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What's Wrong With Booting Trump Off Social Media?

Having once spent a day trapped in Beirut during that country's civil war, you'll excuse me if I don't support the idea that yesterday's events in DC represented an 'insurrection' of any kind. This country has a long tradition of allowing its citizens to engage in public displays of violent civil disorder as long as those citizens aren't Black.

Be that as it may, however, I also believe that while Trump may have hoped that Tuesday's rally was the beginning of an organized challenge to the old-line GOP, (which is how Limbaugh describes MAGA’s strategic goal), the behavior of the vandals who grabbed some free samples from various Congressional offices has put an end to that fantasy, at least for now.

The real problem for growing MAGA is that Facebook has banned Trump for the remainder of his Presidency and Twitter might follow suit. Which means that the alt-right noise machine will ramp up their attacks on ‘big tech’ companies that are censoring news except when the content is generated by the Deep State.

Pushing Trump off of social media websites presents a dilemma for our liberal friends. After all, liberals are first and foremost defenders of the ‘rights’ enunciated in the Bill of Rights, most of all the ‘right’ to free speech. Our good friend Sandy Levinson even wrote a piece in The Yale Law Journal which reminded liberals that if they wanted to support the 1st Amendment, they needed to support the 2nd Amendment too.

Back in 2002, I decided to spend some bucks to advertise my gun shop, so I called the advertising department at the local paper and inquired about advertising rates. When I told the nice lady that I would send her a quarter-page ad for my gun shop, she informed me that the ad couldn’t be placed.

“I’m afraid that guns will upset some folks who might cancel their subscriptions,” she said.

Hey! Wait a minute! Here I’m trying to support the 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ of my customers and I’m not going to be protected by the 1st Amendment’s ‘right’ to free speech? Am I living in a country which is no longer ‘free?’

In fact, I was still living in the United States where free speech is protected by our Constitution, but the Courts have ruled multiple times that advertising doesn’t qualify for the same degree of Constitutional protection that we give non-commercial speech, i.e., speech not promoting a transaction in the marketplace.

Now Trump hasn’t started to use Twitter yet for selling his shirts, his steaks, or his perfume. On the other hand, speech which violates ‘acceptable standards’ for fairness, decency or proper behavior can also be regulated by owners of venues which publish written or spoken words.

I don’t think our liberal friends should feel the slightest bit defensive or apologetic about Trump being banned by Facebook or other social media sites. As far as I’m concerned, he should have been booted off years ago.

Don’t agree? Take a look at some of his tweets which have been cataloged here, particularly the tweets about how Obama was born overseas. To paraphrase Supreme Court Associate Justice Potter Stewart, I may not know how to define filth, but I know it when I smell it or read it, okay?

It would be one thing if Trump were using social media just to say what’s on his mind. But he’s using it as a recruiting tool for his fantasy MAGA movement, and as a threat to organizations and public figures who don’t line up on his side. Anyone who denies this last sentence is denying reality but after all, blocking reality is what conspiracy theories are all about.

That being said, I have a solution for Trump if he (hopefully) is permanently banned from using his Facebook and Twitter accounts. He can always get some of his Russian oligarch friends to fund his own social media network, and he can then spew out his digital garbage to his heart’s content.

What’s wrong with that?

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