Criminalizing speech would only relate to hate speech though, which would be an extremely necessary criminal justic reform for the US. Here In Germany racists, sexists, etc. like Donald Trump and 80% of the white american population would not get away with wearing the Hakenkreuz and being members of the KKK. Criminalizing hate speech is very important.
You can either have freedom of expression/freedom from censorship, or you can have neither. There is no way to compromise on principle and keep your principles intact, it just doesn’t work that way. It’s like George W Bush when he said he had to compromise free market principles to save the free market. Anyone with half a brain understood that what he said was bullshit, same applies to people who think hate speech belongs in a separate category from other speech because it has the word hate before it.
Speech is speech, the content is irrelevant. Once you start saying certain kinds of speech are criminal, you open the door for the state to start declaring other forms of speech to be such, and there are plenty of special interest groups who would love for censorship to be implemented. Muslims would want to criminalise criticism of Islam, in essence herald the return of blasphemy laws. Separation of church and state? Fuck that, this speech is hateful and must be banned, because feelings. There’s no objective principle here, only subjective emotion.
The US has this annoying thing called the Bill of Rights, which is an integral part of the Constitution, the First Amendment of which, funnily enough, has to do with freedom of expression. It makes you wonder: Why is it the First Amendment? Why not the Second, or the Third? Could it be that, maybe, the people who wrote the Bill of Rights were concerned with, say, the state attempting to impose censorship so as to limit the public discourse? Some hurt feelings are the price you pay for the ability to express yourself without fear of governmental punishment. At any rate, changing the US Constitution isn’t as easy as simple criminal justice reform. Although, if people like you got their way, freedom would be killed off by the hordes of social justice wankers spewing forth from the halls of so-called higher education.
Having everyone’s opinions out in the open makes it easier to determine whom one wishes to associate with and thereby penalise unacceptable opinions by disassociating with those who hold them. People who hold unpopular opinions will either be incentivised to change or be relegated to the fringes of society. This is the peaceful way to deal with opinions you do not like. Your way involves the violence of state power to impose your views on everyone else. Germany may have done away with the symbolism of Nazism, but the authoritarian streak still remains.