First Amendment

Trump Is the Problem, With or Without Twitter

If people think cancel culture sucks now, just wait until the government gets involved.

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Kamala Harris has asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to suspend President Donald Trump's account. In an October 1 letter, the California senator and 2020 presidential candidate told Dorsey that Trump had violated Twitter's terms of service. Specifically, she suggested that Trump's recent tweets about civil war, the Ukraine call whistleblower, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D–Calif.) violate Twitter's prohibitions on engaging in "targeted harassment," inciting violence, the "glorification of violence," and attempts "to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else's voice."

Trump's tweets are many things—irresponsible, divisive, and unbecoming of a president, to say the very least. His posts accusing Schiff of treason and suggesting he should be arrested (for comments Schiff made on the House floor recently) may even be unconstitutional. Other tweets may prove good fodder for the Trump impeachment case.

But the proper place for evaluating Trump's tweets and holding him responsible for them is through governmental and legal institutions. This isn't a call that Dorsey should have to unilaterally make.

Imagine if Dorsey did kick Trump off Twitter or suspend his account. The outrageand the opportunity for Trump and conservatives to claim "Big Tech" bias and censorshipwould, of course, be huge. The lawsuits would be long. And, because of Harris' involvement, justified. Government officials can't just go around demanding that private companies cancel their opponents' accounts.

"Let's stipulate that Donald Trump's Twitter feed is a dumpster fire of outrage and that a case could easily be made that he routinely violates what Twitter quaintly calls its 'community standards,'" writes Charles Sykes at The Bulwark. Twitter suspending his account is still "a terrible idea, not least for the gift it would be to Trump."

Without a Twitter account, Trump would certainly find a way to get his garbled grievances out still. Twitter is not the problem, Trump is.

"Banning Trump from Twitter would only fuel his already unhealthy persecution complex and offer yet another victimization narrative for him to exploit," becoming "an effective way to fundraise (via Facebook ads) for his reelection campaign," writes Christine Rosen at Commentary.

Trump's "penchant for policy-making (and policy bumbling) via Twitter has been a constant source of aggravation to his advisers since he took office," Rosen points out. And yet it comes with the upside of transparencya glimpse into "his id" and "a useful barometer of his mood."

Some people suggest that Twitter giving Trump enough rope to hang himself, so to speak, is a good thing. But Ian Sams, Harris' communications director, says "it isn't about 'helping Trump' or not."

"It's about protecting our country," Sams tweeted. "When Giuliani spreads conspiracies and when Trump attacks and threatens a whistleblower, we can't just let it all happen. Truth and democracy are at stake here."

Sams is right that how this helps or hurts Trumpor Harris, or the fortunes of anyone in officeis beside the point (even if it can be a happy byproduct). But the beyond-politics approach dictates that candidates, Congress, and other authorities stay entirely out of who gets to speak online (and where).

Neither Twitter nor any other private tech companies have to provide public officials with a platform to speak. What the First Amendment does require is for these officials, and anyone else speaking with the authority of the state behind them, to avoid even so much as the appearance of pressuring private actors to suppress certain speech, including—or perhaps especially—when that speech involves their political opponents.

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  1. violate Twitter’s prohibitions on engaging in “targeted harassment,” inciting violence, the “glorification of violence,” and attempts “to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else’s voice.”

    Also meeting those criteria: asking for somebody’s account to be banned.

    1. “Welcome to the party pal”.
      -John McClane

    2. Stupidest comparison yet. Thanks for winning the dumb comment of the day award.

    3. ENB: worthless or clueless?

      Discuss.

      1. The incessant ORANGE MAN BAD qualifies her for both, IMHO.

  2. “Let’s stipulate that Donald Trump’s everybody’s Twitter feed is a dumpster fire of outrage and that a case could easily be made that he routinely violates what Twitter quaintly calls its ‘community standards,'”

    On Twitter, everyone has to listen to you scream.

    1. But no one knows you’re a dog.

      1. and everyone thinks you’re a bot

    2. Unless you’re conservative. Then you get banned for Tweeting While Conservative.

  3. “”But the proper place for evaluating Trump’s tweets and holding him responsible for them is through governmental and legal institutions.””

    From the same person that says “If people think cancel culture sucks now, just wait until the government gets involved. ”

    What type of accountability by governmental institutions does not require government involvement?

    1. And the idea that Trump is somehow committing a high crime by repeating a two-year-old news statement that has been echoed continuously throughout almost every network since then is absurd on its face.

      Yes, I wish Trump would stop fighting on Twitter, but the claim that his participation in normal online culture is somehow this great evil is ridiculous.

      1. Trump’s twitter posts used to bother me. But then I realized he was just cutting through the decorum and telling us the way he sees things. Some of his most outrageous statements have turned out to be true – like the one about his campaign being spied upon by the Obozo administration.

