Tony Perkins / Jan. 14, 2021

Dems Practice What They Impeach

The Left has every pretense they need to finish the job they started.

Liberals are nothing if not reliable. It’s been 13 years since Barack Obama’s chief of staff sat down with ABC and declared, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Rahm Emanuel’s party has lived and died by those words through two administrations, taking advantage of every situation to push an agenda that no one would even consider under normal circumstances. We’ve seen it with the coronavirus, the election process, voting laws, and now the Capitol riot. In every challenge, every catastrophe, Democrats prove: they don’t want to help America. They want to exploit it to help themselves. And this impeachment is no exception.

People will debate for years whether Donald Trump’s speech on the National Mall was actually incitement. A lot of constitutional scholars, including some who openly despise the president, say no. But the technicalities have never mattered to House Democrats. They see an opportunity. Not to heal the divide or preserve the Republic, but to power and control. Of course, the irony is, Democrats have been trying to get Trump out of office before he ever got in. “Now,” Byron York says, “they’re proposing to remove him from office after he leaves office.” As Congressman Michael Burgess (R-S.C.) lamented on “Washington Watch,” “This has been a time that has sort of defied prediction.”

He, like every other person who genuinely loves America, was sick over what happened under the Capitol dome last Wednesday. But Burgess also understands that our country didn’t arrive there by accident. Americans had lived through a year of depression, lockdowns, death, and uncertainty. By the time the election rolled around, our entire democratic system had been upended. On the morning of November 4, voters woke up to see an inexplicable surge of votes in key states had put Joe Biden ahead. Allegations of fraud and irregularities started streaming in — which no court or state official seemed willing to pursue. Suddenly, the people who felt understood and heard by this president felt everything he worked for slip away.

As a result of that horrible day, a lawless, violent siege that cost five people their lives, the Left has every pretense they need to finish the job they started. “The riot was an accelerant for what was already likely planned under Democratic rule in Washington: crushing dissenters from its leftist orthodoxy, as part of an effort to achieve total power…” Ben Weingarten warns. The end game for Democrats is not Trump. The end game is all of us. “They’re coming for me, because I’m fighting for you,” the president was fond of saying.

At the end of the day, this impeachment isn’t about banning the president from running for office again. “If that were all, the revenge agenda would be loathsome enough,” Michael Goodwin agrees. “But Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and their co-conspirators in Big Media and Big Tech are proving Trump was right when he said his supporters were the ultimate target.”

While the repressive hand of the Democrats and their Big Tech allies will only fan the flames of resentment and hostility, it may very well leave many of those who voted for Biden on the promise unity and healing questioning their vote. Surely today’s spectacle, an exercise in reckless, selfish, retaliation, isn’t what they signed up for. Not only does it destroy their trust that Democrats can be the adults in the room, but it exposes them for the hypocrites they are. Men and women like Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) are blaming Trump for starting an “insurrection.” They argue that the senators and congressmen operating within their constitutional rights to object to the election results should “resign.”

Where were they in 2000, 2004, and 2016 when Democrats protested the presidential results in battleground states “Thirty-one Democrats voted to overturn the presidential election results in Ohio in 2005,” Rachel Bovard tweeted. Ten of them are still in Congress. They serve beside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who herself insisted in 2017, “Our election was hijacked. There is no question. Congress has a duty to protect democracy and follow the facts.” What about the violence Democrats called for against the president and his supporters? “Get up in their face!” “Be ready to throw a punch!” “Push them,” “Kick them,” “Fight him in the streets!” And that’s on top of the looting, burning, and rioting they all condoned in the summer.

The Left lives in a swamp of hypocrites. They say they want to bring civility back. But who can watch what unfolded today and believe it? No one is saying Trump is blameless. What they are saying is that it’s time for Democrats to stop using these crisis points to sow further resentment, division, and turmoil.

Why am I voting against impeachment, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) answered? “To lower the temperature.” “Look, the fact [is], we’ve only got 10 days left, and the priority we need to be engaging in is unifying the country, not escalating things further.” His new colleague, freshman Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) agreed, insisting that if Congress is looking for the people responsible for this toxic climate, they all need to look in the mirror. “There is violence on both sides of the aisle,” she said. “We’ve contributed to it. We need to… take responsibility for it — and stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution.”

Originally published here.

Twitter Reaches Hypocritical Mass

Twitter is opposed to government’s restricting speech; maybe it is because they don’t want competition. In a development that is adding more fuel to the fires against Big Tech, Jack Dorsey’s company made the astonishingly bad PR move to tweet about the situation in Uganda. In what comes across as delusional, Twitter tried to position itself as a champion of open debate, posting (to the astonishment of pretty much everyone), “Ahead of the Ugandan election, we’re hearing reports that Internet service providers are being ordered to block social media and messaging apps. We strongly condemn internet shutdowns — they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights, and the principles of the open internet.”

Yes, Twitter, the king of conservative censorship, wielder of the all-powerful on/off switch, had the nerve to actually write that. Days after permanently stripping the president of the free world’s account — a move that even Europe’s progressives couldn’t believe — Dorsey’s company has the audacity to air on the side of “open internet” in a country 8,000 miles away. “The gall!” was all New York Post op-ed editor Sohrab Ahmari could say. “Pre-election freedom of information for Ugandans. But not for readers of America’s oldest daily newspaper, The New York Post.” Truly, our friend Allie Stuckey shook her head, “They think you’re stupid.”

