Jordan Peterson Scolds Dan Goldman’s First Amendment ‘Not Absolute' Claim

March 14th, 2024 12:36 PM

Representative Dan Goldman (D-NY) made a series of questionable remarks about the nature of the First Amendment, prompting a response from renowned Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson.

Peterson testified before a House Weaponization Subcommittee hearing on March 7. Goldman had just finished lambasting the mission of the subcommittee by implying that its goal was to allow “misinformation and disinformation [to] run rampant on Elon Musk’s social platform and every other social platform so that they, Republicans can benefit from it in November’s election.”

The representative also gave an extremely constrictive interpretation of the First Amendment, claiming, “The First Amendment is not absolute. It does not protect any single thing anyone says. And there are limits, and that’s important.”

These remarks elicited a response from Peterson, who defended the First Amendment by citing the example of tyrannical overreach in his own country, Canada. 

“We have very weak free speech protections in Canada, and I can tell you that is not going well,” Peterson said while being questioned by Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL). “The combination of that and the invasive technology that we’re producing at a rate that it beggars the imagination [and] produces a threat to the integrity of sovereign citizenship the likes of which has not yet been experienced. And that’s what this committee should be concentrating on.”

Peterson himself should know about the threat posed by governments and other powerful entities deciding they should control what constitutes the limits of acceptable speech. The administration of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cracked down hard on political dissenters during the COVID pandemic, such as when the Canadian government froze the assets of protesters participating in the Canadian Freedom Convoy in 2022. 

Personally, the College of Psychologists of Ontario has threatened to revoke Peterson’s clinical license unless he undergoes Soviet-style mandatory social media re-education.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.