Democrats’ barriers to free speech

clintonDemocrats’ grand plan for this election year doesn’t seem to include free speech. The group that drafted the Democratic Party platform recently called for the Justice Department to prosecute energy companies that don’t see eye-to-eye with Democrats on climate change.

Is that really a good idea? After all, if the government has the right to punish those who merely question climate change, then it also has the power to punish climate alarmists who falsely predicted the world would come to an end by now due to rising temperatures.

Put simply, the government could block free speech for anyone with an opinion the government deemed incorrect. Democrats should end their crusade before they start feeling the brunt of their own logic.

Unfortunately, using laws to silence climate dissenters didn’t start with the Democratic National Committee platform. It’s part of a growing trend.

Twenty state attorneys general (AG) nationwide have joined forces to investigate — and eventually prosecute — oil companies. The AGs allege that to maintain high profits, Big Oil has purposely misled investors and the public about the danger of climate changes.

Right- and libertarian-leaning policy centers — such as the Heartland Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute — are also facing tough scrutiny. My employer, the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been targeted on the floor of the Senate. According to the green crusaders, we were all in cahoots with oil companies in their attempts to obscure the dangers of climate change.

Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch recently acknowledged that the Department of Justice is contemplating using a federal law originally created to fight organized crime to prosecute climate skeptics. In the Obama administration’s distorted reality, the analogy isn’t much of a stretch.

Interestingly, the state AGs unveiled their crusade at a press conference in March with former vice president and climate Svengali Al Gore looking on. The irony was probably lost on all in attendance.

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