to threaten physical harm, of course.

And stakeholders are not citizens. Citizens have rights, even if it angers you, to call you nasty names, lie to your face, cherish the words you write or make golden statues of you with a camel in some compromising way.

Of course Trump puts down the competition. So did Obama and every president since John Hanson. It's a price we pay for our free speech. The alternative is unthinkable, dear sir. Censorship.

That's is the entire thrust of this hub. Well, one of the thrusts. That “Hate Speech” laws are just cool. That people need to be protected from the opinions of others by segregation. If I offend you, say for calling you a foul name, selling nude photos to adults in your state, or just making you sniffle, well, then, off with me, I'm in your Nanny-State safe space. I must leave. Be unceremoniously ejected for say, calling socialists bad names. By what right?

In fact, Erogan (Dictator of Turkey) would applaud these new efforts to dismantle the First Amendment in the U.S. Maybe you should do it one better. Call “Hate Speech” something new. Erogan had a fab idea. Call it “Terrorism Speech.” “Hate Speech” is just to sissy for him. That way you can even jail people for calling you wonderfully colorful choice names, in public. Not in front of children, hopefully.

Turkish Citizen: “Erogan is a Dictator!”

Erogan: “You are a terrorist hate-monger. To Prison!”

GangPower73: “Hi Erogan, you are so cool. Can you come to America?”

Erogan: “No. Trump will call me choice names and, as of yet, your “Hate Speech” laws are much too weak in your partially free country.”

ValKaras on January 23, 2017:

Peoplepower73 - I am respectfully pulling out of this discussion, because my mention of all those nasty tricks against him (like attacks on his kids, calling him a racist, a women-hater, and what not) obviously meant nothing at all in this discussion. Apparently, the only thing worth mentioning is HIS style of communicating that's "only to benefit him". Wasn't that the general idea of the race - that each side say things that would "benefit only them"?

I agree, "words have consequences", my friend, and the only problem is that we are prone to look at one speaker, not both. Besides, the big picture of WHO was REALLY behind the machinery of hate is so readily ignored.

When he was told during the campaign right in the face : "You will never become a president", that was just as undiplomatic and nasty as it was wrong.

One thing still remains to be figured out: Is that majority who voted for him a bunch of village idiots, or their voice also counts in all this? Are there any professors, teachers, doctors, and other intellectuals in that mass who elected him - or all the brainy people are against him?

To me this question is much more significant than "what was the size of his inauguration attendance". Really, let's also make an analysis if Obama or Trump had more good looking women in their attendance. Why not - that could also have something to do with "who qualifies more to be a president".

Well, my apologies if any of my words in the preceding comments were not acceptable by any measures of politeness - but I am respectfully stepping out of this discussion.

Wild Bill on January 23, 2017:

pp said: "Words have consequences whether written or spoken."

Yes, what about Celebrities using #NotMyPresident to persuade their brainwashed fans to reject democracy just because they don't agree with the outcomes. Afterwards, their followers march to accomplish what? To overthrow the government just because you don't agree with the decision?

Hillary Clinton saying that half of the Trump supporters are deplorable. Then take a look at the young mentally disabled man in Chicago who was tortured for the better part of the day while his kidnappers yelled at him about Trump.

Michael Shannon saying that old people who voted for Trump should just go ahead and die. Then take a look at the videos of old people who have been beaten up while assailant yells "Did you vote for Trump?".

Madonna saying that she has thought about blowing the White House up. I hope I cannot find anything to compare that to.

Mike Russo from Placentia California on January 23, 2017:

Let me just state this simply. Words have consequences whether written or spoken. There is a certain responsibility that has to be taken when people use words that knowingly defame and/or slander others. I know that campaigns are contact sports, but when words are intentionally used in an uncivil manner, the first amendment becomes a judgment call.

In stakeholders analysis, each stakeholder has a right, a responsibility, a harm, and a benefit that is not only considered for himself, but for the other stakeholders as well. I don't think Trump considers any of these factors in his communications, except what is the benefit to himself as he sells himself as a product to put down the competition.

ValKaras on January 23, 2017:

Gentlemen of "both camps" - Please, this is where a healthy discussion is turning into an unhealthy debate in which it stops being important "what" is right - but "who" is right.

