Live Free Or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink (28 page)

BOOK: Live Free Or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink
6.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

The left has employed this strategy often during Trump's term, with their media mob acting in unison to undermine Trump and his agenda, such as their despicable smearing of Supreme Court justice
Brett Kavanaugh. “Today's mainstream media act more like public relations firms on the payroll of the Democratic Party than independent seekers of truth,” Parscale explains. But President Trump counters the Fake News attacks through his “revolutionary use of social media.” This has terrified Democrats, who aren't used to competing on a level playing field, “so they want social media companies, especially Twitter and Facebook, to carry water for them just like the legacy press has done for so long,” says Parscale.

Oftentimes, these social media giants do just that. For example, Twitter used fake-news CNN and the
Washington Post
, of all newspapers, as their fact checkers, which is laughable.

Parscale notes that Democrat presidential candidates urged Twitter to ban Trump permanently, and congressional Democrats are trying to intimidate Facebook into policing “hate speech,” meaning conservative speech. Democrats support Twitter's decision to ban political advertising, says Parscale, “because social media executives are in bed with the Democrats and most of their employees are far-left ideological zealots” who use their power “to undermine conservatives and advance a radical liberal agenda” while claiming they are promoting “fairness.”
63
The Democrats have no real regard for fairness or free speech protections, which are just platitudes they invoke when it helps promote their agenda or stifle conservative policies.

Several remedies have been proposed to curtail the unfair treatment of conservatives. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act shields certain internet platforms from liability for posts their users publish. The law's rationale is that these social media platforms are like phone companies—neutral platforms, not content providers, and they allow people to post regardless of their political views. But some Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz, argue these companies censor conservative content, so their status should be revoked. Senator Josh Hawley introduced the “Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act,” which would amend Section 230 to provide that social media companies will lose their immunity from liability unless they submit
to an external audit to show that their content removal practices are politically neutral.
64

President Trump has suggested looking into antitrust action against these companies by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. After all, the reason a few Silicon Valley firms have been able to suppress the conservative message is that they have near-monopolies. “No one cares who gets kicked off MySpace,” writes Peter Van Buren. “If you end the monopolies, you defang deplatforming.”
65

Liberals have been outraged at the prospect of losing their media monopoly since the birth of the alternative media. And the advent of social media, even with its current biases, is particularly threatening to the media mob, empowering any old Dick or Jane to post alongside the “professionals” and possibly see their contribution go viral. The hate-Trump media mob has reacted by calling for more speech suppression—they want filters, more censoring of “hate speech,” and the positioning of media outfits as arbiters to rule on the truthfulness of users' posts.

WEAPONIZING CAMPAIGN FINANCE

It particularly frosts Democrats that Republicans oppose campaign finance reform on free speech grounds and that the Supreme Court's 2009
Citizens United
decision vindicated that view, holding that the First Amendment protects political speech, which includes corporations spending money on political advocacy. At issue in the case was whether the Federal Election Commission could ban a movie criticizing Hillary Clinton, then running for president in the Democratic primaries, from distribution by a nonprofit company.
66

The reasoning is that freedom of speech is meaningless in elections if Congress can prevent you from spending money to communicate your message. “If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for
simply engaging in political speech,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in his majority opinion. “The government may not suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker's corporate identity.” The Court made clear that “it is our law and our tradition that more speech, not less, is the governing rule.”
67

What part of “Congress shall make no law” do people not understand? The Democrats tried and failed to secure a constitutional amendment to overturn
Citizens United
and narrow the First Amendment by empowering Congress to limit fund-raising and spending on election campaigns and independent political speech.
68
Gaining the support of fifty-four Democrat senators,
69
the proposed amendment, instead of “leveling the playing field,” as Democrats falsely claimed, would hurt candidates trying to unseat incumbent congressmen and limit ordinary Americans' expression of their views about candidates. By an amazing coincidence, it would also benefit Democrats, who have a built-in advantage with the liberal media. So under the amendment, the media mob could continue dedicating their huge resources to promoting Democrats, while spending would be constricted for conservatives trying to counter those messages.
70

But the left never gives up. Our friend Adam Schiff has proposed another constitutional amendment to overturn
Citizens United
.
71
And the Democrats have launched a separate attack through H.R. 1, a bill deceptively called the “For the People Act” but more accurately described by Senator Mitch McConnell as the “Democrat Politician Protection Act.”
72
The bill would encroach on free speech rights by empowering Congress to “regulate the raising and spending of political money.” Ted Cruz noted that the legislation would give “Congress power to regulate—and ban—speech by everybody.”
73
Even the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union warned the bill would “unconstitutionally infringe the freedoms of speech and association” and “silenc[e] necessary voices that would otherwise speak out about the public issues of the day.”
74
Yes, exactly—that's the point of the bill, and that's the aim of the Democratic Party.

THE LEFT'S ASSAULT ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

Let's now turn our attention to the left's assault on religious liberty. Many leftists are outwardly anti-Christian. The left denies they're antireligious, and I don't challenge the sincerity of progressives who are professing Christians. But there is no disputing that liberalism by and large today is hostile to Christian values and religious liberties. They oppose homeschooling and can't seem to tolerate Christian-based symbols like Christmas trees or even candy canes on public property. They revile Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, for their Christian faith.

