The fact is that throughout much of American history, there were all sorts of restrictions – on vulgarity, on harsh criticism of religion, on speech that had the tendency to encourage people not to register for the draft, and much more – that would be pretty clearly unconstitutional today. They didn’t come from the modern multiculturalist left, or from any discernible predecessor of it. Many, perhaps most, of them came from what would probably today be seen as the right, though it’s sometimes hard to tell for sure.
This kind of historical look is absolutely critical in law, and in setting policy. It’s too easy to look at recent trends, or project current biases, on the law, and assume that the trend extends backwards in time in a similar fashion. This is a useful lesson to keep in mind whether one is look at law and technology, or Constitutional issues.
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