        Trump’s tweets are at once distasteful and refreshing. Whatever one may think of his agenda, it’s nowhere near as insane as the DemonCRAP plans for America which amount to nothing less than communism/socialism. His jarring attacks on the Left keep them spun up and constantly “outraged” – even over the tiniest minutae (like the Ukrained phone call). By prompting them to express cosmic angst for everything he does, he exposes the DemonCRAPS as a party bent on political advantage at any cost – including the destruction of America. He shows DemonCRAPS and the media to be a pack of wild and frenzied animals snapping at the air, with no thought for what they’re doing except naked aggression against everything. This makes the choice in leadership crystal clear: Vote for someone who has done great things for America and has America’s interests at heart, or vote for the DemonCRAPS, a pack of dishonest, corrupt, psychotic hyenas who care only for themselves – and nothing for America or Americans.

        1. Well stated, BambiB.
          Here’s more fodder for your statement: Demoncraps, with 212 House votes, declined to put veterans ahead of illegal aliens in legislation requiring that their medical records be digitized.
          It is estimated to take years for veterans, but the demoncraps have insisted illegal aliens get theirs’ done in 90 days.

  4. “The proper place for evaluating Trump’s tweets and holding him responsible for them is through governmental and legal institutions. This isn’t a call that Dorsey should have to unilaterally make.”

    This is the most fundamentally anti-libertarian statement I’ve ever read at Reason.

    Reason should be ashamed of publishing this authoritarian sewage.

    1. How can someone work at Reason for so long and think this statement is in any way defensible from a libertarian perspective?

      1. reason staff have not been Libertarian for some time.

        Trump WINNING so much just causes them to fly into a rage and confirm this from their own words.

        1. Yesterday a lot of posters flagged Hinh. Out of curiosity, do you agree with his banning?

      2. What can we expect from someone that acknowledges what the government would do will suck, but then advocates for the government to be the one to do something.

        I don’t think lack of defending libertarian principles is the only thing amiss.

      3. You must be misinterpreting it. She’s saying that the political evaluation of Trump’s public statements belongs in the political realm. That’s not a call for the political realm to take action against the private sector.

        1. Exactly. Poor wording is the only problem. Probably more explicit as “political institutions”, but that’s the intent.

          The only way to misread that is to want to misread it; to expect the worst of the author right from the get go.

          1. No, because I misread it the same way, and didn’t expect so bad of ENB, because didn’t think of her as part of the main problem here. Maybe now I will!

            1. Why are we sure it’s been misread?

              1. Because it doesn’t say what we want it to say, it must mean something else.

                This is the dilemma of our era.

        2. “The proper place for evaluating Trump’s tweets and holding him responsible for them is through governmental and legal institutions.”

          Fuck that noise!

          I suppose there is one libertarian perspective from which to defend that statement–it must have been a typo?

          So go ahead and correct it, why don’t she?

          I suppose people can be forgiven for typos from a libertarian perspective, but on the other hand, there’s isn’t anything especially libertarian about typos.

          What it says, the way it’s written, is indefensible.

          “This isn’t a call that Dorsey should have to unilaterally make.”

          The word “have” there is being used in terms of possession rather than as a piece of some conjugated verb.

          If I remember correctly from Wheelock’s Latin, that form of “have” comes from the Latin habeo, -ere which is when you own, hold, or posses something.

          Yes, that is a call that should belong to the CEO of Twitter. After all, the service is owned by Twitter’s shareholders, they elected a board of directors, and the board of directors hires and keeps the CEO–precisely in order to make decisions like this. The CEO of Twitter making these judgement calls is exactly the way it should be–and the idea that the government should have something to say about that is ludicrous from the perspective of the First Amendment, from the perspective of capitalism, and from the perspective of libertarianism.

          ENB just shit the bed again.

          1. IIRC, Suckerberg also opined that he thought government should be in the position of deciding what content was appropriate in these forums.
            My thought was: Since the actual law say assisting illegal aliens was an offense, the government’s position should be to ban any reference advocating the protection of illegal aliens.
            How would that work for you, Mark?

            1. The First Amendment starts out, “Congress shall make no law”.
              With that plain language, Congress is prohibited from regulating social media the way Zuckerberg wants.

              Meanwhile, Facebook and a few others have a large enough scale that they can afford to hire the people necessary to monitor our conversations and react to the them in real time–so, yeah, they want regulation that requires all companies to do that because that regulation makes it hard or impossible for start ups to compete with them in their core business under the weight of that expense.

              How do MeWe, Mastodon, or maybe even someone operating a Slack instance compete with Facebook under those circumstances if they can’t afford to hire people to moderate content in real time?

              He’s basically rent seeking and willing to trash the First Amendment to do it–and there’s no way we should take the bait.

              ENB appears to be on board with Zuckerberg’s plan–despite it violating the principles and plain language of the First Amendment and despite it meaning central planning rather than capitalism. She might as well be working for Facebook or the Warren campaign.

      4. Only if (granted, a BIG if) “governmental and legal institutions” is a long winded, inapt, and obtuse reference to the ballot box.

        Yeah, I doubt it too.

      5. When did Reason have a truly libertarian perspective? It was always more “cosmotarian” and has only become more progressive as the years go by

      6. Ken, Reason is no longer even pretending to be libertarian.

        Shame on KMW.

    2. It’s not clear to me what she means by “government and legal institutions.” It would be compatible with libertarianism to say that courts are the proper arbiter of contract disputes, which is what this could be, as opposed to the court of public opinion or politicians.

      Dorsey (or more correctly, Twitters board of directors) would be within his rights to ban Trump from Twitter. Trump would be within his rights to sue for breech of contract. “Government and legal institutions” would be the proper place for those disputes to be settled.

      1. “Legal institution” for contracts disputes, sure, such as the Twitter terms of service. “Governmental institution” means “political”, not legislation or executive orders or regulatory sledge hammers.

      2. If Trump can’t ban twitter accounts then neither can Twitter ban Trump. I don’t know if thats true but it is one argument. see the mess they have created


        1. If Trump can’t ban twitter accounts then neither can Twitter ban Trump. I don’t know if thats true but it is one argument. see the mess they have created

          It’s not actually true as far as I can tell given that Twitter bans users all the time which, if we take a certain Manhattan appeals ruling into account, means that Twitter is the only outlet that can stop the public from entering open town hall meetings.

          That said, we haven’t seen if Twitter could actually ban the President from what is considered a government information outlet. It would be pretty bizarre if they could do that, even under the insane appeals court ruling.

      3. “It’s not clear to me what she means by “government and legal institutions.” It would be compatible with libertarianism to say that courts are the proper arbiter of contract disputes”

        In the very next line, she doubles down on the authoritarianism!

        It’s not only that the government should be the one making choices about this–it’s also that the CEO shouldn’t be the one making this call.

        How can a libertarian make that argument–even by mistake?

        Meanwhile, it’s very much in line with what Liz Warren is saying.

        1. “How can a libertarian make that argument?”

          They were only libertarian to the extent that libertarianism meant ratcheting things to the left.

          Once that stopped the libertarianism went out the window.

      4. It is only not cleat because you want it to be not clear.

        Had she said ‘governmental institutions’ alone she might have gotten a pass, but ENB did not get her job because she’s an idiot at using her native tongue. ‘Legal institutions’ has rather specific meaning.

        1. I’d also add she is quite able to clarify or correct any misstatement.

    3. His posts accusing Schiff of treason and suggesting he should be arrested (for comments Schiff made on the House floor recently) may even be unconstitutional.

      Saying in a tweet that perhaps Schiff should be arrested is not “unconstitutional”, it’s just dumb. Actually having him arrested would be unconstitutional.

    4. You should expand your reading here…Reason is now absolutely FULL of this crap.
      Would someone there please stop employing leftist journalists and find a few libertarians? I’m sure they’re out there…

  5. I hope his second term brings into reality all your fever dreams.

    1. +10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

      1. What in tarnation?

        1. reason does not know how to test its website changes.

          It was more important getting those auto-play videos online to save reason from financial ruin.

    2. LOL

      #TrumpUkraine has effectively ended Orange Hitler’s Presidency. He was never going to win in 2020 anyway, but now he might be removed from office before then.

      #Impeach

  6. Trump Is the Problem, With or Without Twitter

    No Propagandists like ENB are part of the problem.

    Kamala Rouge is just a joke.

  7. In the future, everyone will be banned from Twitter. It will be proclaimed as “a victory for the people!”

    1. Or… perhaps everyone will leave Twitter if and when the masses decide that Twitter is a cesspool and not worth their time. Not holding my breath on that happening.

      1. I have a twitter account only so that i can comment on certain websites since they want either facebook or twitter. My family is on Fb so I use twit, i’ve never done anything else with it

  8. Beginning to think ENB is the problem

  9. >>has been a constant source of aggravation to his advisers since he took office

    gasp! what’re they gonna do after his hair wins 49 states?

  10. It’s about protecting our country,” Sams tweeted. “When Giuliani spreads conspiracies and when Trump attacks and threatens a whistleblower, we can’t just let it all happen. Truth and democracy are at stake here

    I am now convinced that the actual threat to our country is that our elected officials have these monstrous size staffs that are accountable only to that elected official. Whether it’s a Kamala Harris with a couple dozen Sams-types who are more loyal to their boss than the Constitution. Or a White House with a few thousand people who don’t require either confirmation from or accountability to Senate or the ‘authorized’ cabinet/department executive structure or anyone but the Prez hisself.

    I can figure out the solution re Congress. Massively increase the number of elected critters (now 435) at the expense of staff critterhelpers (now 20,000),

    Can’t figure out the solution re Prez.

    1. “Truth and democracy are at stake here”

      Yeah, and the fake news at work each and every day to further distance us from the concept of both. Chicken Little checked in and says it’s too late for truth and democracy and to focus on global warming instead. The former being incompatible with the latter.

    2. Go back to the old method: the President used to have to pay his staff out of his own salary. That greatly limited the number of flunkies.

