Commentary

Platform Censorship: He Has Only Himself To Blame

By now, hundreds of thousands of words have been written pondering whether banning seditionist Trump from social media constitutes unfair censorship by what are essentially technology companies.

It was a challenging debate before Trump sent his storm troopers up to the Capitol, but now everyone seems to agree that continuing to give him direct access to a massive audience is not in the interest of our country. Frankly, it never was.

For years, Trump was able to set the news agenda by tweeting lies and baseless charges, only to have the traditional news outlets amplify his reach by reporting on what his tweets said.

When it became evident he was mostly lying about nearly everything, some news outlets would run disclaimers pointing out that what was said was unfounded and largely a figment of Trump’s imagination. Yet they continued to report on them. That was a mistake.

Trump’s base believes that the great Eastern establishment media was out to get Trump from the start because his actions and activities ran counter to their own “liberal” agenda. That’s simply not true. What happened was that as Trump kept lying and using Twitter to attack those he thought weren’t loyal to him, essentially using the platform as a bully pulpit, the press became increasingly skeptical that they could trust anything that he or his press office wrote.

Naturally, since he has the emotional maturity of a 15-year-old, Trump lashed out at "liberal” press for publishing “fake news” about his administration, when in fact the negative coverage was a result of his lies and deceit. That his base believed even for a moment that all that bullshit about a deep state movement against him, enabled by the media, was true in any way, shape or form says more about their naivete and laziness than it proves there was some sort of organized conspiracy.

Indeed, numerous groups formed to try and figure out how to somehow get Trump out of office, but it was piecemeal and not a coordinated attack on his policies as much as his reprehensible behavior.  

Trump’s base has been crystal-clear about what they like about him -- but dead wrong in thinking he was harmless and had their best interests at heart.

Trump has always been about what is best for him and his bank account. If his base would do even a modicum of homework, they would learn that most of what they give him credit for was either serendipitous (the appointing of conservative judges to the Supreme Court) or an illusion (that ISIS was defeated and there are important new alliances in the Middle East that will promote peace.)

Go back and reread all of his campaign promises, from massive infrastructure improvement to the resurrection of the coal industry, from bringing jobs back from overseas to “peace in our time” with North Korea -- and it becomes clear that other than cut taxes (and swell the national deficit), he accomplished very little.

Along the way, he legitimized white supremacy, ignored Black Lives Matter, encouraged insurrection, mishandled the COVID-19 pandemic and made deal after deal that would enhance his bottom line after he left office. He also set the worst possible example for kids of how to be an American citizen.

Had he been a reasonable person, I might argue that tech platforms have no business deciding whom to censor, but he has been irrational and dangerous, and lied to the public nearly 25,000 times in just four years.

And if you are going to demand that social media remove posts about hate, destruction, racism, xenophobia, and insurrection, then Trump by his actions and words simply invited censorship.    

As always, he has only himself to blame.

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