The Sinkhole of Freedom: Politics and Social Media

“We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness. It’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong.”
-Barack Obama

In the waning hours of November 4th, 2008, for a large segment of America, it was a time of jubilant celebration after the election of the first black President of the United States in what many claimed was the signal of a new “post-racism” era in America. Men and women openly wept as they listened to Barack Obama’s sweeping acceptance speech in the autumn cold. In that moment, they believed the dark specter of racial hatred that had long infected the political landscape of American politics was, at long last, dead.

They were wrong.

There were 3 major concurrent shifts that shaped the course of the politics of the 8 years following Barack Obama’s election and leached away the common political foundation of our society, fueling the discord that led to the inevitability of Trump’s racially charged ascendancy. The first of these 3 political events was simply the uncompromising progressive agenda of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. Armed with political control of the Presidency and both the House and the Senate in Congress, the Democrats pushed through the Affordable Care Act without a shred of Republican Party support.

“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”
-Nancy Pelosi

Perhaps because Democrats actually believed themselves to be the spearhead of the “post racism” era, the second political shift was their persistent and eager dismissal of any political disagreement on the basis of perceived “racism“. “You’re just racist.” became their go to response to any complaint or criticism from the right-wing. In fact, left-wing politicians became so convinced of their absolute moral authority, they actually began shutting Republican Representatives and Senators out of committee rooms (yes, this actually happened), effectively disenfranchising right-wing voters.

The final major political shift in America, the rise of the “alternative right“, was a political movement resulting from the political marriage of these disenfranchised Republican voters, exhausted after nearly a decade of being slandered as racists regardless of whether they were or not, and actual racist white nationalists, who saw an opportunity to regain political relevance in a nation that had pronounced their twisted ideology dead years ago. Abandoning all pretense of holding political ideals of freedom and equality, Trump’s supporters have dragged American politics down into the ideological sinkhole of Trump’s “say anything about anyone” populist nationalist politics.

“Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred.”
-Jacques Barzun

The political bill, however, has at long last come due, because an interesting thing happened on Twitter, upsetting Trump’s supporters, who avidly pretend to believe in freedom of speech and freedom of association (at least when it’s theirs). The authenticated account of Trump supporter and GOP candidate, Paul Nehlen, who is ostensibly running for Paul Ryan’s seat in the House, was permanently suspended from Twitter after months of complaints made against overtly racist material posted by his account. Honestly, social media is better off without him and his specific brand of bigoted intolerance, and good riddance.

The outcry from Trump supporters, however, set in immediately, though their shrieking movement already appears to be on its last legs. Only rubes of pure blood lunatic fringe descent fail to understand that Nehlen’s inexcusable conduct was a clear violation of the terms of use he agreed to by using Twitter’s service. What is ironic is that these same people claim to believe a Christian bakery has the right to disassociate itself from the wedding of a same sex couple, yet, when the shoe is on the other foot, they believe a social media company lacks the right to disassociate itself from one of their racist rhetoric spewing lunatics?

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
-Voltairean Proverb

The great tragedy, however, is that this irony is totally lost on them, and, at this point, there is a serious question as to whether any event, up to and including Donald Trump’s impeachment, would be enough to wake up Trump’s base of goons. By all accounts, it would likely just galvanize them further. Regardless, they seem to be utterly incapable of understanding that Nehlen’s freedom of speech is in no way diminished by Twitter’s suspension of his account. If he wishes to write a book about how much he despises minorities, he has every right to despicably do so.

Twitter, as egregiously biased and overly sensitive as its censors may in fact be (and it is), still retains the right to discontinue providing a platform for such views. It’s a sure sign of how far gone American right-wing politics is that such a declaration is even necessary, as the understanding of personal and public liberty were once well understood, at least, on the right. That there are such deluded “advocates of liberty“, who also believe that an individual or group should be compelled to provide a platform for ideas they believe aberrant, is indicative of just how confused and ignorant our society has become.

To be absolutely clear:

  • Political compulsion is not a conservative value.
  • Racial or religious bigotry is not a conservative value.
  • Espousing violence against individuals is not a conservative value.
  • Claiming political entitlement is not a conservative value.
  • Exclusionary social policy is not a conservative value.

This should confuse absolutely no one. Anyone that cannot comprehend these simple and truthful declarative statements is not conservative.


Liberty is For The Win!

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