      1. Or maybe the even older – restore direct vote of the electoral college.

        right now they are just nameless faceless partisan hacks who are expected to have no skill except voting the way their party sez for Prez and then going away. They don’t even appear on the ballot so have no accountability themselves to the electorate.

        But what if they were actually chosen by voters – separate from the Prez vote? So the Prez maybe not only has to campaign for voters votes for him but for electors votes for him as well? The Constitution has a minimum requirement for what they do and who they are (vote Prez/VP and can’t be federal officials themselves) but not a max.

        I can easily see a scenario where a candidate says something like ‘I want to use those hundreds of electors to help me recruit the best White House staff’ or something. Where parties get caught in a bit of a vise between nominating reliable hacks and nominating people who can distinguish their ass from their elbow. Where a party that knows its Prez candidate won’t win a state puts up an elector slate that is really top-notch so even if they’re legally ‘pledged’ re the Prez vote, they can exert influence re what that Prez candidate said re how he’d use the electoral college. Where states themselves come up with different election rules to make sure their electors are the best most influential electors.

        Idk if this changes the operations of a White House staff much – but who knows? it could.

        1. Electors are voted on (at least in GA).
          After the election, the winning candidate’s state party chooses electors through nomination at a state convention, then voting on those nominated. Don’t know how competitive it is.
          To be eligible to attend/vote/stand at that state convention, one has to be a member of the party though

          1. Actually, not sure about that – may be confusing it with the process of choosing state delegates to send to the national party convention

            1. That is, after the primary, to officially nominate the winner as the party’s candidate.
              I’d imagine that the electors are chosen in a similar manner to the delegates

    3. Less staff, more elected officials.

      Quadrupling Representatives would be a good start. They can mostly stay home and teleconference. Cheaper and in better touch with their (now much smaller) constituencies.

    4. The 435 size limit on the House is another stupid progressive idea from 100 years ago. One of the original 12 Amendments to pass the First Congress would have limited House districts to 50,000, except that it was worded to say the opposite of that by accident and thus was never ratified. We’d have over 6600 House members had it been done right then.

      http://www.thirty-thousand.org/

  11. Democrat officeholders pressure media to deplatform individuals. Trump to blame.

    1. yeah, I don’t see how the article supported the headline.

      1. If anything, the article supports what the headline opposes

  12. It’s not trump that has kept the country so fearful these past 3 years that mass shootings spiked. It’s our media. The Media who gives us all the information we use, so has to be the source of mass shooters, and why mass shooters quote folks like CNN and the NYT and Maddow for some reason. Shooters really like her.

    I think the Media needs to start taking responsibility for what they did to our country.

  13. “ Kamala Harris has asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to suspend President Donald Trump’s account.”

    You can’t; that would be unconstitutional. Twitter would be violating people’s right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

    1. Actually that’s only a constitutional right if elected officials are on that platform. If Twitter banned ALL elected officials, then it would not be a platform for petitioning government. Course it would then lose it’s reason for existing. Sharing cat videos is one thing. Sharing 140 character tweets ABOUT cat videos is of interest to nobody.

      1. I think they’re up to 280 characters. Tweet inflation.

    2. Um…no. Jack Dorsey can do whatever the fuck he wants with Trump’s account.

      What he should do is tell Kamala to pound sand.

      1. You do realize the courts have muddied those waters by declaring Trump has no right to bar someone from his personal
        Twitter feed?

        1. WTF does that have to do with what Jack Dorsey can do? I’ll tell you what. Nothing. Jack Dorsey’s banhammer is unconstrained. Trump’s/AOC’s/Swamp’s banhammer is constrained.

          1. Ah I see, you don’t understand the discussion and are an imbecile.

          2. Jack Dorsey’s banhammer is unconstrained.

            Actually, it’s not. Banning Trump would be an idiotic move on Dorsey’s part. It would probably tank the business. Journolists would almost be required to quit paying attention to each other on Twitter and go find Trump, wherever he is, to signal their disgust at whatever it is he’s doing.

            Moreover, between being petitioned by a Senator and the courts’ decision, it’s not entirely clear that his ban hammer is unconstrained. He could quite, maybe not intelligibly, but correctly (or vice versa) be in boondoggle where his options are to do what the government says or close the business.

            1. Well sure, there are social pressures. But there’s no legal obligation.

      2. “Um…no. Jack Dorsey can do whatever the fuck he wants with Trump’s account”

        Um… No the fuck he can’t stupid jackass.

        1. Listen, you fucking chickenshit period poster who wants to just throw bombs and be an asshole…you can’t provide one shred of evidence to back up your position.

          So why don’t you shut your cum burping hole.

  14. If I were a social media company like Twitter, I’d cancel every politician for lying to the American people. Whether for “Mexico will pay for it” or “If you like your doctor”, doesn’t matter cancel them all. Perhaps the newer politicians to follow the current crop will find lying to the American people actually has consequences.

    1. If I were a social media company like twitter I’d create an algorithm that changes the word “bigot” to “nigger” and then sit back and watch the fun after people start tweeting that others are acting like a bigot.
      “Holy crap, maybe if you weren’t such a fucking bigot then you could understand what I’m saying”.
      Then I would hop on a jet to my private island and do hookers and blow and eat meatball subs until my heart explodes sometime in my late 50’s or early 60’s.

