Sounding much more like an American and freedom-loving conservative, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin responded to Donald Trump’s tweet about flag-burners on Tuesday, stating that while burning the American flag may be a First Amendment right, if anyone does it in front of him they’re going to have hell to pay.
“It’s a First Amendment right,” Manchin, who many have speculated may switch parties, said, according to Roll Call reporter Bridget Bowman. “But you do it in front of me, I’m going to beat the hell out of you,” he threatened.
Dem. Sen. Joe Manchin on flag burning: "It's a first amendment right but you do it in front of me, I'm going to beat the hell out of you"
— Bridget Bowman (@bridgetbhc) November 29, 2016
On Tuesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that those who burn the American flag should either be jailed for one year or perhaps lose their American citizenship.
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
While burning the American flag is despicable and should be condemned and ridiculed, neither Trump or Manchin have it right. The answer to flag-burners isn’t violence or policies or anti-First Amendment rights policies that would make Fidel Castro proud.
The proper answer to disrespect of the American flag is more free speech, not less, as illustrated by the 1,000 veterans who gathered at Hampshire College in Amherst after students burned an American flag in protest of Donald Trump’s election victory.
“They took down my flag, they have a right to that, I’m here to defend their right to do that but I want them to understand how bad that hurts me,” veteran Jerry Maguire told WWLP-TV.
This is how it’s done: