“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Rahm Emmanuel, former Democratic campaign advisor (William J. Clinton), White House Chief of Staff (Barack Obama) and Mayor of Chicago.
27 February 1933 is the day that Germany’s Reichstag, Capitol Building, burned. To this day, the exact perpetrators are unknown. The recently appointed German Chancellor (head of government) used the fire as a pretext to suspend civil liberties. That Chancellor was a guy by the name of Adolf Hitler, an illegal immigrant to Getmany from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Since I don’t know of anyone who supports or endorses the riot, I can conclude that the big tech social media companies’ responses are draconian. Couple that with the increasing capability of artificial intelligence to perform surveillance and censorship, and,, well, we have the makings of a dandy way to limit and restrict free speech. The censoring is performed by private sector social media companies, who claim to be neutral forums for free expression. The companies are acting contrary to the principles of a neutral forum, declaring opinions and positions with which they disagree as hate speech, their dubious justification for censorship. That’s not creepy, is it?
The Capitol Hill riot has been the justification for deleting not only President Trump’s but Lt. Gen Mike Flynn’s and defence attorney Sidney Powell’s Twitter© accounts. Sen Josh Hawley had a book deal cancelled by Simon and Schuster (a CBS affiliate). Hawley’s transgression was exercising a challenge to the electoral votes of a state. This right to challenge is outlined in the U.S. Constitution. It has been exercised in the past by such people as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.. One can easily conclude that this was an act of censorship. Facebook© suspended Brandon Stracha and The Walk Away© Campaign’s Facebook© page. Stracha’s page deals with individuals who have become disillusioned with The Democratic Party and “walked away.”
Time travel eighty eight years, and we see that the Reichstag Fire was an excuse to suspend civil liberties, just as the riot was a pretext to censor Conservative thought on social media. Free speech has been stifled. That Big Tech gave big money to the Democrats made these moves all that more unsettling.
When the major legacy communications and media companies, overlooked, ignored, and generally derided claims of voter fraud in the battleground states, claims with strong supporting evidence, there was even more reason to suspect that the election was rigged. Biden is entering his Presidency, not with a cloud over his legitimacy, but a cyclone.
Artificial Intelligence can advance the goals of the surveillance state. And we give the tech companies the right to sell data regarding our activity, e.g. purchases, sites visited, blog entries, to interested third parties, like the federal government. The government can conduct domestic surveillance via a third party and deny it is even taking place.
This situation stopped being about President Trump on 4 November. That was when the evidence of alleged voter and electoral fraud began appearing and became a threat to our freedom. The allegations have not been vetted in any court. Courts have dismissed the claims not on the merit of the claims made, but on procedural grounds, i.e. lack of standing.
And so, before even attaining the power of the Executive Branch, the Democrats in the Legislative Branch are rushing Trump supporters (all 74+million) to judgement along with President Trump. Their media allies report the Democrats’ accusations, unvetted. Trump supporters can be dismissed as “bigots”, and thus denied their rights to free expression in public forums, like social media platforms.
“It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Barack H. Obama, then a Senator, campaign speech 14 April, 2008.
So perhaps Obama’s bitter clingers, quite easily, morphed into Trump supporters, because Trump spoke to their concerns. Now some Trump supporters, a few thousand out of 74 million, stormed the Capitol. Perhaps agent provocateurs, posing as Trump supporters, possibly mixed in with them, possibly inciting them to violence, if not just criminal trespass.
But 74 million people have been stigmatized, as Trump supporters have been since 2015, and the social media companies are denying conservatives their rights in a grand display of prejudice. The actions of a few are the pretext to deprive the many of their rights. It keeps happening. Berlin 1933, Washington 2021.
Do we really expect human nature to change?