      1. lol, I am not there yet but I think you maybe on to something.

        1. Yeah, meatball subs rule.

      2. Then I would hop on a jet to my private island and do hookers and blow and eat meatball subs until my heart explodes sometime in my late 50’s or early 60’s.

        You’re assuming you wouldn’t be hunted down and executed for lending material support to terrorist organizations like 8chan and Stormfront.

        1. I got it covered. I would delay the algorithm to make sure I’ve already escaped. Plus, my island is surrounded by flesh-piercing spikes, moats with gators, electrical fences, and naked fat chicks with bowl cuts and lazy eyes. No one is coming close.
          Also, by the time I would have made enough to control a social media site like twitter I would have purchased 8chan and Stormfront and made them gay porn sites.

          1. I’ve always assumed the other stuff was a front for gay porn anyway.

  15. “What the First Amendment does require is for these officials”
    This is the problem with the officials using a private company to speak.

    “Congress shall make no law…”
    Asking Jack Dorsey to ban Trump isn’t a law. If the platform has the ability to ban who they want they can do that.

    The White House has a website. The White House can also make it’s own version of Twitter just for politicians, have it as an app too, and then use the data collected to mail campaign shit to your door. In the age of data collection I don’t feel good with politicians using something from a private company that can be hacked or leaked. Have it set to not collect data from government officials.

    It will reach the same audience. Just because he is off twitter doesn’t mean people aren’t going to be checking daily to see what he posted. They have to. Otherwise they can’t complain.

  16. Trump isn’t the problem. The problem is the evil cabal out to destroy America with open borders and socialism. The American people are their target, Trump is merely in the way.

  17. victimization narrative

    WTF? Quit victimizing yourself! Quit victimizing yourself!

  18. Just as JFK was a made-for-TV president, Trump was made for Twitter. Short-attention-span theater, don’t worry if you missed the outrage bus because there’s another due along in 12 seconds. Twitter fucked up when they doubled the character limit from 140 to 280, if they’d been smart they would have cut it in half instead. Ain’t nobody got time to read no 140 characters – I need to be pissed off about some shit right now! goddammit.

  19. She is is journalist. They have special constitutional protections not available to the ordinary plebs in their own minds.

  20. Government Trump Is the Problem, With or Without Twitter

    Come on, ENB, you’re better than that.

    1. Except she’s really not.

    2. No, ENB is not better than that. This kind of illiberal, statist drivel pouring out of her and many other “libertarians”/”liberals” shows that their “libertarianism” was all a farce. They either just like some libertarian policies (e.g., drug decriminalization), or a libertarian publication was all they could get as a job (look at ENB’s bio).

      Regardless of what else Trump accomplishes, having these people come out of the woodwork and reveal themselves for what they are is going to be a lasting legacy. ENB is never going to be able to fool anybody into believing her that she is a principled advocate for liberty.

      1. A magazine does not need a purity test and should not be propaganda. If Reason is just libertarian leaning that is fine with me. There is room for a spectrum of views.

        Look they offer a basically unmoderated platform to express disagreement. Sounds fair enough for me. ,

        Libertarianism is not sharply defined.

  21. Libertarian rag suggests that govt should be involved and the private company relinquish the right to run their platform as they see fit…

  22. OT: There must be a blockage in the line Trump is using to Drain the Swamp. Better call Roto Rooter.

    The 10 “richest states,” according to 24/7 Wall Street:
    1. Maryland
    2. New Jersey
    3. Hawaii
    4. Massachusetts
    5. Connecticut
    6. California
    7. New Hampshire
    8. Alaska
    9. Washington
    10. Virginia

    1. And in Soviet Russia and Eastern Bloc countries, the richest zip codes were those with government functionaries.

      The fact that Democrats are enriching themselves at the expense of taxpayers is the problem.

      1. Its not just the Democrats who are suckling at the tit. I know plenty of Republicans who don’t want those utters to run dry. Hence the appropriation bills they passed while having full control of the Legislature and the WH.

        1. Of course it’s not “just” Democrats; but Democrats are the primary drivers behind this, and they are better at it. The per-state statistics show you that. And once Democrats and/or progressives have created an entitlement or handout, people don’t have a choice but to take it.

          1. A turd sandwich is still a turd sandwich no matter the recipe. When I see the Republicans actually work to reduce the size and scope of government, I’ll think differently of them. Until then they are just as big if not a larger problem since they lie constantly about wanting to reduce big government.

              1. trillion dollar deficits say hello

          2. “but Democrats are the primary drivers behind this”

            How so? With Republicans in full control we set a new record for the deficit, all without a war or economic recession to drive it. The cost of the Iraq war is estimated at $2.4 trillion by the CBO. I’m curious what recent Dem policies you can point to that can compete with Republicans on spending.