A word about the "size of the attendance" at the inauguration. In the classic novel "Gulliver's Travels" two kings were about to start a war over the issue "on which side - smaller or bigger - the boiled eggs should be open".

Believe me, so much in this election reminds of that level of reasoning. When Trump's "size of hand and his hair" became a valid argument against his qualifications, then it was obvious where the whole propaganda is going. When his 10 year old kid and his daughter were somehow "guilty of his crimes", that impression got strong enough to start suspecting that some sinister forces were behind it, not saving any tricks available to ruin him.

But let's go to his insulting style. It would have taken a blind person not to notice how during the debates his time was strictly measured, while Hillary was allowed to go beyond it without being interrupted by the moderator.

In my opinion Trump's only weapon left was to be nasty to his opponent(s) and to speak the language of that part of the nation which had enough of sweet-talkers who never produced any results in decades.

I mean those who, in words of Putin were heading towards starting another world war. Those who put America in a ridiculous debt, while creating new enemies.

If you watched the man carefully - yes, he is capable of "being nice", meaning that he is not a compulsive jerk. But using a nasty language was his strategy to beat the sweet-talkers.

On a funny note, yes, he was only imitating those who had insulting things to say about him and even his family.

He knew from the very start that he had elitists against him, and he had to be tough, not submissive.

There is a simple proof for all this: just watch Trump in the days to come how he is going to mellow down - because he won't need his tough front to win against his mighty opponents who have spent untold millions for organizing hateful protests.

Really, who is "hating" in this whole matter? All he wanted was to be given a chance to make great his country - while there is always an ample time in the future to impeach him if half of those accusations turn true. Why not give the dude a chance?

Jo Miller from Tennessee on January 23, 2017:

Thanks, Larry, for another great read. I was in DC on Saturday surrounded by wonderful people. But I come back, turn on the news and Donald Trump is still president, so I was a little down this morning and needed this. Keep writing!

Wild Bill on January 23, 2017:

Randy said: "You can set the comment capsule on any hubs to allow only those who are signed in as members."

Why would he do this when doing so would discourage outside readers from coming to his Hub? I would want all of the traffic I could get if I were in your shoes.

Wild Bill on January 23, 2017:

jgshorebird said: "The Press Secretary (Sean Spicer) may or may not have lied about the size of the crowds. CNBC, CNN, expert crowd counters seem to say that the number of persons present at the inauguration (in the Mall) was less than Obama's second one."

I agree. This is something that is subjective since no one was actually out counting heads. Maybe it was big or small, or maybe the Trump camp is a little sensitive and has a chip on their shoulder after it was proven that news organizations wouldn't show the size of his large crowds compared to Hillary's small crowds during the campaign.

Seriously, when people try to make this out like it is a huge lie and conspiracy, it just makes them sound a little nit picky and also makes their other points seem moot since they are crying wolf so much.

jgshorebird on January 23, 2017:

Let the Trolls, Troll.

The Press Secretary (Sean Spicer) may or may not have lied about the size of the crowds. CNBC, CNN, expert crowd counters seem to say that the number of persons present at the inauguration (in the Mall) was less than Obama's second one.

We've all seen the comparison photos. Okay. Maybe the Press Secretary was wrong, exaggerated, even lied. But security was also far tighter. It has also been stated that the comparison photos were purposely timed, and did not show that the crowd size increased 5 to 10 minutes before noon. Eye witnesses at the event have stated that is was far more crowded than was depicted in selected news photos. The point is, don't be so easily manipulated. Check out the angles.

In short, this is a near meaningless debate.

We should stick to the essentials. For example, shall we deform the definition of free speech? That is want the hub is saying to me. That there is this thing called "hate speech" which I argue is as meaningless as "Frog Speech." We cannot compartmentalize or chop up "speech." Nothing exists in a vacuum. It's all related.

Wild Bill on January 23, 2017:


We were having a valid discussion and expressing our opinions civilly until you came in making a personal Attacks trying to pick a fight so think we know who the Troll is.

By the way; aren't you currently banned from the forums? I'm sure it is because the moderators are so mean and not because you are a habitual Troll, right?