Unfortunately for Jack Dorsey and the rest of Big Tech’s oligarchs, we’re not. “A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech,” the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, argued. “West Coast high tech has to make the distinction between banning hate speech and banning speech it hates.” So far, Dorsey’s posse hasn’t had much motivation to do so — but that is changing, critics warn, and fast.

In Europe, where countries have never cared much for free speech and find themselves father down the path of radicalism, leaders like Germany’s Angela Merkel described the banning of Trump “problematic.” Others, like Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, were quite blunt that what Silicon Valley had done is “an unacceptable act.” “Of course, Twitter is a private company, but we have seen many examples in Russian and China of such private companies becoming the state’s best friends and the enablers when it comes to censorship.” Not to mention, he tacks on with potent truth, “I get death threats here every day for many years, and Twitter doesn’t ban anyone.”

How far has America come in one week, if even the nations where free speech isn’t cherished are surprised? Have we actually managed to leapfrog Europe and Asia in this social media freefall? Even the ACLU felt compelled to put a stake in the ground. “We understand the desire to permanently suspend [Trump] now, but it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier,” the organization’s statement read. In other words: what goes around, comes around.

“Democrats celebrating censorship, and social media companies flaunting their decisions with specious justifications, should be wary. The very same desire to silence a political opponent will come for them. And the tech giants trying to please the party in charge just backed a move that puts their political future in jeopardy,” Jason Rantz warns them. The Jack Dorseys and Mark Zuckerbergs may think they hold all the power, but a Big Tech reckoning is coming. And when it does, no amount of leftist election pandering will save them.

Originally published here.

BigTech Monopoly Refuses to Let Conservatives Pass Go

There aren’t many areas of consensus in Congress, but thank goodness Big Tech reform is one of them. Democrats may go along with the theatrics of banning President Trump from Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook for now, but once the dust settles, liberals are just as gung-ho on breaking up the monopoly as anyone.

We can’t live in a country, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) insisted, “where four or five companies — unelected, unaccountable [companies] — have the power to decide [who speaks].” They’re making decisions on who gets erased from the digital platform, he argued. “And the reason why these guys are doing it is because Democrats are about to take power, and they view this as a way to get on their good side to avoid restrictions or any sort of laws being passed that hurt them.”

True, House liberals may not have the same motivation as conservatives for calling Big Tech to the carpet, but they have motivation nonetheless. In their 449-page report from October, Democrats compared the social media moguls to the 1900s “oil barons and railroad tycoons,” modern abusers of U.S. anti-trust laws they say they won’t tolerate.

Three months later, mired in a crisis of censorship, a lot of Americans are concerned the situation has hit a point of no return. Well, let me encourage you that what we’re facing right now is something our nation has confronted — and defeated — before. The beauty of the American system is that as manipulated and corrupted as it has been at times, the founders had a genius about the design that allowed those wrongs to be righted.

Right now, we may be dealing with different names, different industries, and a different environment, but the principles from the 1800s, when the robber barons controlled aspects of our economy, still apply. At one point in time, Standard Oil commanded over 90 percent of the U.S. oil market. In 1911, thanks to the people pushing back and demanding reform, the government broke up the company into 34 different pieces. And voila, we had competition.

There are a lot of similarities between that predicament and the one America finds itself in with Google, which controls 92 percent of the global search engine market. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, as the saying goes. And as soon as people start to feel the harm — a situation that widespread censorship and deplatforming will guarantee — things start to change.

Right now, Liberty University’s Dr. Dave Brat agreed, “there’s a giant concentration of power and wealth on the Left. But the good news is, usually these monopolies die out… You probably can’t think of many monopoly products from 20 or 30 years ago that are still around.” That said, people are right to be concerned, “because they’re seeing things that they cannot believe could ever happen in America.” Our speech is being attacked. Our open forums are being destroyed. Big Tech moguls are colluding with Democrats to manipulate messaging, elections, and voting rules. The free market philosophy, as we know it, is under siege.

“All economic theories have working markets. You have to have a hundred or a thousand firms competing against each other. Unfortunately, that’s not true in the [case of] Amazon or Big Tech. They’re virtual monopolies. Every economist under the sun should be in open revolt here.” If we’re going to have competition, other companies at least need an opportunity to get on the playing field — something this decade-long power grab has denied them. So why aren’t the experts speaking out, Dave asks? What’s happened to higher education? “Where are the Nobel laureates in economics? [Why aren’t they] speaking out?” Simple. The schools have been bought out. And there’s a silencing of opposition that’s made even conservatives take cover.

If they don’t find their voice, Dave warns, “the whole grand experiment of economics is dead.” At the end of the day, change isn’t going to come from the educational institutions. It’s not going to come from the political establishment. It’s going to come — as it did a century ago — from people saying, “Enough is enough.” Back then, they didn’t have the internet, Dave reminded everyone. They didn’t have email. But they still managed to succeed through the power of local communities, churches, and congressmen.

The challenge now is, we’ve become very rich and spoiled Americans. We like our cheap Amazon products from China and our social media feeds. But if we want to strip these companies of their influence and return America to the First Amendment principles the world admires, it’s time to step out of our comfort zones and act.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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