A Republican candidate for governor of Indiana, Steve Rauschenberger, wants to introduce a resolution forcing retailer Abercrombie and Fitch to stop selling a line of t-shirts that he finds ‘offensive’ and ‘degrading’ to women.
Ok, I have a couple of problems with this. First off, the U.S. is a free market; and the market will eventually decide what succeeds and what does not succeed. If consumers find the shirt offensive, consumers won’t buy it—how is this difficult for Mr. Rauschenberger to understand? Secondly, we have that little thing called the First Amendment: freedom of expression. Now, I understand that the current administration has been confused with this concept; but I am fairly certain that non-threatening words (and fairly humorous words at that) on an over-priced t-shirt are neither a threat to national security or somehow conspiratorial. For Mr. Rauschenberger to introduce a resolution that so clearly violates the basic framework of our country shows a scary lack of understanding of the constitution he says he will uphold as governor.
Not to be outdone, the Democratic mayor of Las Vegas suggested that vandals who put up graffiti should have their ‘thumbs cut off’. He also suggested that children who get in trouble should be ‘whipped or caned’.