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on January 22, 2017:

Larry, Wild Bill is a known troll who will waste your time with BS. You can set the comment capsule on any hubs to allow only those who are signed in as members. I had to do this because he was bothering my friends and I on my PO hubs. Just so you know you have choice....

Trump is a liar as well as those who purposely lie for him. The facts are very evident in this case.

ValKaras on January 22, 2017:

Peoplepower - I hope you won't be bothered by the fact that I am a Canadian living in Canada, and I only have a "neighborly" comment to the whole matter. Should anybody - including you - object to my "sticking nose to something that's not my business", I will humbly disappear from this discussion.

But let me answer your question. I understand all that about the freedom of speech and the (imagined) need for the opposition to constantly serve as a negative feedback to the president.

But I personally don't agree with the routine of it. Namely, policies should be reasonably straightforward, which wouldn't allow much deviations and constant corrections in the course of running the country business. To me, it looks like being in a constant phase of an "experiment", and not really knowing what the hell the leader or the people want.

Accuse me of simplification, but if you gave a "right to protest" to your family, some extreme decisions would certainly call for a correction - but what happens when that becomes a "norm" and a routine that someone is always protesting, "just because they can".

You know what I mean? We are not depriving people of their right to protest --- but rather the question is why is it necessary to make it a constant practice? Within the frames of a family interacting, what kind of "unity" are we talking about?

To me, it more looks like "anything-goes" setup. The next step is anarchy, because a unique course to be followed stops being important in favor of anyone exercising their freedom to oppose. When opposing becomes the name of the game, then we have "looting for a cause", profanities for authorities, smashing cars and windows "in the name of our freedoms".

Are we really on the same page as we are talking about that line between a freedom and a primitive impulsiveness?

jgshorebird on January 22, 2017:


Hate Speech, Love Speech, Mildly irritating speech...all speech...circles that one essential...and that is whether you choose to muzzle some simply to make others more comfortable in their own skin. Absent a crime, all speech must be free, else you are not free. In that respect, it's an absolute. If I can't draw a cartoon -- a hateful one -- that depicts Muhammad or Jesus or any deity as a jack-arse, then I'm a slave. Bad taste is not the test. The bedrock of the hate speech argument is a ploy. Once we must shut our mouths, as presidents or plumbers, the logical next steps begin. And I'm not talking about students in a classroom where a modicum a order is required for learning. (Darned good response on this OP ED.)

Mike Russo from Placentia California on January 22, 2017:

ValKaras: Let me ask you, did you support Obama for eight years? Did the Republican congress support Obama for eight years? Did the Tea Party protest against Obama?

ValKaras on January 22, 2017:

Larry - I deeply appreciate your respectful disagreeing. I wish any of those protesting rallies -- around Vietnam, Iraq, or any other worldwide for that matter -- had any effect. It doesn't seem like it matters one bit to the governments that people protest. History showed how those wars went on despite how people felt about them.

And now, what's the sense of constant throwing sticks of distrust into the wheels of Trump's running the country. What's the idea of election if you can't trust your leader? And if the majority elected him, what gives the right to the minority to claim "Not my president!"?

I don't get it -- how is that "democracy"? It has absolutely nothing to do with "people's right to express their opinion" - it's downright counterproductive for a country not to unite around their leader, making it weak and somewhat schizoid, or split-minded, while not knowing what they really want.

If not for any other reason, but out of pride they should unite ---not to be a laughing stock to the whole world watching their hysteria over nothing.

Not a single previous president could have guaranteed that they would keep their promises -- and most of them didn't. And yet, people didn't go into this much of a spasm "just because they were not sure", like they are doing it now.

Please don't take me wrong - I don't really glamorize Trump, but I don't like seeing these upheavals of distrust while much of it is caused by those rich instigators whose foreign investments went sour with Trump's plans to bring the businesses back. It's so easy to see that I don't get it why people still insist on those empty parrot-like slogans of hate.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 22, 2017:

Wild Bill: I've never championed the infallibility of the media regarding any side of any topic. I know I'm not infallible. But there is not a solitary thing I printed in this article about Trump's actions that is inaccurate.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 22, 2017:

Sanxuary: Wow! So well said. I wish that would work. Just look at the facts people! You're being lied too!!! But they won't listen. They won't look.

