by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Two days after the 2020 election, a defiant Kathy Griffin retweeted the notorious picture of her holding a prop that looked like the bloody head of a decapitated Donald Trump. Earlier last year, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted out a call to his followers to destroy Israel. Both tweets passed the censorship rules of Twitter’s 20-something judges in San Francisco.
In contrast, Trump has been banned for life from Twitter and barred indefinitely from Facebook. Twitter said in a statement that it excluded Trump “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
The president had called for thousands of his followers to assemble at a massive Washington, D.C., rally protesting the results of the election. Splinter groups broke off from the massed protesters. Some stormed into the halls of Congress. Social-media platforms canceled Trump after he urged his followers — albeit “peacefully and patriotically” — to go protest at the U.S. Capitol, where the mayhem followed.
After the assault — and after Democrats won the presidency, kept the House, took the Senate, and threatened to pack the Supreme Court — furor broke out against Trump. The outrage included the banning of Trump and some of his supporters from social media. …
… True, Trump gave them an opening when some rogue supporters vandalized the Capitol. But the real reason is that the Left has long been eager to curtail the speech of those it opposes. Last week simply offered members of the Left the sort of perfect crisis that they determined should never go to waste.
With a defeated Trump on the way out, and with control over the levers of government, leftists abruptly settled all their old scores. Their aim was not just to humiliate opponents but to curtail opponents’ ability to organize against them.