While war brews in the Far East, the West debates social media. Populism is taking over from all sides. Even Conservatives aren’t being so conservative in their rhetoric, though they still express their ideals at the election polls more than anywhere else. Liberals express their ideals everywhere they can.
Nancy Pelosi already has her strategy lined up no matter the outcome of the 2016 election. “Social justice warriors” are taking over the Left to such a point that Democrats as we know them may not be a viable party much longer. The institution will survive a bit longer, but it will change. Rosie O’Donnell and Megyn Kelly learned that the hard way; Joe Biden is about to.
Most debates are no longer two-sided. More and more issues themselves belong to either the Right or the Left. Conservatives don’t want to hear about the Mueller investigation at all. Liberals don’t want to hear reports on the economy. The only thing Congress and the country seem to be united on is China and support for Taiwan. For now, Americans aren’t finding many other reasons for unity at home—for now.
Apple can crackdown on Google and Facebook, but America can’t crack down on it’s own private property and protection for citizens?
This week, the president’s State of the Union Address will convene on schedule. The guest list is said to be interesting, though at press time, the president had not yet announced his guests. The regular speech is one way of fulfilling a Constitutional requirement that the president:
…shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.
The normal way of fulfilling this Constitutional requirement (the speech) was under threat by the government shutdown. That shutdown ended with a temporary budget, while Congressional Republicans proved that they saw “shutdown” as the strategy, while Congressional Democrats and President Trump—each in their own way—proved the shutdown as an unintended consequence of their “wall” or “anti-wall” strategy. Now, the State of the Union is confirmed on the calendar. The interesting parts won’t be about the wall as much as they will be about China.
China—the one thing that could unite all sides of American debates. Beware the peace of a nation in need of an enemy to unify them, for that peace may be shortlived.
Hot on the Capitol Hill agenda is Obama’s DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). The argument basically goes that young trees can be transplanted, but once they have grown, re-transplanting them again can kill them. Children are innocent and—though beneficiaries of the free economy, free speech, and freedom of America’s wonderful and ought-to-be-sought socioeconomic system—children would not be at-fault for receiving the great benefit of America’s growing greatness. So, why punish the children? That’s the argument in DACA’s defense.
One example that isn’t used enough to defend DACA is the Back-to-Africa movement, of the 1800s, which sought to return Black Americans to Africa. The idea was absurd, demonstrating no knowledge of international life and culture. Though an injustice, forcing a reversal after history has moved on only makes the injustice worse. DACA was such an injustice and the way forward cannot be explained in, shall we say, “black and white”.
From the Conservative perspective, the best solution to DACA claimants (the children in question) is to punish the perpetrators, not the children. In other words, punish the parents. The following course would do just that: Any illegally entered parents must report themselves and prepare for deportation or, with a clean criminal record, be given 30 days to prepare for a speedy and unconditional return to their home country. Then, children wishing to claim DACA status must meet minimum age and circumstantial requirements that prove returning to a life in their family’s country would cause a lower-quality life, such as not knowing the language or already having developed American credentials, must not have citizenship with that nation, and be banned from any dual citizenship with that nation for ten years.
This would cut off the parents from their children. If they wanted their children to be American because of America’s greatness, this would give them that at a price worth paying. For anyone who thinks the price is not worth paying, the DACA benefits would not be necessary. Let the people choose themselves and let America be a place of immigrants willing to pay the price of freedom that never comes free.
American deadlock trudges on. Trump promised a wall and he won’t back down. Democrats won’t back down either. Both show solidarity with their respective platforms. The only group that seems to favor backing down is Congressional Republicans, who want Trump to get this over with any way possible. For the compromising Republicans on Capitol Hill, Trump’s refusal to sign a “wallless budget” isn’t a “wall” strategy as much as it is a “shut down” strategy. Trump and Congressional Democrats see it differently.
Keep watch; it just might be Jared Kushner who saves the day.
The term “free speech” has taken a new meaning. While speech has kept less and less freedom from the tech bosses, the monetary cost of speaking out has essentially become free. With speech becoming more and more “financially free”, the media industry can’t find a way to stay solvent.
Newspapers and local news broadcasters seek collective ways to work against the tech giants, but they only rearrange their immediate problems with no long-term solutions in sight. The dwindling news industry is attacking “free” platforms of semi-free speech: social media. That’s the clue of where news & information will head in the future.
