Republicans’ Orwellian agenda make February a terrible month for liberty

Ever since Trump’s acquittal on two articles of impeachment in January, he and the bought-and-paid-for Republican Party have been diligently working to advance their Orwellian agenda.

Under the Nationalist Conservative banner, they’ve adopted the goals of Democratic Socialism as their own while fundamentally transforming America from a land of liberty and freedom into dystopian nightmare where citizens are losing their liberty to Big Brother authoritarian government.

This week alone we witnessed how Republicans have granted Trump dictatorial power to ignore Congress’s budget authority so he can spend taxpayer funds as he sees fit on the border wall. And yesterday, Trump became the Judge Dredd president when he brazenly declared himself the “chief law enforcement officer of the country” instead of the Attorney General on the same day he pardoned or commuted the criminal sentences of eleven campaign contributors and other Trumpist cronies.

Speaking of the Attorney General, earlier this month William Barr spoke at an event hosted by Washington’s Center For Strategic and International Studies where he promoted Trump’s long-held dream of having the emerging 5G network owned and operated by the federal government instead of the free market. This “suggestion” came after several failed attempts by the administration to force Apple Corp. to give the federal government back door access to iPhones, which would grant Big Brother unlimited access to the private information of their clients.

While this was going on in the White House this month, over in the House, tyrannical Republicans have been working with Democrats on legislation that would give the federal government unrestricted access to the private information of internet and telecommunications users and subscribers. And in the Senate, Lindsey Graham has been working on a plan to take down the internet by expanding government power over it and modifying Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

Section 230 protects internet companies from being legally responsible when content on their sites is published by someone else. It also protects these companies from liability if they take down content considered  “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.”

Graham’s Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act will create a commission empowered to deny or grant Section 230 protections for social media platforms based on their “compliance” with arbitrary and yet-to-be-created federal guidelines. It will also punish companies like Apple if they refuse government’s demand to give Big Brother access to the encrypted information and other personal data of their clients.

Not only will the EARN IT Act essentially end the internet as we know it, it gives Attorney General Barr and the DOJ unchecked access to all of our messaging, file-sharing, and video-sharing tools. If it becomes law, the EARN IT Act will give current and future unelected officials limitless power to regulate technology and invade our privacy.

Trump and the GOP claim they are doing these things in the name of safety and national security, but their real objective is obtaining unlimited and unchecked power — power the Constitution says they’re not entitled to have.


David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative.

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