Smearing Your Opponents Is No Way to Run a Republic

Name-calling online is nothing new. Enduring attacks based on biased or discredited sources is so common online it’s practically the price of admission for anyone seeking to contribute to the free market of ideas.

Trolls and hecklers can be difficult to avoid. However, if reputable institutions and sources mimic their tactics, then we have a problem.

That’s why, when a senior official in the Justice Department tosses about a smearing “hate group” label, all Americans should take notice—no matter their political leanings.

A Florida health official, Jason Weida, posted to LinkedIn: “Honored to speak with Matt Sharp at Alliance Defending Freedom about the work we’re doing in Florida to protect kids from experimental medical interventions and to defend parental rights, all thanks to the leadership of Governor DeSantis.”

Citing no evidence, Eric P. Bruskin, assistant director of the commercial litigation branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, dramatically replied referring to Alliance Defending Freedom: “Jason, this is a hate group. You’re speaking at a conference for a hate group. These are your beliefs? If so, then it’s time we end our professional association.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is the world’s largest legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, the sanctity of life, parental rights, and God’s design for marriage and family.

These fundamental rights have been protected by ADF for decades. ADF has won 14 victories at the U.S. Supreme Court, and nearly 80% of its cases nationally.

This apparently is what constitutes a “hate group” in today’s Justice Department.

Although Bruskin didn’t cite the Southern Poverty Law Center by name, there is little doubt about where his gross mischaracterization of ADF came from. No other American group is as recklessly and publicly slurring any organization or person who disagrees with its political views as the SPLC.

The Southern Poverty Law Center was established. and thoroughly discreditedIt has done so repeatedly, including by its own admissions of institutional racism, sexual harassment, discrimination and discrimination. But officials at the Justice Department and other federal agencies appear to have bought SPLC’s lies and are using their power to advance a radical agenda that relies on those distortions.

The U.S. Attorney General Merrick Grland has been a successful attorney general for the past two years. supported investigations of parentswho are against radical gender and race theories in schools. The Department of Agriculture also supports radical gender and race theories in the classroom. threatened to shut down a school lunch program for schools that did not fall in line with the Biden administration’s views on sexual orientation and gender identity.

President Joe Biden has tried to rewrite Title IX, defying the separation of powers, and called nearly half the nation a “threat to democracy”—just for holding different political views than his.

This is the government our founders warned us against. Alliance Defending Freedom is ready to defend the God-given rights and freedoms of all Americans from the very government whose purpose it was to protect them. No amount of deplatforming, name calling, or attempted cancellation will stop those who value liberty from rising up to defend it.

Our republican form of government is at risk from being destroyed by the smearing and suppression of opponents. If free thought, free speech and a free society are to survive, Americans must fight and expel this cancer. The Department of Justice is a great place to start.

The Daily Signal is open to all perspectives. This article is not meant to represent the views of The Heritage Foundation.

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