It’s all seen in his funeral. John McCain’s death, more and more, seems destined to symbolize the death of the Washington “establishment”. Put less friendlily, the death of McCain was the death of the swamp. More respectfully, and how things out to be, we mourn the loss of a senator while we move on with our convictions.
The Trump electorate, finally gaining the cooperation of the GOP, is proving more and more to be a valid and clear and enduring majority. They wanted Obama’s health care law repealed; only McCain—from their own political party—stopped them. They wanted to be descent and quiet at the funeral of the man who despised them. John McCain found Sarah Palin, then put her on a leash. She respected him and only spoke respectfully of him, then he put a muzzle on her. Now, he’s dead and she continues to respect him in her silence. Meghan McCain had a right to say whatever she wanted and her words agreed with her father’s sentiment; Trumpists didn’t like her words, but she stayed right on topic. Thank you Meghan. Trump would not attend, but his daughter did, a most appropriate discretion. Trump had more respect in his absence than in Obama’s venomous distraction toward the man who would not crash a funeral. Bush and Biden gave good and respectful speeches, celebrating and mourning him.
The Trump electorate lives on and they are growing in number. Now, with Kevin McCarthy calling an inquisition into the Silicon Valley tech giants, who have harassed the controlling votership for two years, Republicans are moving away from the maverick-moderate tactics of McCain—which did work in his day. Insulting and muffling public expression, including the Declaration of Independence, was a foolish error. If their defense is true—that they “didn’t know”—then they should have at least studied the electorate rather than despised it and known their own history well enough not to flag key words from our nation’s heritage. At least, Silicon Valley is guilty of not caring enough about what they should. They are already paying a punishment through the markets. Now, they will answer to Congress.
McCarthy’s move will energize the base—the one thing that the losing moderates of 2014 feared—the one thing that helps Republicans win elections. The Republican base is energized and we are now no longer looking at a possible and unusual midterm victory for Republicans; we are now looking at a likely and unusual midterm victory for Republicans.
Facebook has been censoring many good things. Their procedures or automatic algorithms or whatever mechanism was designed to snag speech that just so happened to be from the Declaration of Independence was no isolated incident. Especially when a long train of abuses and usurpations evince a design, it’s not coincidence, it’s telling.
Facebook has had its hand caught in the cookie jar many times as of late. The social media giant doesn’t seem interested in cultivating good will, but keeps working for excuses to drive away people who want to freely submit facts to a candid world via any platform but their own. Putting the post from The Vindicator newspaper back up won’t prove to be enough. With trends and polls being what they are, the only way to prevent Facebook from taking a nosedive is for Zuckerberg to apologize for not endorsing Trump and write bots to flag posts praising Obama. That won’t be fair, but it would be the only way to court favor lost among the bulk of its home-market customers who are subtly shopping elsewhere.
But, the biggest wire tripped by Facebook censoring the Declaration of Independence wasn’t the people’s irritation with Facebook, but the resulting alertness about the Declaration of Independence. Facebook unwittingly helped make that document famous again. It seemed that America had forgotten all about it. Now, everyone is going to search and read what words created the safest nation in the world to hold such hot debates as the last two years, without fear of execution. For reclaiming attention to American history, Facebook has earned the first annual Pacific Daily Times Liberty of the Year award.
Thank you, Facebook, for reminding us of our heritage of freedom well fought for.
The world is shifting all over, not only in America. But, Americans are seeing the shift at home. It doesn’t make headlines, but then again it is “trending”, which makes headlines: Facebook is in peril. Zuckerberg overreached. While user privacy is one important topic, so is politically biased censorship.
It’s legal to express one’s political ideals, but it’s also legal for Leftist-controlled companies to ban opposition views, citing “community” standards and guidelines as the excuse for censored speech. China does it and it’s wrong in the Western mind, but what if Facebook and Twitter do it? Well, that’s a different story, somehow.
Facebook and Twitter are publicly traded companies, thus regulated by the FTC. An argument could be made for publicly traded companies to be heavily fined—and the directors, executives, and operators fired—for censoring speech. But, this opens another debate. What about “hateful” religions that cultivate hate without actually crossing the line of “dangerous” hate speech?
The “giantness” of social media is a backlash against the “giant” media oldschool. But, social media giants are creating a backlash of their own. FTC-regulated free speech isn’t the solution to the implosion of social media giants. Instead, Facebook is doing a favor to its contenders. By being unfriendly, they are naturally encouraging their “customers” to shop elsewhere. This will have a far-reaching cascade effect and could make a swarm of new billionaires that eclipse Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos.