Civility is always the limit of free speech

Australia’s own brand of loons are upset, at The Australian:

Senior Morrison government ministers have slammed the silencing of outgoing US president Donald Trump by social media giants after the pro-Trump siege of the Capitol.

Josh Frydenberg and Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack spoke out against Twitter’s decision to permanently ban Mr Trump days before he leaves ­office next week, as Labor welcomed the move to kick the ­Republican leader off most major social media channels.

Mr McCormack has also been attacked for comparing the US Capitol siege — which left five people dead and was the first time congress has been successfully stormed since 1814 — to last year’s Black Lives Matter protests.

Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Pinterest have pushed Mr Trump off their social media sites over fears he will further inflame tensions before he is ­replaced by Democrat Joe Biden on January 20.

To my mind, they have little choice. There are always limits to free speech to sustain community civility. El Trumpo et al violated basic standards, promises and obligations when they misused social media to trash the peaceful transfer of power.

Some will argue that BLM did much the same. There is evidence that BLM is also being misused by foreign influencers to incite US divisions. But Peter Ziehan makes a solid point:

Many have compared the events of the January 6 Capitol riots with the violence which occurred concurrently with the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020. The idea cannot simply be dismissed out of hand. But not being correct isn’t the same as being right. During the 2020 protests, some figures in national leadership encouraged people to do more than simply march, and cheerfully paid their bail after their arrests. AOC comes to mind. That is indeed crassly irresponsible. Damaging. Stupid.

But we expect different things from different people. We hold four-year-olds to different standards than college students, much less parents of four. That’s life.

So, while I am the polar opposite of impressed when folks like AOC engage in dubious political acts and grandstanding, I can’t say that I’m shocked or offended or mourning for the future of my country. I expect that sort of crap from young, first term Congresspeople and I weigh it against some of the less-than-wise things I did in my 20s. Yes, from time to time they besmirch their office and their place in history, but they are rabble-rousers. It’s their schtick. It isn’t like they are leaders.

In contrast, Trump is the president. He is the leader of the free world. The presidential standard is higher than the standard for a 31-year-old-until-recently-bartender-now-first-term-Congresswomen.

Even if the standard were the same, Trump has surrounded himself with people seeped in law & order conservatism and respect for American institutions like Reince Priebus, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, John Kelly, Nikki Haley, and HR McMaster. Even folks on TeamTrump that I might personally disagree with more often – such as John Bolton, Jeff Sessions and Gary Cohn – are hardly what I would call fascists or anarchists. Even if you hate any or all these men and women on ideological grounds, you must admit that they are adults and that they realize spending a month of your time encouraging the most violent portions of American society to descend on the capital to lay siege to the Capital complex isn’t a good call. I have zero doubt that all of them warned Trump against similar actions on multiple occasions.

I have zero doubt such warnings were the proximate reasons all no longer serve in the White House.

Trump knew exactly what he was doing. He was deliberately assembling a mob over the course of weeks. He deliberately encouraged them to march on the Capitol. He wasn’t shocked when they stormed the People’s House, but instead the opposite; leaks from the White House are rife with details about how he was overjoyed. Trump’s problem is he just couldn’t fathom that what he did was…wrong. Ethically, morally, institutionally, civilizationally, democratically, legally, criminally wrong.

Loons on both sides of the political isle are always demanding that free speech be modified to suit their political ends.

Common sense tells us where the truth is found here.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)

Comments

  1. The90kwbeastMEMBER

    “There are always limits to free speech to sustain community civility”

    Disagree. I think free speech with full legal consequences of saying dumb stuff is a better approach.

  2. The US regime is censoring free speech in order to prevent a violent insurrection led by its outgoing President. It goes beyond civil disagreement : this is a fight for regime survival.

  3. Hernando de Soto

    Odd to see this all being argued on an Australian blog: Australians have no constitutional freedom of speech, and harsh libel laws are used to shut up anything inconvenient.

  4. I’m not disputing that Trump is a very dodgy, damaging and corrupt politician and he should be condemned for being so along with lobbying to overturn an election when its been established through the appropriate legal avenues that the election result should stand.

