The last four and a half years present a master example in a key phenomenon related to truth during political conflict: when swords and knives come out, brains shut down. They must. You just want to survive. To do that, you destroy your opponents, without thought.
I used to think that efforts to restrict free speech in politics were fated to fail in the United States, ending in the same trash bin as socialism, communism, and free love in the Senate washroom. To propose ideas like regulation of speech was part of our free expression. You could criticize these proposals, but you could not object to their existence, or to their publication. You could only explain why they were bad ideas. When government officials propose bad ideas, however, you have to speak up, strongly and immediately.
Look where we have arrived. Indignant partisans demand that a few companies remove someone’s voice, and the companies comply! The companies can remove unpopular platforms, such as Parler, or unpopular individuals, such as the former president. They can remove people’s ability to communicate in the present and future, and they can wipe the record of all past communications. That is not the freedom we contemplated, or anticipated forty years ago.
Commentary about the Capitol riot has started to settle in. A week later, we see more reflection and deeper observation …
The cruelty of family separation, the concentration camps, the contemptuous way he treated everyone who came to seek help in the United States negates everything he otherwise did, however beneficial.
So what do you suppose Trump’s supporters think when they see AOC and her allies talk about a Trump Accountability Project, essentially a blacklist of Trump supporters, to be shamed at every turn after their president leaves office?
“Theirs is nakedly a campaign of disinformation in the middle of an election. I am sorry to say to some of my readers: If you’re so dumb as to lose all critical judgment every time you hear the word “Russians,” somebody will take advantage of it.”
To put the question another way, how would we respond if a presidential candidate were to announce, “I want to reduce the president’s powers”?