Mike Russo from Placentia California on January 22, 2017:

Wild Bill: Trump and his Press Secretary intentionally lied yesterday about the size of the crowds. And then he told the press they should be covering that democrats are stalling the approval of Pompeo as Director of the CIA.

If the White House is going to tell the press what they should be covering, isn't that a violation of freedom of the press?

Further, Kellyanne Conway when questioned about this by Chuck Todd, said that it's O.K. for Trump's administration to use "Alternate Facts." To me, this smacks of Kellyanne being the Minister of Propaganda for Trump. This is very dangerous precedent to set.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 22, 2017:

Randy: I read about that. Just a strangeness in a man who would lie and pretend like things went well and all of media is lying. Media does lie on occasion, but Something like this they just report what's happening.

Something so off about him.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 22, 2017:

Shyron: I appreciate you dropping by so very much.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 22, 2017:

Val Karas: your argument is excellently worded. That is one of the reasons I appreciate you. You have a decent way of saying things. I still respectfully disagree with much of your statement.

I wholeheartedly agree that most politicians are egotists, and that is a major drawback of the system.

But Democracy must be built on speculative assumptions of people. Otherwise what would be the point of voting save to blindly pick someone? We must assess human nature everyday in life. It is a fundamental aspect of the human experience.

I do hope Trump does well by the people. There is no reason for me to want him to do poorly. It hurts us all. I think the only way that might happen is if the people publicly protest him every step of the way.

If we just say well, let him do what he wants, I don't think any good could ever come of that.

Wild Bill on January 22, 2017:

Larry Rankin said: "We the public protest. The elected officials do their jobs. Not the other way around!"

As for this, I agree. The Democrats who boycotted the peoples' choice are deplorable. I am glad you and I see eye to eye on this.

Wild Bill on January 22, 2017:

What are they protesting for meaning what do they hope the outcome will be?

As for peaceful, some are and some aren't, but in a situation like this, I cannot understand why anyone would burn cars and break into buildings at all. It seems counterproductive and frankly hypocritical which is why the Dems were voted out in the first place.

For the last 8 years I heard a lot about the opposition not working with the president, but this kind of takes the cake. I guess it is easier said than done.

Welcome to belonging to the new party of NO.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 22, 2017:

Alicia: thanks for dropping by.

To be honest, my classroom hasn't changed yet either, but I'm seeing little changes out in the world and I can feel the storm coming and worry about how to react with my students as things have been redefined.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 22, 2017:

JG: you're not understanding what I'm saying. You're on a freedom of speech debate, which I support wholly. For example, Howard Stern having the right to dehumanize women with small breasts on his radio show is something he has the right to do if the venue allows it. I'm not electing him President, and in fairness to him, if he ever seriously ran, not a publicity stunt campaign, I just bet you he would stick to the issues in rally scenarios.

Now back to my classroom. I'm not going to sit there with my students and have a serious discussion about whether or not small breasted women have value. I'm not going to discuss the pros and cons of making fun of the differently abled to get what I want. This doesn't belong in the classroom and I as moderator shouldn't have to allow it, but when Trump says the things he said where he's said them, it changes things.

Another angle. A student who takes my class in order to learn shouldn't have to endure being verbally attacked everyday.

This isn't the free speech issue that you insist on making it.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 22, 2017:

Wil Bill: we have seen things like this throughout our history. This is just a much tamer version. If not for peaceful protests and reactionary jerks in riot gear bashing the peaceful protesters on the television screens, black people would still be riding in the back of the buses.

It is our patriotic duty to protest. When we see our young people dying in senseless wars like Vietnam, it's our patriotic duty to protest to save their lives.

When are people going to figure it out. The people who protest are the patriots! They are the ones that enbody the definition of Democracy!!!

We the public protest. The elected officials do their jobs. Not the other way around!

jgshorebird on January 22, 2017:


More good points. I've been reading recently about a former WSJ Reporter (Asra Nomani). Allegations: George Soros paid the women to march -- essentially. Pretty interesting. So it was not a grassroots movement as much as a political ploy by Soros.

ValKaras on January 22, 2017:

To my understanding - which is open to critic - it is not a part of president's job description to play a "pampering fatherly figure" to those citizens with pronounced insecurity or paranoia issues. Really, in which universe is a president successful at pleasing everybody?

President's job is a serious matter, involving a business of national security, economy, education, etc. - and as far as I remember, Trump said enough about his plans, none of which are going against the interests of the nation.

He also said that he was going to be fair to EVERYBODY, regardless of color, gender, or religion. Which part of this sentence is hard to understand?

By now, the whole clearly thinking world can see that the whole paranoia over Trump's intentions originates from his stepping on the toes of the corporate world, who are spending millions on instigating hate against him.

Really, when people go so low as to attack his 10 year old son, or his daughter in the plane - then what is that "new definition of hate" we are trying to pin on Trump, instead on those who will use any inhuman means to demonize him?

Why is it so hard to see that media got paid by those ultra-rich to spread false news about him?

And, when Michael Moore is asked "why is he against the capitalism which allowed him to amass some 50 millions - he just produces instead of an answer. That same Michael Moore that so many are sheepishly following and trusting.

Then it becomes even funnier when Russians get into the picture. Please think a little with an open mind and try to use some logic ---even if it was true that they messed with the voting machines, how did they "mess" with the electoral college who had the last word in the election? And why is it inconceivable that Putin would actually want to cooperate with Trump? Why that historical neuroticism of distrust towards "those communist Soviets"? Are you people aware at all that Russia has a democratic system these days - not communism? Do you know that Putin was elected, not "self-appointed" like Castro?

These newest demonstrations by women are totally beyond the comprehension of my logic. When did Trump say anything to cause those concerns? And since when is he a "racist"?

Really, people, when you can come up with name calling like "Hitler", what's the use talking about the whole thing. As soon as he expressed his patriotic love for America in his inaugural speech, someone already called it "nationalistic" Hitleriran ethnocentrism". So he is not even allowed to say that he will work keeping in focus primarily the interests of his people. Swell, bravo, America!

jgshorebird on January 22, 2017:


Great points. But I think their are many deaf ears. Sheeple issues, as Wild Bill indicates. As for peoplepower73, he's referring civil wrongs (torts), not crimes. It's not illegal to speak your mind, but be prepared for the lawyers to line up, seeking deep pockets.

Wild Bill on January 22, 2017:

The only lie that came out of yesterday was the media saying that Trump removed the bust of Martin Luther King. When they were proven wrong, they simply said "Opops! Someone must have been standing in front of it!"

This shows how much the mainstream media researches something before they print it. Kind of like saying that Clinton would win by a landslide! Lmao

Mike Russo from Placentia California on January 21, 2017:

To all of you who think Trump's hate speeches are and should be the new normal: There is a difference in hollering fire in a theater and the intentional defamation of peoples character. It is a civil wrong doing and can result in law suits in the right circumstances.

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on January 21, 2017:

Excellent article, Larry. After Trump's disastrous first day in office--and the lies he made his press secretary relate to the press--we will learn more about people who are stuck on themselves.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 21, 2017:

Larry, IMHO this is by far one of your best hubs, you give us a lot to think about and put everything into perspective.

There were so many more crimes that this man committed but to speak of them might get me thrown off HP

Blessings my friend

ValKaras on January 21, 2017:

My first and last words of this comment will be: I am not defending Donald Trump - I am simply talking about the human nature; and if it sounds like I am defending him - so be it.

I hardly ever judge a man for what he says - I judge him by what he does. Spanish Inquisition was known for uttering many sweet words about Jesus, and we know what they were doing in his name.

Likewise, we have had many candidates-turning-leaders, those white glove diplomats who were basically very careful not to say what they thought - while turning out to do a very poor job, despite their sweet talk carefully prepared for them by experts in hypnotic manipulation with masses.

