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John Grant For Senate | Senate Campaign Townhall

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15 minutes ago, Macmillan said:

Mr Grant what do you think about unions? Are you in favour of Right to Work legislation?

Generally, I am. I think that workers have a right to choose who they associate with and where their money goes. I’m especially against public sector unions, because forcing government employees to associate with and fund speech or activities they don’t agree with is an affront to the First Amendment. It is also corrupt, because it funnels government money into the hands of unions, which then donate to union-friendly politicians, who then pass more money to the unions. This drives up government spending and waste, something I am very against. 

When it comes to the private sector, I agree with Mr. Vang that it should be up to the states to decide if they want right-to-work legislation. 

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(Jennifer Lane; Reporter, Chicago Tribune)

Representative Grant, the Midwest legislature passed a resolution condemning the 'White Crusaders', yet that group still claims they will be rallying in Skokie, Illinois and there are unconfirmed reports that they've been responsible for vandalizing and/or burglarizing marijuana shops in the Detroit area. Should the Midwest government or federal government be taking additional actions against this or other groups? Should they be permitted to rally in Skokie?

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6 hours ago, Magenta said:

(Jennifer Lane; Reporter, Chicago Tribune)

Representative Grant, the Midwest legislature passed a resolution condemning the 'White Crusaders', yet that group still claims they will be rallying in Skokie, Illinois and there are unconfirmed reports that they've been responsible for vandalizing and/or burglarizing marijuana shops in the Detroit area. Should the Midwest government or federal government be taking additional actions against this or other groups? Should they be permitted to rally in Skokie?

Good question, Ms. Lane. 

First off, I want to say that I do not agree with white nationalists or supremacists of any kind. America is a nation of ideas, and these ideas transcend race. It’s one of the best parts about America. I grew up in an area with significant Hispanic, Asian, and black minorities, and they were no less American than I am. 

So, these White Crusaders are planning to rally in Skokie? I have to admit I’m not all that familiar with the White Crusaders off the top of my head, but I of course have heard of them and some of their ideas. Anyway, this is obviously a free speech issue here, and free speech requires a lot of respect from the government, otherwise we don’t have free speech. I think that these white nationalists/supremacists should be allowed to have their rally so long as it remains peaceful, of course. Yes, I completely disagree with them on race, but though I think what they’re saying is disgusting, if we don’t all have free speech, none of us do. There is no legal way to define hate speech without introducing a slippery slope that gives government too much power over speech in general. As for the unconfirmed reports, obviously those should be investigated, and if the White Crusaders are responsible, they should be prosecuted. 

So as far as if the Midwest legislature should be taking more actions against this group and other similar groups, there are perhaps a few things, like perhaps making sure no government contractors conduct business with these groups. Much of these policies need to be looked on a case-by-case basis and be tailored to respect the freedom of speech. If you wish, you can ask specifically about some policies that the government could implement and I’d be more than happy to answer. 

As for the regional government in general, they can make sure our police forces are well-trained and effective in keeping these rallies peaceful and within reasonable restriction. We can do that through perhaps training grants or programs for local precincts as well as for state law enforcement. I’m fine with the federal government providing help to local law enforcement agencies as well when it comes to training and funding. Law and order in a community is essential, of course. 

Overall, yes the group should be permitted to rally in Skokie, no matter how despicable they are. Their views still fall under free speech. However, law enforcement should be on the scene to make sure the rally stays lawful and peaceful, and those unconfirmed reports should definitely be investigated. This is an issue that requires nuance and care, because the freedom of speech is essential to our republican form of government, so we need to be careful when it comes to policy like that. 

Good question, and feel free to ask a follow-up, Ms. Lane!

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