What is happening is reminiscent of the Reichstag Fire. Many leftists and opponents of President Trump are calling to purge him and his supporters from public life. Now these purges are beginning in earnest.
In the wake of the protest turned mob, then riot in D.C. cancellation is in progress. Various media and Big Tech companies are using the moment to remove POTUS, businesses and Americans from their digital platforms. We are not talking simply to condemn the violence.
Americans are shaken by what they saw at the Capitol last week. It’s part of a larger mostly Leftist pattern of mob law. The crimes of a few lawbreakers are not be a valid excuse to punish and silence other Americans. Trump did not do that all 2020 long. Doing so simply because of their political beliefs is contrary to our nation’s founding principles.
The actions appear to have targeting and coordination. It is a deeply disturbing trend. The question is this a peak of intolerance or a starting point for a permanent tyranny. Biden may be mouthing unity in some places but he does so while comparing his opponents with Nazis.
We are at a time of deep national division. Biden’s choice to call his political opponents’ literal Nazis does nothing to bring us together or promote healing. The words are contradictory. Ted Cruz tweeted:
“This kind of vicious partisan rhetoric only tears our country apart.”
Biden’s allies are celebrating the purges. They are calling for more retribution against political enemies. That’s appears to be what the Lincoln Project intends to do. They propose to create a “blacklist” of people supporting or working for the Trump administration. Stuart Stevens tweeted:
At @ProjectLincoln we are constructing a database of Trump officials & staff that will detail their roles in the Trump administration & track where they are now. No personal info, only professional. But they will be held accountable & not allowed to pretend they were not involved
Forbes magazine editor Randall Lane warns there will be a “truth reckoning” for companies hiring or do business with former Trump staffers. Wasn’t McCarthyism supposed to be a bad thing? These are purge attempts. Worse, media and advocacy groups aren’t the only ones engaging in purge.
Hypocrisy, action, and coordination
Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms are banning Trump. Twitter’s official statement cites “risk of further incitement of violence” from Trump’s tweets. His tweets are specifically about not attending the Biden inauguration. The statement rings hollow. If it is not hollow how do does it square with: Allowing the CCP, Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, and the ayatollah of Iran to have a platform?
We’ve seen a long list of uneven enforcement actions in recent years from Big Tech. They generally err on the side of shutting down right-leaning voices. While Twitter was banning Trump, other Big Tech companies were smashing alternatives to Twitter.
Apple is announcing it will pull Parler, a Twitter alternative, from its app store. They are accusing it of inciting violence. Apple’s statement reads:
“…We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity. Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues…”
Google, Apple, and Amazon
Google also dropped Parler from its app store. Amazon took it a step further. Amazon is announcing it will pull Parler from its server. The reason they cite, supposedly violating its terms of service. The action effectively shuts down Parler. The purge is cancellation.
This cancellation action, according to Apple, Google, and Amazon, centers on Parler’s lack of a moderation mechanism for violent content. Parler very well may have violated the terms of service for those companies. However, the way this all occurred at once is disturbing. It is certainly a series of actions, occurring closely together, and to a platform championing free speech.
Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker says “deplatforming” people from its services wasn’t enough. She says change “requires more than just the temporary silencing or permanent removal of bad actors.”
Mozilla owns Firefox, a major web browser, and has ties to Google. Mozilla CEO says: ‘We need more than deplatforming’ …
This is going to be bad. What’s more shocking is the dramatic difference in how these same companies treat the left. Last year, a book in defense of looting received sympathetic media coverage. Plenty of prominent commentators even defend vandalism. They rationalize property destruction in the wake of riots as “nonviolent.” Some went so far as to say that violence is an acceptable means of affecting policy change. Non-violence is an important tool for protests, but so is violence.
Silencing free speech by Big Tech
That was not met with mass social-media purges and de-platforming. Tech companies have the right to set their own policies. With that said, it’s hard to overlook the inconsistency, the double standards with which they apply them.
When the president is subject to silencing by Big Tech what’s the average American to do? When the digital knee comes down on their neck is there defense? Big Tech is signaling to half the country they very soon also will facing silencing.
In Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address he said that “we are all republicans, we are all federalists.” Jefferson said, those opposing republican government were marginal and that his political opponents should be debated, not silenced by force. The quote:
“If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it.”
Bridge the divide or split the sheets?
Not all kinds of political unity are the same. Bridging political divides with reason, treating all Americans as fellow countrymen is one kind. Crushing dissent with governmental power coordinating with institutions of power to silence critics and political opponents is another. What does a system of ordered liberty require? It’s troubling to see America is heading in the latter direction.