            1. In which De Oppresso Liber makes the case for higher taxes.

              1. I’m in favor of low taxes, but I do prefer 0 deficit and commensurate taxation than deficit spending.

                1. But spending cuts aren’t part of the Democrat platform, so the only possible answer is more taxes if you don’t want a deficit. Commensurate taxation means ever-increasing taxes under a Democrat plan, as opposed to lower taxes and higher deficit spending under Republicans.

                  The short question is do you prefer to keep more money now which you can insulate from currency problems later on, or do you prefer losing more money later through devaluation?

                  One might think younger people would prefer option A in a vacuum, whereas older people might prefer option B since they’ll be dead when it screws people. One might simply note we already have effectively negative interest rates on, say, a savings account.

                  1. If people felt the pain of taxes to pay for all the government spending, we would see a more immediate effect on voter attitudes towards large government programs, I believe. The time delay between government spending and currency devaluation (inflation, aka shadow taxation) caused by deficit spending is too great for most Americans to feel the pinch and perceive the cause and effect relationship. Immediate taxation to pay for current government spending would tilt attitudes of the broader electorate toward small government and lower taxes — again, just my theory.

                    I understand and appreciate your argument that democrats would lead to longer term greater government spending because they promise a lot of big programs and seemingly only republican resistance checks it.

                    1. If people felt the pain of taxes to pay for all the government spending, we would see a more immediate effect on voter attitudes towards large government programs,

                      Taxes are a larger aggregate of a person’s expenses than any other item, including housing and food. They’re already feeling the pain, they just want someone else to bear more of it.

            2. oh, the Dems will think of some. listen to their debates (not that I would listen to them myself)

            3. How so? With Republicans in full control we set a new record for the deficit, all without a war or economic recession to drive it.

              We spent a century of gradual increases to get to this point, and that was spending increases that were popular. It is absurd to think that any party can just come in and make substantial cuts. Cutting is much harder politically and economically than spending increases.

              It’s the same with many progressive policies. It’s easy to let people into the US, it’s next to impossible to get them to leave again. Etc.

              I’m curious what recent Dem policies you can point to that can compete with Republicans on spending.

              ACA for one. And then listen to all the new taxation and spending proposals coming out of Democratic candidates.

            4. With Republicans in full control we set a new record for the deficit, all without a war or economic recession to drive it.

              In FY08, spending on Medicare and Medicaid services was about $800 billion. In FY18, it was $1.4 trillion. The Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which covers part of that, took in $260 billion and paid out $301 billion. Medicaid grants, which have no funding mechanism whatsoever, totaled $389 billion.

              It’s not Republican programs that are driving the deficit, but no one has the guts to take things back to the days when you could pay cash for most procedures out of pocket.

      2. Its cronyism period. Investing isn’t the risk it used to be.. follow the mandates, bans, welfare expansions, and taxes. Through IVY law school graduates as a percentage of the population. Health Care stocks after Obamacare WHOA, $$$$!

    2. I think we all knew going in that the issue was going to be less about opening the drain and more about clearing fatbergs.

  23. Government is the problem, with or without Trump.

  24. Trump’s tweets are many things—irresponsible, divisive, and unbecoming of a president

    Do you long for the days of LBJ inviting the press to watch him take a shit?

  25. But the proper place for evaluating Trump’s tweets and holding him responsible for them is through governmental and legal institutions. This isn’t a call that Dorsey should have to unilaterally make.

    Just when I thought Reason couldn’t jump the shark any more than it already had, ENB is literally calling for government censorship of political speech.

    Your article is absolutely reprehensible, ENB. Stop lying to yourself and to others and call yourself what you are: some kind of leftist and statist, or perhaps merely a journalist out to make a buck who doesn’t care about liberty at all.

    1. In fairness, I thought ENB was referring to the impeachment proceedings, not Gov’t censorship.

      1. What “decisions” does Dorsey have to make wrt impeachment? What effect does impeachment have on Trump’s ability to use Twitter?

        No, ENB is talking about Harris’s demand that Dorsey kick Trump off Twitter, and she is saying that that should be the government’s call, not Dorsey’s.

        ENB later tries to weasel out of this by framing this as a limit on government officials:

        What the First Amendment does require is for these officials, and anyone else speaking with the authority of the state behind them, to avoid even so much as the appearance of pressuring private actors to suppress certain speech, including—or perhaps especially—when that speech involves their political opponents.

        But that’s bullshit. The 1A says “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”. Harris wrote to Twitter in her capacity as candidate. Trump tweeted from his personal account. In what possible way does that violate the 1A? How does either of these two acts even remotely amount to “making a law”?

  26. “Biden asks cable news to stop booking Giuliani. Harris asks Twitter to suspend Trump…”

    Wait a second. I could have sworn that Shikha Dalmia assured me that the Left was no longer engaging in cancel culture tactics, and that the Conservatives were the only ones resorting to it now!

    This quote must be fake news. Shikha would never mislead us! (Or is Kamila Harris’ attempt to silence Trump another example of how brown people are going to save individual liberties in the Trump era?)