Then you have someone like Trump showing up on the stage of that circus called presidential election. The dude instantly gets hated with passion, for no other reason speaking up what other candidates only think. You want to bet? Of course he is self-centered - just like any other political careerist. Please, don't make a distinction between them, it's a dream of their life to have that much power - and that dream only includes you as a vote. They will say anything you want to hear to get that vote from you. Is it dishonest? I won't play a moralist when it's about political careerism - we need some kind of government, it's a necessary nuisance.

To idolize or to demonize a candidate on account of what they say, how "loving or hateful" they appear is not realistic assessment of their qualifications. They don't have to be lovable personalities to be good presidents, it's not a popularity contest. Have you ever applied for a job and included in your application that you are a nice person?

Do you know that statues have been erected for many biggies in the fields of culture who were first class neurotics with suicidal tendencies. And even though they had no healthy message to convey to us - we love them.

WHY? Because of what they DID, not for who they were.

So, what has Donald Trump done to piss off the American Nation? He never had a chance to do anything, and he is already hated with passion.

Next question. What have Democrats DONE for America to deserve such an adoration?

And, speaking about hatred - who has been DOIN G more acts of hatred lately? Was it Trump organizing those violent protests in the name of his "hate"? Again, I judge people by what they do, not by what they say, and quite enough ACTS of hate has been demonstrated to make unnecessary the question of who is more hateful.

So , as I promised at the beginning of this comment - which you may hate as much as you wish - it wouldn't surprise me, I'll say it again :

"I am not defending Trump, I am only talking about human nature. Mine, yours, their.

And I don't know Donald Trump enough to drag his name through mud.

And neither do you.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 21, 2017:

This is an interesting and thought provoking article, Larry, as are the comments. I'm glad to say that I haven't seen an increase in hate speech—however the term is defined—where I live. Facebook is a different matter, however. Today I encountered some sickening comments about certain people. There are ways for me to deal with that. It wouldn't be so easy in everyday life. My sympathy to you in your role as a teacher.

jgshorebird on January 21, 2017:


Yelling “fire” in a crowded mall, bathroom or closet, when no fire exists, places other people in immediate danger of being trampled. Yelling the “N-Word” in the same venue is stupid, but not life threatening. It’s ignorant, but does not violate anyone’s rights. It just hurts feelings. So sorry.

And that’s the problem. We must allow, within that “no physical harm” or “immediate threat” framework, all comers of the mouth - or we begin to live as serfs to those who ‘speak’ for society., i.e., the .govs of the planet. We begin to live in a controlled system and just who defines the controls? Big Brother?

We as a society, you say? We are not a society, but the smallest and most dearest of protected people. Not black or white or red or hispanic etc., but all of these. We are individuals. The smallest of all minorities. As such, we should take all chumps seriously. But numbering people? You mean potential enemies who do not hold that individuals have rights at all? Such as hardcore wacko mormons or closet radical muslims? How about skinheads and gang members? They often hide behind religion. Try the Odinists or the Native American Medicine Bag holders. Religion for them is often just a shroud to fool the fools. I say count thy rights violators - and fast. No matter the color or creed. No hiding behind scriptures or Scientology.

Hate Speech must be defined by words. How else can it be defined? Society? You mean individual people? I say it doesn’t exist. Am I wrong? Or shall the power of the majority -- the dictatorship of the masses magically define it? Hitler was freely elected by the masses. Masses, like herds, are easily led over the cliffs of history. There must be a balance. Masses have no rights. Only people (individuals) have rights.

Hate Monger. Interesting smear. And that’s what it can be. A smear. I would never knowingly do business with anyone who hates someone because of the color of their skin, for example. But I would also, and here’s the part where many people get lost, defend the bigot’s right to be a jerk. Why? If we do not, we have lost. Society, a ‘moral’ group of individuals, which cherishes one’s right to speak his mind, barring threats (which “hate speech” is not) ought to be jailed for disallowing opposing views of any flavor, no matter how distasteful. Else, they have become what they most despise, the Nazi who says, “Silence!”

But it's just my opinion. I am still allowed, I think.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 21, 2017:

Bill: I totally understand your stance. Arguments never end, anyway.

Thanks for dropping by.

Wild Bill on January 21, 2017:

I'm not the one who is delusional. The writing is on the wall and the ones who cannot read it are the ones out protesting democracy and trying to intimidate those who respect it with violence.

