Donald J. Trump is, of course, a profligate user of social media; even his enemies would grant him that much. So it must be a source of immense frustration for many Trump-haters on the Left to realize that he is not only the bane of their existence, but also the reason for their success. Without President Trump and his tweets to kick around, the social media left would be dead as a doornail.
The President often belittles their impotent little forays into the political arena, which, at the same time, drives their membership to new heights. No Trump, no empire of anti-Trump blogs, websites, twitter feeds, and activist groups. In their lucid moments, these liberal groups no doubt resent their dependence on The Beast they are dedicated to bringing down.
And these groups are lashing out; but not just against the President, but against freedom of speech and the free market economy. And it isn’t just a matter of censoring content they don’t like – though they do that too. It is a much larger, full-frontal assault on the underpinnings of our country and our democratic order.
The predominantly liberal-leaning — and in most cases outright leftist — corporate social media outlets have launched an attack on our freedoms for a myriad reasons. One of their preferred arguments is that their message should be carried for free — or virtually for free — on the backs of private investors who built the high speed internet highways that give us virtually instant access to whatever meaningless piece of information we seem to “need,” literally at a moment’s notice. They term this “Title II net neutrality.”
But don’t be confused by their rhetorical jujitsu.
These are the same social media outlets that routinely genuflect at the altar of corrupt totalitarian communist regimes (for the promise of access to their markets), who routinely block political messages with which they disagree here at home, and who (by their own admission) design their apps and websites with the intent to lead people to “addiction.” Sean Parker famously commented late last year that social media “literally changes your relationship with society, with each other. It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.” Recently a clinical psychiatrist coined “FAD”— Facebook Addiction Disorder – the name for what he thinks is an addictive disorder related to the use of social media.
These are the same social media outlets that squash content that they find objectionable and who have resorted to militant Occupy Wall Street and Antifa tactics to give voice to their apparent angst over new net neutrality rules recently passed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The angry left and their big tech corporate enablers’ latest gambit is to overturn new regulations through a little-used and arcane Congressional Review Act legislative procedure. It was the same process that the seemingly cognitively-dissonant Democrats tried to write out of legislative procedure last year with the so-called “SCRAP” the CRA bill S. 1140 – authored by aspiring Presidential candidate Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ).
Senator Booker gladly scrapped his opinion of the CRA tool once his radical base identified the net neutrality issue as a way to rally the liberal base ahead of the 2020 elections, an issue that – in their minds – trumps all others such as diversity in tech, online human sex trafficking, and manipulative algorithms that exploit people’s sensitive private information for profit.
Members of Congress should be forewarned though that a primary aim these highly “addictive” social media sites is to get government to intervene in the private marketplace at the expense of smaller competitors in order to prop up their attempts to socially-engineer their new “inclusive” society. Their tactics of censorship and manipulation of the public debate are becoming more and more blatant. Those tactics are worse than a violation of free speech; they are an abrogation of all the freedoms that we hold dear as Americans.
There’s only one responsible vote to cast when Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) CRA (S.J.Res.52) to repeal the Restoring Internet Freedom order is brought up for a vote. Congress and the American public should reject the resisters’ cynical ploy to regulate our broadband infrastructure under the false pretense that Washington must save the Internet. And after we’re done defeating their federal takeover, we can go back to watching President Trump showcase to everyone how the online platforms he dominates still work and that his detractors are still unhinged.
Robert Wasinger served in senior advisory and liaison roles in President Trump’s campaign and transition team, after extensive experience on Capitol Hill.