    1. The Colorado Governor’s office asks rural newspapers to scrub a post on Polis expanding worthless Government agencies.

      1. “creating and expanding”

  27. That would be the best thing for Trump. Gets to be a martyr and his embarrassing tweets go away too.

    1. If I were the Dems I’d ask that Trump’s tweets are scrolled along the top of every Twitter page no matter what page the user is on. 24/7.

  28. It’s so weird, I cannot find the article about Maxine Waters suggesting we lock up an elected official for hurting her feelings… I’ll keep looking, it must be in the “both sides” sections

    And while I’m at it, I’ll also look up the articles about Twitter not being real life and this is all hyperbolic bullshit… That should definitely be in here

  29. I suspect Harris is just trying to revive her dying campaign.

    1. Nothing that a few rounds of gator wrestling can’t put to rights.

      1. Planning a trip to the border?

  30. Whether you support Trump or not, and whether you like him or despise him, it is without-a-doubt true that the “Twittering President,” when it comes down to how he actually feels about something, is the most transparent president in US history. So, long live Twitter.

    1. Hold on there, that award clearly went to Obama.

      1. Obama was certainly transparent to anyone paying attention.

  31. In one week we’ve got the Biden campaign telling MSM TV not to book Giuliani and the Harris campaign trying to get the president off twitter.

    Dem dems be mighty scared…

  32. “The proper place for evaluating Trump’s tweets and holding him responsible for them is through governmental and legal institutions. This isn’t a call that Dorsey should have to unilaterally make.”

    This is the most fundamentally anti-libertarian statement I’ve ever read at Reason.

    1. You haven’t read a lot of Reason lately have you? Hawkish progressives is a better description for their writers now than anything

    2. This is the problem with minarchists. They just circle back around to being statists again eventually.

    3. What is the problem with that? Trump is the chief executive of the government. If there is a problem or complaint any action or attempted action belongs there.

      A private company should not be involved and should make its own rules, In a business a problem or complaint against the CEO is and should be dealt with internally.

      I don’t see a problem with trumps twitter account. It is a good thing as it gives us a window into what he is thinking. It is his primary method of communication. Others have used radio, tv, press interviews.

  33. https://www.reason.com/2018/03/07/russian-model-nastya-on-trump-election/

    Just a subtle reminder that ENB is…well…not smart and fever dreamed pretty hard and that Reason has pushed every corporate press conspiracy from “Kavanaugh is a gang rapist” to “the pee tape is real” and every single one has blown up in their faces.

    But, sure, they’re right this time or something

  34. I thought the only way to get self-contradictory drivel like this past the editors was to sign it with Shikha’s name.

  35. Computers and televisions still have Off buttons, right?

    How far back would we need to go before this place became Washington Post light?

    1. The Glibertarians saw it coming and ditched this bitch.

  36. So when is Reason going to just come out and say that they are no longer a “libertarian leaning” media establishment and that they are now fully on board with the socialists of the democratic party?

    1. They are also charged with pulling votes from Republicans, so the lie that they are Libertarian-leaning must go on.

    2. Leftists have killed and gutted this site and are wearing its skin, to steal from Iowahawk.

  37. But the proper place for evaluating Trump’s tweets and holding him responsible for them is through governmental and legal institutions.

    Wrong.

    That is the proper place for evaluating Trump’s tweets for crimes and civil infractions. That is, government consequences.

    But it is entirely proper for Twitter to decide for itself whether Trump, or anyone else, has violated Twitter’s terms of service and will be banned.

    What would be improper would the government telling Twitter who it can and can’t ban.

    1. What would be improper would the government telling Twitter who it can and can’t ban.

      You mean like if a high government official were to make overtures to the company regarding that very topic? A high government official who is running for elective office against that same person? A high government official who has a history of using government power and prosecution to damage companies and people’s lives purely for political gain?

      That kind of government “telling”? Or just the “pass a law” kind of telling?

      1. l liked this:

        “Imagine if Dorsey did kick Trump off Twitter or suspend his account. The outrage—and the opportunity for Trump and conservatives to claim “Big Tech” bias and censorship—would, of course, be huge. The lawsuits would be long. And, because of Harris’ involvement, justified. Government officials can’t just go around demanding that private companies cancel their opponents’ accounts.”

        Opportunity and outrage. And pounce! Don’t forget….conservatives POUNCE. Reeer.

        What ‘opportunity’? If they get suspended they’re not allowed to complain? So when is it, I must ask, a good time to complain if not for such an act?

        Those damn conservative snowflakes.


    2. But it is entirely proper for Twitter to decide for itself whether Trump, or anyone else, has violated Twitter’s terms of service and will be banned.

      What would be improper would the government telling Twitter who it can and can’t ban.

      Honestly I agree in theory. However, it seems doubtful that Twitter could ban Trump since his account is no longer a private account but rather an arm of the U.S. government as ludicrous as that may seem. Thus the government has already effectively told Twitter that Trump cannot be banned. At the very least, that ruling could be considered strong arming Twitter or chilling their speech.