The Democrats showed their true colors when they booed God at their 2012 convention. That was no one-off incident—it's part of a deliberate effort to diminish Christianity and champion atheism. In August 2019, the Democratic National Committee unanimously passed a resolution celebrating the religiously unaffiliated, noting—nonsensically—that they're the “largest religious group” among Democrats. The resolution also affirmed that they “overwhelmingly share the Democratic Party's values” and “have often been subjected to unfair bias and exclusion in American society.” The Secular Coalition of America, a lobbying group for atheists, agnostics, and humanists on public policy, praised the resolution as the first time a major party “embraced American nonbelievers.”
75
Sarah Levin, director of affairs from the Secular Coalition of America, said the resolution would help “to ensure that policy is driven by science and evidence, not sectarian beliefs,” implying that one must choose between one's religious beliefs on the one hand, and science and evidence on the other.
76
Annie Laurie Gaylor, copresident of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, touted the resolution as a “political landmark” that is “long overdue.”
77

The resolution maligns believers and denounces their alleged abuse of religious liberty to infringe on certain groups' civil rights. “Those most loudly claiming that morals, values, and patriotism must
be defined by their particular religious views have used those religious views, with misplaced claims of ‘religious liberty,' to justify public policy that has threatened the civil rights and liberties of many Americans, including but not limited to the LGBT community, women, and ethnic and religious/nonreligious minorities,” the resolution reads.
78

What conservatives have long understood is that the left is not just trying to convince people of their arguments but to suppress opposing views. We saw that in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, in which a gay couple sued the owner, Jack Phillips, not because he refused to serve gays in general but because he refused, based on his religious beliefs, to make a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. We saw the same impetus in Beto O'Rourke's demands to strip Christian educational institutions, churches, and other charities of their tax-exempt status unless they recognize same-sex marriage.

The Obama administration targeted Christian adoption agencies for trying to place orphans with Christian parents and sought to compel Catholic nuns to comply with an Obamacare mandate to provide access to contraceptives and abortifacients as part of their health-care package.
79
Obamacare enforcers also came after Hobby Lobby, which refused to comply with the mandate because of its founders' religious convictions. NARAL, a pro-abortion group that supports Democratic candidates, opposes conscience laws that permit medical doctors and other providers to opt out of activities, such as abortion or euthanasia, that violate their religious convictions.
80

The Democrats are also trying to advance this agenda through the Equality Act, which was introduced in the House in March 2019 and would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. “This would essentially remove any legal protections that small business owners, nonprofits, churches, schools, and private individuals currently enjoy to live and operate according to traditional and deeply held religious beliefs about sex, the human family, and human dignity,” writes Rev. Joseph D'Souza, founder of Dignity Freedom Network.
81
“This is not a good-faith attempt to reconcile competing
interests,” said University of Virginia law professor Douglas Laycock. “It is an attempt by one side to grab all the disputed territory and to crush the other side.”
82

Fortunately President Trump strongly defends America's religious liberty. “On every front, the ultra-left is waging war on the values shared by everyone in this room,” he said at the 2019 Values Voter Summit. “They are trying to silence and punish the speech of Christians and religious believers of all faiths…. They are trying to use the courts to rewrite the laws, undermine democracy, and force through an agenda they can't pass at the ballot box. They are trying to hound you from the workplace, expel you from the public square and weaken the American family and indoctrinate our children. They resent and disdain faithful Americans who hold fast to our nation's historic values. And, if given the chance, they would use every instrument of government power, including the IRS, to try to shut you down…. We know that families and churches, not government officials, know best how to create strong and loving communities…. And above all else, we know this: in America, we don't worship government, we worship God.”
83

Trump haters accuse the president of cynically promoting religious liberty to pander to Christian voters, but has any president since Ronald Reagan been such an outspoken proponent of Christian liberties? Would a fair-weather supporter of Christianity have taken this message to the United Nations as President Trump did, declaring that religious liberty is not just an American constitutional right but a God-given right that should be respected by all nations?

Just a month after Trump's remarks at the UN, Attorney General William Barr delivered an impassioned speech in support of religious liberty at the University of Notre Dame.
84
Barr argued that we are witnessing much more than merely a pendulum swing against religious liberty in America. “First is the force, fervor and comprehensiveness of the assault on religion we are experiencing today. This is not decay, it is organized destruction. Secularists, and their allies among the
‘progressives', have marshaled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values,” said Barr. “These instruments are used not only to affirmatively promote secular orthodoxy, but also drown out and silence opposing voices, and to attack viciously and hold up to ridicule any dissenters.” Barr also noted the irony that the “secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor. It is taking on all the trappings of a religion, including inquisitions and excommunication.”
85

In light of the left's antagonism to Christianity, it's unsurprising that leftist academics are increasingly questioning the need for religious liberty itself. University of Chicago Law School professor Brian Leiter's
Why Tolerate Religion?
asks why religion is singled out for preferential treatment in both law and public discourse.
86
Micah Schwartzman, University of Virginia School of Law professor, argues in his piece “What If Religion Is Not So Special” that “[l]eading accounts of the First Amendment's Religion Clauses fail to provide a coherent and morally attractive position on whether religion warrants special treatment as compared with secular ethical and moral doctrines.”
87

BOOK: Live Free Or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink
6.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Real Rebecca by Anna Carey
Rescate en el tiempo by Michael Crichton
The Lost Saints of Tennessee by Amy Franklin-Willis
Room by Emma Donoghue
Naughty Bits 2 by Jenesi Ash, Elliot Mabeuse, Lilli Feisty, Charlotte Featherstone, Cathryn Fox, Portia Da Costa, Megan Hart, Saskia Walker
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Up and Down Stairs by Musson, Jeremy
SkateFate by Juan Felipe Herrera