    BUT I’m also concerned about a slippery slope triggered by dangerous precedent. I AM NOT an expert in anything so I’m hoping somebody can help me understand this. Has Trump explicitly called for any violence or an attack on the capital and politicians therein? If he hasn’t explicitly done so, then is there a clear cut easily prosecutable case and objective set of criteria that can be used to show that his actions do constitute some kind of very clear breach that would therefore warrant the punitive action and deplatforming he’s received?

    I worry that although he and his supporters are on the opposite side of politics on this occasion (although I don’t really like the dems either), this could happen in future to somebody I agree with politically who is pushing for the truth in good faith on that occasion.

    Maybe somebody can clear this up for me. Would appreciate it.

    • Maybe somebody can clear this up for me. Would appreciate it.

      Sure. You are talking about a standard that would need to be met in a court of law to send someone to gaol.

      A private company covering its arse from being sued has a much lower standard, because it’s only a corporate risk judgement about being sued (generally embodied in the TOS, eg: as MB does).

      • Come on DrSmithy,

        The actions of social media companies are not solely driven by legal concerns, as far as I am aware, they are not breaking any laws, at best, they are attempting to minimize the probability of new ones from the incoming ‘progressive’ party.

        By focusing on risk of litigation you are minimizing the decision making of these corporates being heavily influenced by management and/or employees whom are increasingly seeking to ensure that ‘their company’ aligns to their social and political ideology (and I use ‘their’ lightly as in 99% of instances, they have no real economic ownership). Are we suggesting that AWS’s decision to terminate hosting a largely unknown app within 25 hours was due to legal due diligence or internal activism from politically motivated staff?

        For smaller business, they likely do so out of pure commercial fear, fear that an online mob will attack their business with no real recourse or defense leading to dire financial consequences.

        If social media companies were able to demonstrate that they apply these policies equally, the current debate would have far less weight “hey, we simply don’t allow anyone to post any such content on your platforms, we are social media not anti-social media” Alas, they couldn’t during congressional hearings, they can’t now and wont given the above, nor do they need to when their chosen side is now in power.

        Isn’t that the whole argument for and against censorship? If you’re going to do it you need to be objective and even handed, that is simply too hard to achieve let alone maintain over time, so you just don’t do it to begin with.

        Yes yes, I know these are corporate not govt entities, but they have now risen to the status of quasi essential infrastructure and thus cannot continue to operate in an unregulated manner (just like Telstra and Optus shouldn’t be able to terminate the ability of union leaders to have access to the mobile phone network because a liberal govt of the day identified criminal elements within one of them).

        • The actions of social media companies are not solely driven by legal concerns, […]

          No, they’re not.

          Another obvious motivation is maintaining a vaguely civil environment so that the vast majority of people can interact safely and confidently. Because if they can’t, they’ll leave.

          For example, if you walk through a shopping centre randomly screaming at other people, their security would probably remove you in fairly short order despite you not having broken any actual laws (at least until they ask you to leave and you refuse, at which point you’re trespassing).

          Then of course there is the harm that can be wrought by ‘mere speech’. For example, bad medical advice.

          By focusing on risk of litigation you are minimizing the decision making of these corporates being heavily influenced by management and/or employees whom are increasingly seeking to ensure that ‘their company’ aligns to their social and political ideology (and I use ‘their’ lightly as in 99% of instances, they have no real economic ownership). Are we suggesting that AWS’s decision to terminate hosting a largely unknown app within 25 hours was due to legal due diligence or internal activism from politically motivated staff?

          For smaller business, they likely do so out of pure commercial fear, fear that an online mob will attack their business with no real recourse or defense leading to dire financial consequences.

          If social media companies were able to demonstrate that they apply these policies equally, the current debate would have far less weight “hey, we simply don’t allow anyone to post any such content on your platforms, we are social media not anti-social media” Alas, they couldn’t during congressional hearings, they can’t now and wont given the above, nor do they need to when their chosen side is now in power.

          This is all just paranoia. There is nothing I (or anyone else) could write that would change your mind.

          Isn’t that the whole argument for and against censorship? If you’re going to do it you need to be objective and even handed, that is simply too hard to achieve let alone maintain over time, so you just don’t do it to begin with.

