It should be legal to threaten politicians

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hundredpercent

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Jun 9, 2020
I was posting in the RBG thread, and I had the following exchange:

It's really weird that [calling a Senator during a politically sensitive event and, in the heat of the moment, threatening to shoot him in the head] is illegal. Are people not allowed to use vigorous language in politics?
The US is incredibly lenient when it comes to speech, but this one's definitely over the line. Posting "Senators who vote for RBG's replacement should be shot in the head" is distasteful but probably legal, but saying "I'll shoot Senator XYZ in the head" while on the phone with their office is a direct death threat (plus there might be some enhancement due to them being a public official).
I get why the rule exists for federal officials, but it should be decreased in political matters. Probably, there should be an explicit exemption for "political content" to all the speech laws.

I of course think that the senator is fucking based, but anyone with half a brain should understand that the kid was just exercising his God-given right to talk about politics vigorously. It would be greatly unethical to throw him in jail for it.

I think this is bad. The free speech value of threatening to kill (individual) judges or police is extremely low, while the harm is very high (see: third world countries). But threatening politicians is a de-facto normal part of everyday discourse.

I don't think you should be indictable for any statements pertaining to politics, even if such would otherwise have constituted true threats or incitement.
 

keyboredsm4shthe2nd

Youscatgetouttahereg-go-gogetthestick-getouttahere
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Aug 4, 2018
since when is it not? tumblr and twitter fags are free to call trump a babykiller rapist genocidal maniac just as I'm free to call Uncle Joe a pedophilic alzheimer's ridden loon, and also call both of them idiots.
 

Μusk

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Jul 23, 2020
You should be able to call them mean words, but threatening to kill anyone is a big no-no. Why should one or even a group of random faggots get to decide what happens to an elected person against the will of millions of people who voted for him/her? And on top of that there's a nice big system in place to keep em in check, even if they aren't perfect most of the time. You want the country to change? Fucking vote for someone who's gonna change it and work on your lobbying and advertising. Pull up photoshop or some other editing software and make an infographic to distribute to tens of thousands of people.
Free speech is not the same as threats, especially if they threaten life.
 

hundredpercent

kiwifarms.net
Joined
Jun 9, 2020
You should be able to call them mean words, but threatening to kill anyone is a big no-no. Why should one or even a group of random faggots get to decide what happens to an elected person against the will of millions of people who voted for him/her? And on top of that there's a nice big system in place to keep em in check, even if they aren't perfect most of the time. You want the country to change? Fucking vote for someone who's gonna change it and work on your lobbying and advertising. Pull up photoshop or some other editing software and make an infographic to distribute to tens of thousands of people.
Free speech is not the same as threats, especially if they threaten life.
It should still be illegal to kill them, and to threaten their family let's say. But getting death threats is just a part of public life. You can't give politicians that cudgel to use against everyone who casually suggests they deserve to die.

Protecting politicians is the job of the Secret Service, and it's done by bodyguards and bulletproof glass, not by arresting everyone who writes them mean letters.
 

Μusk

kiwifarms.net
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Jul 23, 2020
It should still be illegal to kill them, and to threaten their family let's say. But getting death threats is just a part of public life. You can't give politicians that cudgel to use against everyone who casually suggests they deserve to die.

Protecting politicians is the job of the Secret Service, and it's done by bodyguards and bulletproof glass, not by arresting everyone who writes them mean letters.
They shouldn't need an entire organization and 3 inch glass to protect them. Its the unfortunate reality, but people should be able to accept that they and people in the government won't always agree. Killing someone is a pretty big action, and I don't think any politician has done anything worth death. Lobbying? Almost always scummy. Voting poorly? Doesn't deserve a 2nd term. Treason against the US? Well maybe then the death penalty is in order, but it should be at the Judgement of a court, not random people, and must be supported by overwhelming evidence.
Its not easy to differentiate between genuine threats and fucking around.
Educating the population is more important than keeping politicians in check with threats of death.
 

inception_state

True & Honest Fan
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Aug 28, 2018
It should still be illegal to kill them, and to threaten their family let's say. But getting death threats is just a part of public life. You can't give politicians that cudgel to use against everyone who casually suggests they deserve to die.
You wouldn't even go to jail for saying that a politician deserved to die. Basically just don't call them up (or in this case, their office) and say "I'm going to kill you". I care quite a bit about freedom of speech, but I think a direct death threat is one of the few things that crosses the line. It adds nothing of value to public discourse, it's intended to intimidate and frighten the recipient, and it generally indicates that the person making the threat has some sort of psychological or emotional problem that should be addressed.

In the case of public officials, it also has the negative effect of discouraging people from entering the public sphere for fear of putting a target on their back. We can use all the half-decent politicians we can get.

if i can't call trudeau a dumb faggot that should get skullfucked then there's no reason to stay in this shithole god damnit
That's perfectly legal in America, not sure about Canada.
 

HeyYou

YOU BETTER RUN!
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Dec 12, 2018
They shouldn't need an entire organization and 3 inch glass to protect them. Its the unfortunate reality, but people should be able to accept that they and people in the government won't always agree. Killing someone is a pretty big action, and I don't think any politician has done anything worth death. Lobbying? Almost always scummy. Voting poorly? Doesn't deserve a 2nd term. Treason against the US? Well maybe then the death penalty is in order, but it should be at the Judgement of a court, not random people, and must be supported by overwhelming evidence.
Its not easy to differentiate between genuine threats and fucking around.
Educating the population is more important than keeping politicians in check with threats of death.
You're posting reasonable opinions on the wrong forum, buddy.
 

hundredpercent

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Jun 9, 2020
Its not easy to differentiate between genuine threats and fucking around.
This is the exact problem. Even if the law technically allows you to suggest some politician deserves to die, people aren't usually going to inch right up to the line, and e.g. social media platforms will err on the side of caution. So you need to make sure the impermissible statements are OK too, lest people be scared from making the permissible ones.
 

Pixy

Yo, buddy. Still alive
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Sep 13, 2016
It should still be illegal to kill them, and to threaten their family let's say. But getting death threats is just a part of public life. You can't give politicians that cudgel to use against everyone who casually suggests they deserve to die.
To normalise it would be a major deterrent against ordinary people from running for public office, further entrenching public office as the domain of those with the financial and political resources to handle such matters for them.