Boston’s anti-free speech mayors

It’s very rare for Donald Trump to be right, but he’s absolutely correct that Boston’s Mayor Walsh owes him an apology.

Walsh suggested that he’ll try to block Trump’s construction projects because of Trump’s views on immigration. Walsh said, “I just don’t agree with him at all. I think his comments are inappropriate. And if he wanted to build a hotel here, he’d have to make some apologies to people in this country.”

Certainly Trump is wrong on immigration. His painting of immigrants as especially prone to crime is factually inaccurate; see, for example, this Cato Institute article on immigration and crime. It’s an embarrassment that a crowd cheered him at the allegedly libertarian FreedomFest. But even jerks have the right of free speech, and mayors in the US can’t withhold construction permits because they “don’t agree” with the applicants.

Walsh has shown before that he has little use for the First Amendment. He signed a secret agreement with the U. S. Olympic Committee forbidding criticism of the Olympics by city employees. He later revoked this agreement under public pressure.

Walsh is following in the footsteps of Tom Menino, who told the president of Chick Fil-A that there is “no place for your company” alongside the Freedom Trail because its president opposed same-sex marriage. His claim to authority over what views are permissible near the Freedom Trail was especially disgusting.

Even if you support open immigration, the freedom to marry, and crony sports deals (in my case it’s two out of three), you hopefully recognize that people have the right to say what they choose about them and that power-hungry politicians who want to silence the opposition are a danger to everyone’s rights.

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