Twitter Should Bring Back Trump

Why banning accounts is Anti-Democratic!

Photo Courtesy: canva.com

Freedom of Speech

The test of a healthy democracy and the power of our Constitution is when it’s put under pressure and doesn’t crumble, but 2020 was a year of failure for America.

We failed…

To Allow Peaceful Demonstrations

To Allow Freedom of Speech

To Allow Freedom of Assembly

Whether you are a Democrat or Republican supporter, you should be deeply concerned about #cancelculture and its anti-democratic movement.

What is Cancel Culture?

It is not anti-American to boycott a company or make your voice heard through economic means. The mascot of the Washington Football team was finally removed after significant economic pressure. This is not an example of #cancelculture.

But removing Donald Trump’s twitter account for life is #cancelculture and it’s a problem for all Americans.

In my personal opinion, I can understand why Twitter decided to ban him, but I have to disagree with their user agreement and their policies based solely on the protection of the 1st Amendment.

The First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Here’s where we start to get into trouble. What does Freedom of Speech mean? And what does it protect? Can it protect a President from speaking his mind?

This is very dangerous.

An American based company has censored the former President of the United States. What would Thomas Jefferson say about that? What would George Washington have to say?

They both would be deeply unhappy about the turn of events. They both would say that the individual has the right to speak their mind.

How Political Coverage Works

What happened to Donald Trump and others on social media begs the question, how did we get to this point? What actually happened?

And the answer would be very surprising to most readers.

The facts and truth is that our reporters and mainstream media outlets created this maelstrom of chaos. What’s more surprising is that they didn’t do it on purpose. Over time they extended the lines of acceptable news worthiness and once Donald Trump was elected the media started to feel how far that extension had reached.

In other words, reporters and the media immediately regretted what they had been doing for the last 20 years.

Was Donald Trump really wrong? Or was this mass regret and shame on the part of the media at play?

What Constitutes a News Story?

Most readers would not know that in J-school (Journalism school) there are 10 factors that reporters and media outlets are supposed to match a potential story against in order to determine its news worthiness.

I won’t go over all 10 because it’s not important. But to give one example, urgency is one factor. So covering a hurricane fits directly into the list because a hurricane is an urgent story that needs to be reported and covered immediately.

What’s more surprising about the list of 10 factors is what is NOT on the list.

The one factor that is “off the list” is reporting the WHOLE story.

Yes, it is acceptable journalism to publish or print a news story that does not have the WHOLE story, but just bits and pieces of a story. In the 1800s this may have been acceptable as access to news was severely limited, but in 2021 where everyone has access to news, publishing a half-story is quite dangerous.

Our democracy is only threatened by foreign nations and bots because it’s easy to fabricate a news article if you only need it to be half-true.

Think about most of what Donald Trump said. Think about all the accounts that Twitter and the social media platforms banned. Isn’t the problem they only spoke in half-truths?

Social media contemplated “fact-checking” to allow readers to know the WHOLE story, but most of the news articles, posts and videos from mainstream media also only tell part of the story.

Those articles are factually based. They are not lies and fabrications, but only telling the public half the story is misleading. And that’s where the problem begins.

Let’s take an example from the 1990s.

All of the news media, including the most respected journalists piled on to the scandal around then President Bill Clinton. The news stories were factual, but didn’t tell the WHOLE story.

So what happened? The public was misled. The public got confused by what was being covered. And in the end a private citizens life was ruined. Not the President, but a private citizen.

Where was #metoo back then?

Here are the facts of the story:

President Bill Clinton had a sexual relationship with an intern. It was consensual, but inappropriate. The relationship became more inappropriate when Bill Clinton used his influence to procure the intern a job as a “quid pro quo” for the sexual relationship.

Those are the facts. I am not mentioning the name of the intern on purpose, because unfortunately the media and journalists doxxed the intern.

Looking back, the media inappropriately printed the intern’s name. Why?

Was the intern’s name important or relevant to the story? No, not at all.

Did the intern’s name follow the list of 10 factors for news worthiness? Not even close.

Why then did they all collectively decide to Doxx Her?

Who is a Public Figure?

We agree as Americans, that elected politicians are public figures. It’s central to our protection as “we the people.”

If elected officials had the same protections as private citizens, our already susceptible government would be cast into the shadows and who knows what might happen.

The Watergate Scandal is a perfect example of how our elected officials need to be held accountable by journalists and they need to investigate what the government is doing at all times.

But the same accountability should not be applied to private citizens. Under the First Amendment, we are provided the right to free speech and we should be given that right.

But are family members public figures too?

Did the media cross the line, when they bullied and harrassed a teenage Chelsea Clinton.

Fast forward to 2020. Was Donald Trump’s behavior and bullying worse than the media’s treatment of Chelsea Clinton?