      The question remains on how it is possible that Trump banning someone from his Twitter infringes on people’s right to redress the government while Twitter is free and clear to ban people thus limiting their ability to gain access to a public news resource.

      I don’t agree with many of those arguments, obviously, and I imagine you might not either. This is one nutty ruling that needs to be shot down. Twitter is no more a town hall than the New York Times comment section.

  38. Look, this stuff is simple.

    Calling for Republicans in general and Trump in the specific to be banned from the public square is exercising your rights and is exactly what every true American should be doing.

    Criticizing any democrat is un-American. Possibly unconstitutional. Probably treasonous. I dunno. But it definitely makes you literally worse than Hitler.

    And it should be self-evident that the way to handle Trump hurting some democrat’s feelings on Twitter is for him to be prosecuted and held responsible in court of law.

    Really, folks. It ain’t that hard. Orange man bad. That’s it. You don’t really need to know anything else.

  39. Just about every tweet that the Apricot Moron posts shows what a lying, duplicitous asshole he is.

    Why would anyone who opposes him (i.e. anyone with a brain) want to stop him from continually shooting himself in the foot? Let him have full access to his Kevorkian machine.

    1. One would think. But somehow he manages to make what seems to be a debilitating mental illness work for him.

      I think maybe he actually did make a deal with the devil. Because no matter how stupid something he says might be, democrats figure out a way to take that rake that Trump was stepping on and beat themselves over the head with it.

      1. A Faustian deal?

      2. If the dems had any sense at all, they would ignore his tweets altogether. He gets away with it because it’s hilarious, and the reactions are an integral part of the comedy.

  40. “When Giuliani spreads conspiracies and when Trump attacks and threatens a whistleblower, we can’t just let it all happen. Truth and democracy are at stake here.”

    In other words, a whistleblower is someone who warns the public about a Republican conspiring with foreigners, and a conspiracy theory is the Republican side of that story.

    Remember when a friend of Clinton complained about a vast right-wing conspiracy against her? That was before it was cool to blame the Russians/Ukrainians/Canadians.

    1. I’m honestly wondering if the Kochs give these writers bonuses for lacking all self-awareness.

      The same idiot who was peddling “Kavanaugh is a gang rapist” and “this prostitute holds the keys to collusion” is pretending like investigating the intelligence community that peddled the conspiracy that she was too stupid to fall for is somehow “dangerous”.

      1. I find it EXTREMELY hard to believe at this point that noted ditz, ENB, is not severely mentally retarded

      2. I’m honestly wondering if the Kochs give these writers bonuses for lacking all self-awareness.

        A partial lobotomy is apparently required before taking that kind of job.

        1. You know what used to qualify a person as a big time journalist? Being a kid of someone rich and powerful or being very connected. Know you get to be a big time journalist today? The same thing, only with a thin shell of accreditation from a program a trained monkey can graduate from.

          It’s more than just amusing that the highest award a journalist can get is named after one of the worst figures ever in U.S. journalism.

          I can say this pretty confidently since I took journalism classes in college. Easiest damn A you’ll ever get.

    2. “”Remember when a friend of Clinton complained about a vast right-wing conspiracy against her?””

      Wouldn’t that be his wife? But I get why you would refer to her as a friend. That’s what Bill said she was when Jennifer Flowers ask who that is.

  41. Blah, blah. I for one like his Tweets if anything he drives the faux-intellectuals and media batshit retard.

    That alone is worth the price of admission.

    Shit, as libertarians you should be celebrating him shitting all over these asshats.

    And Harris can straight off go fuck herself. IMAGINE HER as President, ENB.

    /Sideshow Bob shudder.

    1. This guy gets it

      1. Sad when a frickin lousy Canadian gets it.

    2. +1 Rufus

  42. Nate Silver CANCELLED. Latin American Authoritarian Socialism.. coming soon to the constitution and bill of rights near you.

    1. Democrats are now cannibalizing their own.

  43. Trump’s the problem? I don’t see Trump banning people from trying to express themselves just because of their political affiliation.

  44. re: “Twitter is not the problem, Trump is.”

    Trump being a problem does not mean that Twitter is not also a problem. In my opinion, Twitter’s very structure is designed to make civil discourse harder and less likely. It’s a viper pit.

    Note that viper pits have every right to exist. And far be it from me to tell you that you can’t jump into the middle of one. Personally, I’m going to stay out of it – and to ignore most everyone who shows the bad judgment to jump in.

  45. Pretty sure the government is already involved.

    Else WTF is the CDA of 96 about anyway?

  46. Aaaaand right on cue…

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1179502966606352386?s=20

    Take a look at that photograph indeed.

    The thing is Biden is caught on tape BRAGGING about having abuses his power and getting that prosecutor fired.

    1. Well, the issue is that there were apparently many good reasons to get the guy fired. I can even see understand a conclusion that Biden was working properly, despite his clear conflict of interest. However, in that case, the investigation should have been picked up by the prosecutor’s successor. If nothing else, to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

  47. Reason: When in doubt, we always snuggle up to the leftist.

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