Opinions protected not just by the First Amendment, but by the tradition of political speech in America. And this country, lest anyone forget, is currently negotiating the next transfer of power. We have had the reign of Obama the Divider, and the nation is deciding if it wants a third term, or if it wants to go another direction.
And now, in an effort to influence that decision, political speech is being called terrorism.
In the wake of a murderous rampage at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, the head of the organization is making a connection between that event and those opinions. As recently as this morning, she has talked about the "hateful rhetoric" directed at the organization, and its consequences - a reference to the murders. That is an interesting connection.
Progressives who go out of their way to assert as an absolute that Islam is not connected to Islamic terrorism, are certain that political discussion of Planned Parenthood is responsible for the attack there.
More specifically, the "hate speech" of "Republican presidential candidates" - to further quote the head of Planned Parenthood - is an attack on "doctors" and "women." There is no disagreement in Progressive America, there is only orthodoxy and hate speech. And those who do not toe the line of Planned Parenthood support are engaged in hate speech.
Just like those who don't believe in global warming or don't use the hashtag Black Lives Matter or don't think a good thing happened at the University of Missouri. If you don't believe in and support the Progressive agenda - a.k.a. Marxism - you are a hater and are engaged in hate speech.
And the Progressives aren't above using someone else's death to advance their political agenda. Barack Obama rushes to the microphone to attack guns; the leftist Twitter army equates disagreement on abortion with terrorism.
The logic goes like this: The Colorado Springs carnage was terrorism, the guy said something about baby parts, the Republicans said something about baby parts, therefore the Republicans are terrorists.
Or, more arrogantly, the Progressives - from the campaign and the newscast - put on their very serious voices and wonder aloud if the Republican presidential candidates need to dial back the rhetoric, for public safety, or if maybe they lack the maturity to be elected leaders. Clearly they lack the intellect to be leaders, or they wouldn't be Republicans. Right?
The basic premise of the Democrat Party is: If everybody else was as smart as we are, they'd be Progressives like us. Disagreement, from the Progressive perspective, comes not from a difference of view or values, but from an inferiority of mentality or morality. Conservatives are conservatives because they are, in any number of ways, inferiors. That's Democrat dogma.
And that's how Planned Parenthood declares that the pro-life teachings of the church a murdered cop pastored at are "hateful rhetoric." And that's all bull crap.
What happened at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs was a heartbreaking crime. A dozen innocent people were shot, three seemingly wonderful people were murdered. The peace of a lawful business and a quiet community were shattered by an evil son of a bitch who shot up the place. And while we don't yet know his motives with certainty, the name above the door certainly does give a hint.
But to blame his actions on a political philosophy or a freely expressed opinion is opportunistic and exploitative - and dishonest. It is one more example of the Left whoring out tragedy for the advancement of its partisan agenda.
Something approaching half of all Americans - a number in excess of 140 million - disagree with abortion. Those people hold a view, and sometimes express that view, and they do so peacefully and legally. A number in excess of that, according to polls, disagree with the transfer of dismembered fetuses for money. Those scores of millions of Americans are not engaged in "hate rhetoric" and they didn't shoot anybody in Friday, they are merely holding and expressing a view.
And the Republican presidential candidates are in no logical way connected to the Colorado Springs murderer, and the assertion that they are, or that their campaign positions are, is so absurd and strained as to be dishonest.
To pretend the positions of the Republicans are hate speech, or that they are an attack on doctors or women, works to the political advantage of the Democrats and their Progressive patrons, but just don't happen to be true.
For America, Friday was a tragedy. Friday was a crime. But for Progressives, Friday was an opportunity.
That's why the president went to the microphone. That's why the talking points are "hateful rhetoric" and "attack upon doctors and women."