Although Donald Trump was right about the double-standard against him, he should not have used it as an excuse to be a generally unethical and mean person.

Is there a difference between how the media acts and how Donald Trump acts? Unfortunately for the media, the answer is NO. They are one in the same.

Banning Books

What’s the difference between banning books and banning social media accounts?

There was a time, when large mobs were adamant about banning J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye.” And in some states, they were successful. Do they hang their head in shame today? They should.

Banning books is clearly ANTI-AMERICAN!

Banning anything is anti-american.

Why is our first answer to defend democracy — ban it?

That’s the opposite of what democracy stands for. It’s the opposite of freedom of speech.

Why do we continue to get this wrong?

The biggest danger to democracy is when the loudest citizens get to dictate what happens for the rest of the citizenry. No one should have that much power, and the government and our Constitution is supposed to protect all 300 million citizens against such power.

The Constitution and our Founding Fathers were very clear that the government needed to protect the minority against the majority. It’s easy to assemble a mob. It’s not easy to control one.

#defundthepolice, #cancelculture, #blm, and trumpers need the same protections, but they also need to understand that they do not have the “right” to dictate to other people.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and AWS and all social media platforms are private businesses, but if they want to promote democracy and pro-American ideals, they need to follow the rule of law of the United States. Therefore if they wish to be examples of freedom of speech, they need to allow all perspectives to speak.

They need to protect the power of speech.

“Yelling Fire in a Crowded Theater”

When we hear this phrase, we automatically think there are limitations on freedom of speech, but there are no limitations. If you yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater you HAVE the right to do it.

If by your speech, you cause harm to others, now you are guilty of other crimes, but you are not guilty of violating freedom of speech.

This example is used to illustrate how powerful speech can be and if Americans want to continue to have freedom of speech, we all need to be mindful and respect the power of speech.

Words do matter. What we say matters. How we say something matters.

We need to be more personally responsible for what we say, we write, we Tweet, we post. If we all collectively use freedom of speech to speak to power and to uncover injustices, all Americans benefit.

When all we are doing is using speech to line our own pockets, and grift the American people — you still have the right of freedom of speech, but you have cheapened democracy.

Which brings us to January 6th.

The reason that Twitter banned Donald Trump.

It’s frankly not Twitter or Facebook or YouTube’s job to monitor or censor its content creators. They are just platforms and should allow creators to create. Donald Trump, despite being the then President of the United States, was a creator on the platform.

This is a really important point.

The true democratization of our nation is the simple fact that POTUS was a creator just like some 10-year old kid from Milwaukee. Can you imagine what the Founding Fathers would have said about that?

They would have marveled at how even the playing field had become.

When the courts told Donald Trump he had no right to “block” other accounts from “following” his account, it was a watershed moment in true Democratic freedom of speech.

But by the same logic, Twitter and the other social media platforms had no right to ban Donald Trump.

Could they suspend him? Sure.

But indefinitely? No.

If Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify and any other social media platform want to take themselves seriously as a platform for freedom of speech, they need to reinstate Donald Trump immediately.

Will he stir up trouble? Probably.

But isn’t that the mark of a healthy democracy? It is.

Last Point

All of Donald Trump’s activity and speech is not a failure of the social media platforms, but it is a failure of law enforcement. It is a failure of the FBI. It is a failure of the NSA.

Donald Trump was correct, our federal law enforcement is ineffective.

Instead of protecting American Citizens, the FBI, the CIA and the NSA are used against the citizens. And don’t blame Donald Trump.

Former President Barack Obama has plenty of culpability too. Remember Ed Snowden? Well, he was a whistleblower against the Obama Administration. And he is not allowed back into the United States because he is being charged with espionage.

He is not protected under the whistleblower act. Why not?

If Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms allow Donald Trump back, our federal law enforcement should start doing its job. If Trump says something illegal, they should take action.

Being a former president does not give you immunity from the law.

But to make this article fair and balanced, being the current Majority Leader of the House of Representatives also does not make you immune from the law either.

The single biggest threat to our democracy is our own elected leaders.

If you want to know what our Founding Fathers would say or do, they would say that the “government” is the biggest threat to personal and individual freedom.

That is why the Federalist Papers were controversial. That’s why there was debate over federal and states rights. That’s why ratifying the Constitution did not take a matter of hours.

The Monarch of England was deeply oppressive to the colonies, and the last thing the new Republic wanted was another oppressive government. And if you have been following American History, we still got it wrong.

Our government is deeply oppressive.

But now that Donald Trump is no longer President, and he is an ordinary citizen, he should be allowed to come back to social media. Cry all you want, but if you believe in the stars and stripes and the Constitution, it’s the American thing to do.

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Professor Schwartz

Ed Consultant | Speaker/Author | Former Superintendent — Want to learn "how success happens?" Follow this link: https://leafacademy.org