To all those who say "Not My President"; you have no respect for democracy because if you did, you would respect the choice of the people. They are even reporting that the Secret Service is suiting up with riot gear. We have never seen anything like this before in our history and it is despicable.

The hypocrisy of the left knows no bounds which is why the people voted them out. The people have spoken. Just because you don't like the choice doesn't mean you should use violence to get your way.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 21, 2017:

Jodah: I had fun with the drawings. I do my best. My knowledge base on that topic is limited, and I really appreciate the kind words from you.

I agree. I don't want this to go bad. I just think it will go bad. If Trump could somehow help, I'd be happy. I just don't see any reality where that happens.

I would gladly eat my hat and say, "Wow, it turns out this creep really did a good job!"

He is our President. He did not win the vote, though. That's a fact. He lost by like 3 million, but because of the peculiarities of our Electoral College, he's President anyway.

As Democrats we have to do what we've always done, do our best with the hand we've been dealt, because we have integrity. We're not like the self-serving Republicans who quit as soon as things don't go their way.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 21, 2017:

Wild Bill: such delusion. It's this same kind of delusion that makes Conservatives feel like they have to carry guns everywhere, and it's this self fulfilling prophecy that may well make so we all do have to carry guns someday.

I would also like to point out it is the lazy Republicans who shut down government everytime they don't get their way.

Peaceful protest is essential to a democracy. I never support violence. Most liberals don't. Really, though they like to threaten, most conservatives don't either.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 21, 2017:

People Power: I'm always so glad to hear from you.

About the nicest thing I can say about Trump is that he is a businessman and only a businessman. I don't know if he really cares what he says as long as he gets what he wants. It is clear to me he genuinely disrespects women but the rest of it may well just be him saying whatever to get what he wants.

He's willing to tell whatever lie if it gets him what he wants. There is no moral conviction. He reminds me of the oil men who used to come to our farm. Integrity, human decency, none of that factors into it. Just get me what I want.

I read your NPD article. It was wonderful. I think a lot of our public figures have some of these tendencies, but Trump is textbook.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 21, 2017:

Mel: your example really clarifies things. When you're a public figure and say these things in public it's so disturbing.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 21, 2017:

JG: JG, you really put out a lot to think about. Anybody can say about anything they want. I'm not questioning that. I believe in that. I mean, hell, look at some of the stuff I've written (though I think the context is different). But if you yell, "Fire!" In a theater and a bunch of people are trampled to death, you'll probably find yourself facing a bunch of manslaughter charges.

We as a society never should've taken Trump seriously. As soon as he started talking about numbering people a switch should've flipped in our head to recognize this as hate speech.

As the article indicates, a term like "Hate Speech" isn't defined by words. It's defined by society. Barring it leading directly to people's deaths, it's not that you can't say what you want, JG. It's that society shouldn't accept you if you're a hate monger.

Larry Rankin (author) from Oklahoma on January 21, 2017:

FlourishAnyway: such a thoughtful comment.

I would like to point out that people can say about anything they want on their own time and in their own venue. I hold that sacred, even though some people believe some very ugly things.

But Trump is saying these things publicly as an advocate for the AWOL and being rewarded for it. The fact he got his 40% of the votes or whatever it was and was able to be appointed is a black eye for this country that won't soon heal.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 21, 2017:

Nicely done, Larry! I stay out of these debates on HP...but I do agree with you completely.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on January 21, 2017:

As always this is a well written and thought-provoking hub from you, Larry. I agree with you are about the language used by Donald Trump that often borders on hate speech. It does not set a good example for the youth or anyone else. That said, he is now the President of the USA and like it or not the people need to accept that and try to work with him and encourage him to do the right thing for the country. I like your drawings of Trump.

Wild Bill on January 21, 2017:

I think people will look back at this time and view the Liberals as the bad guys. Even with all of the anger when Obama was elected, there were not violent protests during the supposedly peaceful transfer of power or leading up to it. This is despicable.