          Yes yes, I know these are corporate not govt entities, but they have now risen to the status of quasi essential infrastructure and thus cannot continue to operate in an unregulated manner (just like Telstra and Optus shouldn’t be able to terminate the ability of union leaders to have access to the mobile phone network because a liberal govt of the day identified criminal elements within one of them).

          I do not disagree with the suggestion that these organisations are too big and carry too much influence. But that is a different discussion and there are a lot of organisations and even individuals that it applies to.

          Censorship is something Governments do, carrying legal consequences (up to and including death, in the places that engage in it).

          But that’s not what’s going on here. People aren’t being booted just because they have differing political views, as clearly evidenced by the vast number of people with differing political views who remain. They’re being booted because they’re being anti-social fvckwits at best, and threatening harm to others at worst. I am still yet to hear a vaguely reasonably framed political viewpoint that can’t be expressed on Twatter or Facebook.

          There is not, and never has been, “free speech”. There have always been limitations and consequences. “Free speech” – within those limitations – is your right to speak without the Government explicitly preventing or harming you. It is not your right to be heard uncritically.

          • Fair enough, I don’t disagree with the maintenance of civility, but then it becomes a question of consistency (what if the shopping Centre mostly ejects those with political affiliations that management does not like and allows others to remain, abusing other patrons?). There is the assumption that the consistency is driven by individual decision makers with no bias, a point you dismissed as paranoia out of hand despite countless examples of de-platforming, shadow banning and other restrictions culminating even the New York Post wasn’t immune? The issue of the staff themselves in charge of this is also dismissed, the revolving door between wall street and regulators is often cited as key risk to quality financial regulation, yet a revolving door between senior campaign and political staffers and social media companies presents no such issues with bias and objectivity?

            Again, I believe these companies were asked during congressional hearings to demonstrate how their policies were applied in a non partisan way, they could not supply examples of that. To my knowledge, no DNC representative has had an account closed? no press on violent ‘counter protest’ groups being shut down. maybe they have? And it’s just millions of angry people simultaneously imagining it, but no social media company has cared to communicate or evidence that fact and if it is just Paranoia then they are doing a damn fine job of flaming it for no apparent purpose? Simply doesn’t pass the sniff test.

            Can’t disagree with your last point “is your right to speak without the Government explicitly preventing or harming you. It is not your right to be heard uncritically.” But who argued otherwise? We have moved past critical response to speech and onto pure prevention. So the question remains, “should large tech companies, whom now supply essential social communication infrastructure, have the ability to explicitly prevent anyone from communicating, including duly elected officials on the basis of any subjective internal policy, adjudicated solely by internal management”.

          • Fair enough, I don’t disagree with the maintenance of civility, but then it becomes a question of consistency (what if the shopping Centre mostly ejects those with political affiliations that management does not like and allows others to remain, abusing other patrons?).

            Then maybe people with “particular political affiliations” are more prone to abusing other patrons.

            But what if we just stick to stuff that’s actually happening ?

            There is the assumption that the consistency is driven by individual decision makers with no bias, a point you dismissed as paranoia out of hand despite countless examples of de-platforming, shadow banning and other restrictions culminating even the New York Post wasn’t immune?

            That’s because when you go looking for any actual data demonstrating “bias”, rather than projecting anecdotes, there isn’t any.

            The issue of the staff themselves in charge of this is also dismissed, the revolving door between wall street and regulators is often cited as key risk to quality financial regulation, yet a revolving door between senior campaign and political staffers and social media companies presents no such issues with bias and objectivity?

            The problem with these sorts of accusations is that they are just vague and subjective supposition, and consequently impossible to refute in any meaningful way and just end up as he said/she said shouting matches.

            However, I am pretty sure the revolving door stretches across what is often amusingly referred to as the “political divide”.

            Again, I believe these companies were asked during congressional hearings to demonstrate how their policies were applied in a non partisan way, they could not supply examples of that.

            Well it’s an unanswerably vague and subjective question it’s hardly surprising. What “examples” could possibly satisfy a criteria that is basically undefined ?

            Can’t disagree with your last point “is your right to speak without the Government explicitly preventing or harming you. It is not your right to be heard uncritically.” But who argued otherwise?

