Ron Paul: ‘War on Terror’ Comes Home

Former Congressman Ron Paul, the 1988 Libertarian Party presidential nominee, released the following column today on the banning of President Donald Trump and conservatives from social media networks.  After Paul posted a link to the column on his official Facebook page, Facebook blocked his ability to control the page, without warning, due to “repeatedly going against our community standards.”

Last week’s massive social media purges – starting with President Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter and other outlets – was shocking and chilling, particularly to those of us who value free expression and the free exchange of ideas. The justifications given for the silencing of wide swaths of public opinion made no sense and the process was anything but transparent. Nowhere in President Trump’s two “offending” Tweets, for example, was a call for violence expressed explicitly or implicitly. It was a classic example of sentence first, verdict later.

Many Americans viewed this assault on social media accounts as a liberal or Democrat attack on conservatives and Republicans, but they are missing the point. The narrowing of allowable opinion in the virtual public square is no conspiracy against conservatives. As progressives like Glenn Greenwald have pointed out, this is a wider assault on any opinion that veers from the acceptable parameters of the mainstream elite, which is made up of both Democrats and Republicans.

Yes, this is partly an attempt to erase the Trump movement from the pages of history, but it is also an attempt to silence any criticism of the emerging political consensus in the coming Biden era that may come from progressive or antiwar circles.

Continue reading the column at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

6 thoughts on “Ron Paul: ‘War on Terror’ Comes Home

  1. Gene Berkman

    Donald J Trump violated the norms of civil society and the rules of Twitter when he used his bully pulpit to pour out more bully shit about having the election stolen. It is clear that the Trump supporters want to steal the election on behalf of their messiah (sic).

    The various tech companies are private enterprises and have the right to set terms for use of their facilities. Libertarians favor freedom of association, and that includes the right to disassociate. Anyone who cares about civilization, or about America, will disassociate from Donald Trump and his violent supporters.

    If Twitter were to allow Donald Trump to continue to use their facilities, they would be liable under joint & several liability if the relatives of people killed in the pro-Trump riots were to sue for wrongful death. Certainly Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani share liability in the case of deaths, injury or property destruction that took place after the rally at which Donald Trump said “we will never stop fighting” and Rudy Giuliani called for “trial by combat.” Twitter, Facebook and other social media companies are protecting themselves against lawsuits by banning Donald J Trump.

    Libertarians understand that freedom of speech does not include the right to demand others provide you with a microphone. There was a time when Ron Paul understood this. And there was a time when Ron Paul would have understood the threat from an Imperial President that foments violence against the Congress of the United States.

    Ron Paul’s mind, R.I.P,

  2. William Saturn Post author

    During the speech, Donald Trump said:

    “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard today.”

    Stop willfully ignoring this. He did not call for a breach of the Capitol. He is not responsible for the actions of people who ignored his words.

  3. William Saturn Post author

    Berkman’s argument is basically what BraveTheWorld just wrote on Twitter:

    “HEY, IT’S A PRIVATE COMPANY. IF YOU DON’T LIKE THEIR CONDUCT, JUST MAKE YOUR OWN GOVERNMENT BACKED TECHNOCRATIC MONOPOLY”

  4. dL

    JUST MAKE YOUR OWN GOVERNMENT BACKED TECHNOCRATIC MONOPOLY”

    How exactly is Twitter a government-backed monopoly?

  5. dL

    https://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2021/01/trumps-twitter-ban-first-amendment.html

    Social media are DMP platforms to sell audience to advertisers. Social media has never been a 1st amendment free for all. For example, Facebook banned pornography from day one. Section 230, originally part of the Communications Decency Act, and entitled “Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material” was written to give license to Internet Companies to ban/block/censor/prohibit content that was otherwise constitutionally protected. SCOTUS struck CDA down but kept 230 with a largely absolutist interpretation of the clause “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider that indemnified platform and/or publisher from civil liability(including libelous speech) from user content.

    The analogy to the old newspaper “”letter to the editors” is not exactly accurate. Back in the day, no newspaper would publish a letter accusing Senator So and So of being a George Soros backed, Satan worshipping child sex trafficker. But social media would allow it. Section 230 essentially gave a free license for libel. And that’s why Trump hates section 230. Trump has always hated the relatively weak US libel laws, much preferring the stronger European laws against libel. If you criticize Trump, Trump wants to sue whoever printed/published it without having to be burdened with those pesky details of (1) objectively false, (2) deliberately and intentionally malicious.

    The SESTA/FOSTA amendments to section 230 are 1st amendment abridgments. It’s one thing not be required to publish constitutionally protected speech, it’s quite another to be fearful of civil and criminal sanction if you do. That’s what SESTA/FOSTA did to sex and drug speech(and gun speech to some extent).

    A new anti-terror bill from the Dems would almost certainly include new amendment(s) to section 230 that will largely be aimed at the right but which could likewise be pointed at the left. These amendments or amendment to section 230 will certainly be a 1st amendment abridgment. Some types of speech that were traditionally constitutionally protected would likely strike fear of civil or criminal penalty if posted on the internet.

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