For someone who’s called a ‘tyrant’ and ‘dictator’, how do his critics explain Trump’s habit of coming out on the side of GREATER freedom of speech, religion, business, and individual rights?
This particular issue comes close to home. This editor personally knows people who have been hit with this problem. You may know some too…
Social media thuggery.
If we don’t bow the knee, and march lockstep with certain political agendas, we don’t get to play in their sandlot anymore.
Since reports are that an increasing majority of people are getting their daily news updates exclusively through these digital gateways, rather than traditional print or television sources… this becomes an access to information question.
And Trump’s framing of this question is exactly the right one.
Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices. Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen. They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others…….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2018
…..Censorship is a very dangerous thing & absolutely impossible to police. If you are weeding out Fake News, there is nothing so Fake as CNN & MSNBC, & yet I do not ask that their sick behavior be removed. I get used to it and watch with a grain of salt, or don’t watch at all..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2018
Social Media Giants are silencing millions of people. Can’t do this even if it means we must continue to hear Fake News like CNN, whose ratings have suffered gravely. People have to figure out what is real, and what is not, without censorship!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2018
We don’t need fewer voices, we need more. It’s up to the discerning information consumer to sift through and think for himself about which is credible or not.
What was the solution to the KKK’s seething hate? Even the ACLU knew enough about freedom that they fought for their right to march, while hating EVERYTHING they stood for. But the rest of America did the real work of ending their influence by ridiculing them and marginalizing their ideas.
Mike Rowe told the story about the role Superman comics played in making the Klan a laughing-stock. And later, Sessions pushing for the death penalty against a Klansman convicted for lyinching a man didn’t help their reputation, either.
Maximise free speech and prosecute actual crimes (like fraud) when they occur. That’s how you defeat bad ideas and criminal deception. Not by gagging people who say things you don’t like.
Compare the American Maximal free speech model to, say, China, or Iran.
In China, Winnie the Pooh banned online because he was used to mock their ‘Dear Leader’. Strict internet controls exist to prevent anyone from discussing anything that might be considered subversive to the State.
Subversive ideas are dangerous. But what’s even more dangerous? Powerful people and institutions that are immune to criticism. Government. Religion. Political. Educational.
Iran is jailing (and worse) women who defy the State requirement that women wear head coverings whether they want to or not. Until the revolution in the 1970s, their cloting choices were as Western as any European nation. They wore the fashions of the day.
And now, they have their head and face covered… or else.
The internet helps those women who feel oppressed by that system share their story with people around the world.
Will erroneous stories be reported? Will there be half-truths and outright lies?
We already have that anyway. Because people see what they want to see. Look at Brian Ross. He told a story that was completely false. Many believed him. His company got exposed for the error/lie (we’ll leave it to you to decide which it was). Because he was discredited, the company chose to fire him as a sign of their own committment to reporting standards.
That’s how this is supposed to work. And with PEW Research reporting that 25% of newsroom staff have been laid off in the last decade, we need MORE citizen journalists and ‘alternate news sources’ … not fewer.
If tryranny and corruption are such important things to oppose, we will need voices across the WHOLE political spectrum to oppose it wherever it may be found.
After all — the establishment media have proven themselves unwilling or unablet to do so. Even when our own government institutions were weaponized against private citizens (IRS, for example) the media protected them from scrutiny, rather than exposing the rot.
Trump’s got the right solution. Notice he’s NOT calling for more regulation. Not calling for government interference. (What a tyrant, eh?)
He’s calling for the unfettered free and fair exchange of ideas hostile to one another duking it out in the arena of public opinion… AND the internet.
Free speech. It’s still worth having.
Move over Mr. & Mrs. Smith…
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This new painting captures both the First Lady’s sophistication and The President’s swagger.
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