            It’s implicit in:

            * All the people insisting social media companies can’t boot people off for ToS violations.
            * Everyone who has ever said some version of “I have a right to free speech” or in response to criticism of something they’ve said (particularly rampant amongst right-wing opinionaters who use it to derail a discussion of the original topic and redirect it into one about free speech).
            * Nearly everyone – but particularly celebrities and others in positions of influence – who complains about “cancel culture”.

            We have moved past critical response to speech and onto pure prevention.

            Sure. You go into a shopping centre screaming at people often enough, eventually you’re going to get on the “don’t let them in at all” list.

            Again, it’s a right to speak, not a right to be heard.

            So the question remains, “should large tech companies, whom now supply essential social communication infrastructure, have the ability to explicitly prevent anyone from communicating, including duly elected officials on the basis of any subjective internal policy, adjudicated solely by internal management”.

            Elected officials have official channels of communication (which remain open) that represent their official position. Trump doesn’t (and didn’t) want to use these because he wants to be a cult leader (ie: an individual), not a president (ie: a role).

            You don’t get booted from social media without either a) a consistent pattern of bad behaviour or b) a particularly egregious example of bad behaviour. If Trump had been just about anyone else except the President, he would have been shut down long ago.

            The question remains: what political views are you unable to express ?

          • So despite an environment in which almost everyone understands to be highly charged and often partisan to the point of tribal, when one “goes searching for evidence” of that within the govt, corporate or media institutions that we operate within, it can’t be found? As human beings we simply check those opinions, emotions and strongly held biases at the door and go about our business for the day. CNN has no predisposition to publishing work their staff and viewers want to hear and nor does Fox and in applying criticism or sanctioning the views of others, no bias, inconsistency or hypocrisy can or would be found in social media organisations. A fantasy to prove apparently? Seriously? “can you show me examples of when you have suspended even in error the account of a well known person or entity whom doesn’t hold ‘conservative’ views (which apparently is anyone whom questions progressive view points as well) Anyone from CNN, MSNBC, any DNC staff or elected representatives? How many posts from those individuals have you tagged with warnings or fact checks?

            Putting aside social media censorship, on the issue of speech in general you are suggesting that “almost everyone” that finds themselves at the end of mob outrage and demands for ‘cancelation’ for daring to voice a subjectively unpopular or ‘offensive’ utterance is simply exaggerating their plight and failing to understand the basics of free speech and civil society. Every individual, politician or journalist on either side of the divide concerned with how discourse occurs today, criticism is delivered and censorship and punitive penalties demand, is misinformed at best, just another perpetrator and fool at worst (and mostly from one side of a given ideological divide).

            Your response re the discourse on MB suggests as much (about 5 years go when those conservatives turned up here) From that starting point their really isn’t anywhere to go is there? At least you take the time to explain your position.

          • So despite an environment in which almost everyone understands to be highly charged and often partisan to the point of tribal, when one “goes searching for evidence” of that within the govt, corporate or media institutions that we operate within, it can’t be found?

            No, when one goes searching for evidence of bias against conservatives in social media it can’t be found. Indeed, it would seem what the data actually shows is that conservative content is typically the most widely read and shared (at least on Facebook, perhaps because only old people use Facebook).

            CNN has no predisposition to publishing work their staff and viewers want to hear and nor does Fox and in applying criticism or sanctioning the views of others, no bias, inconsistency or hypocrisy can or would be found in social media organisations. A fantasy to prove apparently?

            This is a completely irrelevant straw man.

            Seriously? “can you show me examples of when you have suspended even in error the account of a well known person or entity whom doesn’t hold ‘conservative’ views (which apparently is anyone whom questions progressive view points as well) Anyone from CNN, MSNBC, any DNC staff or elected representatives? How many posts from those individuals have you tagged with warnings or fact checks?

            Errrr. An answer of “none” to that would not implicitly be a demonstration of bias.

            Is that even the question that was asked ?

            However, it took me about a minute to find this: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/twitter-political-account-ban-us-mid-term-elections

            Putting aside social media censorship, on the issue of speech in general you are suggesting that “almost everyone” that finds themselves at the end of mob outrage and demands for ‘cancelation’ for daring to voice a subjectively unpopular or ‘offensive’ utterance is simply exaggerating their plight and failing to understand the basics of free speech and civil society.