A lot of voters for Trump were quiet because of the fear from intimidation and violence from the left. Democrats should learn their lesson and practice what they preach; peace and tolerance. If Obama and Clinton are the real leaders of their party, they should speak up more and condemn these actions by their people.

jgshorebird on January 21, 2017:

Mel Carriere -

You may want to start going through the public libraries then. Burn all the copies of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Free Speech is not threats. If one bullies -- actually threatens harm -- that's a violation. If one calls you a choice name -- I'm thinking of a few right now -- that's just vulgar honesty. Maybe you should sign up for the Thought Police. Install "zip lips." Trump cannot institutionalize hatred, nor can he change the narrative -- any more than Jesus can/could convert a Muslim.

Mike Russo from Placentia California on January 20, 2017:

Larry: You wrote a great article. I have been fascinated with Trump ever since he appeared on the world stage. I think you are right about the new normal for hate speech. He is a master at dividing and conquering and he is a master marketeer and salesman. I think he sees himself as a product and everything else that he wants to conquer as products as well. Only they are the competition. So what he does so well is diminish his competition by giving hate speeches that his supporters enjoy, thus elevating himself above his competition. Whether that will work in governance is yet to be seen.

I believe he is also suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). I wrote a hub about this and his behavior exhibits the nine classic symptoms of NPD. Yes, he has brought hate speeches out of the closet and made them common place for his supporters.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 20, 2017:

If two people are sharing racial jokes in private, or whispering lewd comments in their living room that is their business, but when the man occupying the highest post in the land does the same in public it empowers people to take it public too. I have seen the crackers coming out of the woodwork since Trump was elected. Joking in private has turned to bullying in public, and from there it's a short step to institutionalized violence. I'm a freedom of speech guy, but in high places that speech can foment brownshirtism. Great hub.

jgshorebird on January 20, 2017:

Again, another good write up to chew on. Naturally, although I don’t support many of Trump’s positions, I think that hate speech is ludicrous. The American Bar Association aside, insults and demeaning language may or may not be threatening. And that would be the crux of it. You would need to prove that I am not just hurting your feelings, because we can never protect everyone’s feelings, unless we jettison free speech altogether. It’s a non-starter, coming from my side of the fence. Too many sticking points to iron out, unless everyone just puts on a muzzle and smiles underneath. We can be nasty and mean. It’s when we are told to shut up, we really loose. Disagreements can be heated. Arguments can be vile. Heavenly discourse is a myth. Look no farther than American History. The meanest, nastiest bunch of name calling founding chumps that have yet to exist. And look what became of it. There is a kernel of worth here. We cannot simply whitewash our oratory. The vulgar thing and finest arguments are often two sides of that same coin: freedom of speech.

Allah and Muslim registries. Another prickly subject. Let’s try this. Suppose you knew what Hitler was up to before he cooked millions of Jews. Only, in this new-old analogy, Hitler is the member of a Church that has a holy scripture which states that it’s okay to kill anyone who disagrees with said scriptures? I’d like to know who he’s hanging around with. Just in case he makes good on his promises. In other words, religion ends, when you start to threaten people. Any religion.

As to the unproved allegations against Trump, I suggest we err on the side of the non-smear. If he is a pig, as it were, if he assaulted women, if he did pay them off -- we still need that little push...we call it “beyond a reasonable doubt.” And if we are comparing Trump to Hillary, oh my. Let the investigations continue. In fact, if either of them, Trump or H. Clinton committed a crime, let them both be jailed. Perhaps a coed prison in Russia would suffice or a spacious penthouse in Trump Tower Cuba. Sorry, is that hate speech? Crap, fire all the comics, burn the joke books and ban late night television!

Let’s all just take a big breath and graduate to pull-up diapers. (Oh, there I go again. Muzzle me!)

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 20, 2017:

This was well articulated and we are of similar minds on Trump. I cannot watch the disgusting man and his inauguration festivities nor can I listen to his very, very, very self-aggrandizing speeches. I have already become aware of the impact of his hate speech on high school students in the classroom. They feel it is now accepotable to joke about the Holocaust, lynching, and sexual assault plus other unfathomable acts of hate. He's crossed a terrible line. How does one tell young people this isn't allowable if the leader of the free world is doing it? Shaking my head. So ashamed of this man and the fools who propped him up.

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