Trump’s “leadership” style is often compared to that of a corporate CEO, but in reality, it’s more like that of a mob boss godfather.
In Bill Barr, Godfather “Don” Trump — see what I did there? — has a loyal consigliere to advise him and serve as his representative when dealing with important “family” business. And what syndicate would be complete without a small army of soldatos (soldiers) like the ones Trump has in the Republican Party to serve as muscle to enforce the godfather’s wishes?
Like any successful godfather, Trump has his enemies, and number one on his list of enemies is the First Amendment. Trump has been at war with free speech and a free press throughout his reign as the “Don,” going so far as to sue CNN and threaten to shut down social media for displeasing him.
So, it wasn’t all that surprising when the godfather issued an executive order earlier this month calling on the “family” to help him destroy his enemies under the guise of “reforming” Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Under his order, the only free speech is government-approved speech, an order that also includes new ways for the government to control internet content and spy on internet users.
Most of the godfather’s executive order was created earlier by
Attorney General consigliere Barr, who fulfilled his role as the family’s representative yesterday when he called on Congress to pass legislation modeled after the godfather’s order.
Bill Barr wants to see Section 230 protections for social media companies essentially eliminated by taking away their immunity from lawsuits in order to make it easier for users to sue them if they decide to remove a user’s content from their platform.
More significant, however, is a change included in Barr’s demands that would prevent companies from using Section 230 to avoid lawsuits filed against them by the federal government. In application, this would guarantee government’s full control of speech on the internet.
Almost as if on cue, “Don” Trump’s soldatos went right to work on the legislation.
A group of Senate Republicans introduced the Limiting Section 230 Immunity to Good Samaritans Act yesterday, a bill that delivers on Barr’s demands by limiting Section 230 immunity for social media platforms. The bill was sponsored by anti-big tech nationalist Sen. Josh Hawley and co-sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio, Mike Braun, and Tom Cotton.
According to a press release, Hawley’s proposal would remove Section 230 immunity for tech companies unless they promise in their terms of service to operate in good faith. This would open companies to being sued for breaching their contractual duties, according to the release, with a penalty of $5,000 per claim or actual damages, whichever is higher, along with attorney’s fees.
The legislation would put in action the key changes being sought by the godfather.
Another soldato working for the family, Sen. Lindsey Graham, is ahead of his co-soldiers in the godfather’s war against free speech. The South Carolina senator introduced the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act earlier this year, a bill that gives the government complete authority to grant or deny Section 230 protection for social media platforms based on their compliance with a set of arbitrary rules established by the bill.
“Don” Trump, consigliere Barr, and Republican Party soldatos are out to destroy the First Amendment along with every other enemy standing in the way of the “conservative” agenda of the godfather and his GOP family.
I’ve shared this before, but if you’d like a primer on Section 230 and the motivation behind the family’s desire to see it destroyed in favor of more government control of the internet, check out the video below from Reason.com.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.