            You are constantly trying to wrap emotive straw men around what I actually write.

            If someone’s reaction to a twitter pile-on is playing the “but muh free speech” card and implying the people responding to them are somehow infringing on their “free speech”, then yes, they do not understand the basics of free speech (or are deliberately trying to mischaracterise it). Because a) free speech isn’t about saying something without criticism, b) all those people are exercising their free speech as well in responding and c) all those people aren’t the Government.

            Every individual, politician or journalist on either side of the divide concerned with how discourse occurs today, criticism is delivered and censorship and punitive penalties demand, is misinformed at best, just another perpetrator and fool at worst (and mostly from one side of a given ideological divide).

            This is mostly another straw man.

            Being concerned about discourse on the internet is an entirely different thing to insisting you don’t have a political voice because it’s being censored, especially when there’s no evidence of that happening (either in the legal or colloquial sense of the word).

        • Correct. If I own a site and want to block abuse or spam, I’m entitled to do it. This site does it. Domainfax does it. The ABC does it, too, which actually might be bordering on government censorship.

    • It is immaterial.

      Make no mistake, Trump’s latest stunt was not directed to Biden or the Dems but to the GOP. It was a litmus test designed to force those who still remain in the GOP to choose between becoming a clone trooper, I mean a true Trumpian, or leave the GOP.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXLQaVgCP_Q

      Trump is doing this because it is far more economical for him to take over an existing nationwide political infrastructure than building one from scratch. The GOP realized what Trump was up to and called their buddies in Corporate America to ban Trump from tweeting.

  5. Totes BeWokeMEMBER

    “But we expect different things from different people. We hold four-year-olds to different standards than college students, much less parents of four. That’s life.”

    FM, that is not a valid argument. Would that apply to crimes of violence, se*ual, theft? Of course not, so why does it apply here?

      • The left has forgotten that often progress is made by those who are saying things that are not socially acceptable. enough people hear the message and then agree for change to occur. Soon the left wil make social change impossible. There will be no conversation, because words are violence, and offense is the only reason needed to shut down the conversation.

        • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

          “Soon the left wil make social change impossible”

          That’s the motive of the elite left, only made possible by the young naive and the older dumb that follow them.

        • The left has forgotten that often progress is made by those who are saying things that are not socially acceptable.

          Pretty sure they haven’t, but what “progress” are we trying to make here, that’s being made impossible ? Because it just seems to be conservatives trying to wind back the clock on civil rights and democracy.

          • twitter has an idological bias against conservative over dead naming. Twitter will also ban you for misgendering someone, but the majority of conservatives believe in biology rather than say the 56 genders that facebook recognises, though reddit recognises 72.

            progress is not made by silencing 50% of the population.

    • It is often observed that the youth are attracted to the left and its promises of being just motivated by treating people nice. Many people, as they get older, see how life really is, then reject the false promises of the left. This move to the right with age and experience is dismissed as greed.

      The path to hell is pathed with good intentions. The line between good and evil passes through every individual’s heart. Read Orwell or Solzhenitsyn (white males!!) and see where these good intentions lead. That is why I am against censorship. I also want to hear what my enemies have to say so that I am not later surprised by their actions.

    • We do indeed hold adults to a different standard wrt criminal offences compared to children, given there is an age of criminal responsibility, including for theft, violence etc.

  6. I think others have already talked about it a little, but the defense of AOC’s actions is flimsy at best. One thing young people hate is being treated differently because they are young and don’t know any better. This is what the writer is doing. She should be held accountable for the things she has said over the past year in a similar way to Trump, with the helpful caveat that Trump is the President and thus wields more power.

    • Kamala was also out there getting donations for protestor bail funds. Seatle and Portland police were demoralised because they would keep arrestign the smae rioters night after night and they’d get bailed out and faced little to no consequences from the local DA.

      The left can’t expect to do what they did for most of 2020 and for the right to look on it and to start thinkign that’s the only way politicians will listen.

      I like to think a good Govt is one that fears the voters, but I don’t want that fear because of perpetual violence.

    • Peter Zeihan has a very patronising attitude towards anyone younger than him and his keynotes are usually riddled with awful jokes about Millenials. Being a geopolitical analyst and strategic consultant, I guess he’s trying to present the world in a way that his boomer audience can comprehend.

      • Jumping jack flash

        Agree. There’s some clangers in that if you look closely, especially when he makes the example of a young woman being less culpable than an old, white, man, and his allusion to holding different people to different moral and professional standards. What’s next? Different capabilities? Different pay grades? Predisposition? The mind boggles.

        He will find himself prostrate before the right-wing, left, PC brigade, answering to crimes of high treason if he’s not careful.

          • Jumping jack flash

            I see what you did there, but my point was that even this example of a discussion of “free speech” would not pass several modern metrics and be in danger of being “cancelled” except it aligns with the accepted views of the gatekeepers that “orange man bad”.

            “Free speech” is a misnomer. Nothing is free anymore, not even the money people think is in their pocket.

  7. Any effort to legally limit free speech (common civility, defamation, religious vilification, etc.) will ALWAYS be abused at some point to silence critics or people who just have a different worldview. Not a good approach in my opinion.

  8. BLM and Antifa are just misunderstood. Apparently their little bit of mayhem created over $2billion in insurance claims, the closure of hundreds of businesses and the deaths of people.

  9. AOC is not a loon. Her other signature policy is the Green New Deal. Banks no longer want to fund fossil fuel projects, the economics say fossil fuels are dead, yet we have politicians dragging their feet. No change yet.

    BLM, protest people of colour dying to the hands of police officers on a constant basis, and nothing has changed.

    Trumpers don’t like the results of democratic process, which all allegations of fraud were dis-proven, so they storm Capitol to behead people.

    Anyone who compares the two as the same is not listening hard enough.

  10. So what is the point of the article exactly? Sure no problem with a president having higher expectations for behavior and discourse, but so what?

    “Yes, from time to time they besmirch their office and their place in history, but they are rabble-rousers. It’s their schtick. It isn’t like they are leaders.” WTF? why would you repost such absolute crap?

    These people are elected officials, AOC has as much of a reach on social media as DT. Excusing her behavior is just apologist nonsense and neglects the fact that those sentiments are either implicitly or explicitly echoed by those MUCH more senior, like for example the incoming Vice President FFS.

    Hypocrisy is hypocrisy, you don’t get a hall pass on it because you’re only a young senator, or a young editor or a young CEO. If one of these individuals make’s a blatantly racist or sexist comment….. does the media dismiss it based on the authors suggested framework? Not a chance in hell, they may of course minimize it depending on which partisan tribe they sympathize with.

    By the Authors reasoning, no attention at all should be paid to millions of nobodies on social media let alone censorship and de platforming? especially 20 somethings, no need to shut down blogs and apps, launch boycott campaigns against small and medium business, per the authors own reasoning, they don’t matter, they are not official leaders and we should expect that anyway?

    All of that is a complete strawman given corporate entities and media ae not applying that as a yard stick in any case. They are arguing that they apply an objective, consistent and fair approach to censorship based on CONTENT not the CREATOR, others are auguring that this is far from the case and the evidence clearly supports that.

    • BB_AU, if one is to understand the great mystery, one must study all its aspects, not just the dogmatic narrow view of the left. If you wish to become a complete and wise leader, you must embrace…a larger view of the Force. Be careful of the left, BB_AU. They fear you. In time, they will destroy you. Let me show you the true nature of the Force. Only through me can you achieve a power greater than any bloggers! Learn to know the Moron side of the Force, and you will be able to save your portfolio from certain death…..

  11. During the 2020 protests, some figures in national leadership encouraged people to do more than simply march, and cheerfully paid their bail after their arrests. AOC comes to mind. That is indeed crassly irresponsible. Damaging. Stupid.

    I can recall bail being paid for people arrested protesting.

    I can’t recall anyone “encouraging” anything more than protesting.

    Even if the standard were the same, Trump has surrounded himself with people seeped in law & order conservatism and respect for American institutions like Reince Priebus, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, John Kelly, Nikki Haley, and HR McMaster.

    At least one of those people (Huckabee-Sanders) willingly and knowingly stood in front of the people on behalf of Trump and his administration, and lied (and has admitted doing so).

    I also recall Tillerson hails from Exxon, which knowingly misled the US people and their Government (and the world) about the seriousness of climate change for decades.

    How that translates to “conservatism and respect for American institutions” is a bit beyond me.

    I am questioning this bloke’s character judgement.

    • “willingly and knowingly stood in front of the people on behalf of Trump and his administration, and lied (and has admitted doing so).”
      The only thing separating this from any other politician is the admitting it.

    • Think there is a Tweet about the point of protests is to make people feel uncomfortable,
      An out of context Tweet if you are sympathetic to AOC, a dogwhistle during the riots if you aren’t.

    • Corporate America, Australian… etc etc generally cares not which side wins, they have invested significant time and money into ensuring they own enough players on each team that the pendulum doesn’t swing too far.

      • Jumping jack flash

        Both “sides” of politics are actually the same, and wield the same amount of power and have the same amount of desire to change anything affecting the plight of the common man significantly. Ie, none.

        The corporates dont need to waste money on that mess because they already run the show.

  12. Trump is amoral. It’s his biggest weakness, it’s not that he’s immoral – he’s arguably that too – but he simply has no moral compass. He’s a deeply flawed personality.

    America needed good solid conservative leadership to continue to repair the budget, ease the path to withdrawing from the Bush wars, continue the economic recovery, encourage NATO allies to increase their defence spending and confront Chinese expansionism with a United Front. Instead, it for bat-shit crazy…

  13. John Bolton is the definition of evil so not an adult by any means. Trump is a much nicer bloke than Bolton to put it in perspective.
    BLM was placed into the headlines by the handful of billionaires who manipulate western narritives. The main purpose was to split the left as many left wing people just want fair working and living conditions not being a part of radical idiologies.
    Reason for spliting the left is a massive move towards socialism, it had to be stopped by the maniac elites who hate the plebs of any colour or race.

    • Look, Trump (in hind sight is probably the better option, maybe…) was better than Hillary who wanted a hot war with Russia for some bizarre reason. And Trump in his buffoonish ways broke the mould that the political elects insisted that the truth was a version, and/or otherwise censored, and someone finally came out rooting for the under-dog.

      The thing that swung me against Trump was the last few days. He missed out in the presidential election by 11k vote in Georgia, and then they lost two senators in Georgia. That is democracy in action. Accept the result, move on.

      Trump was possibly a good one term President, but maybe, a very bad two-term…

  14. Jumping jack flash

    “But we expect different things from different people.”
    Careful! This guy is treading a fine line with that one… That’s a definite slippery-slope.

    “The presidential standard is higher than the standard for a 31-year-old-until-recently-bartender-now-first-term-Congresswomen”
    This guy obviously likes living very dangerously, mixing gender politics with politics.. wow!

    But it was in the context of Trump-bashing, so I’m sure the right-wing PC brigade will forgive him. He will need to do a bit of groveling though I expect.

  15. Poochie the Rockin DogMEMBER

    I hope Trump’s fate follows Milo Yiannopolis’s – who recently wrote a book on how being poor sucks – after losing all his income from being deplatformed.

  16. Trumps problem is he dabbled in the dark arts with the unhinged loon pond for a NYC roaming mental case ploy when his prospects of remaining in power went poof. Gezz …. this is his stock standard game in business forever, everyone with any knowledge also knows hes a hyper serial litigator that basically only attracts wannabe investors and when things go fked [as they always do] he then deploys his legal BFF’EVA buddies …

    Hell for all the neoliberal ramrodding by Raygun the one thing he did was keep the lunatics locked up in the basement, hence why the Zi’enst peoples used Pat Robinson as a work around gate keeper to get a toe in the door …. look how that has all worked out.

    Lmmao … at anyone equivocating AOC to anywhere close to the hard right with the compromised T-party through C-corp funding or the Evang vibrating for dollars fudies. AOC is the only congress critter that has taken the C-corps to task and took the effort to do her homework before opining her gob.

    This is all basically as H&H said years ago … about some on this blog … that he had sympathy for on some ideological matters diminishing their gravitas due to AGW views, because of their innate philosophical ability to diminish anything they say – because when reality [tm] does not bend to their philosophical needs they attack it and will use any means of Agnotology to push that agenda hook or crook.

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