By John Kanelis / email@example.com
Let’s take a look at the First Amendment, which has been revived as a talking point with regard to Facebook’s decision to keep Donald J. Trump off the platform for the time being.
Trumpkins keep yammering that Facebook is impinging on Trump’s First Amendment rights of free speech as a U.S. citizen.
The founders inscribed a fairly narrow guarantee when they wrote the First Amendment to our Constitution. They wrote:
“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The most important and salient words of that Amendment are the first five of them. “Congress shall make no law … ”
That means Congress is prohibited from interfering in all those freedoms guaranteed by the founders. It says nothing at all about what a private company can do to limit Americans’ expressions. Facebook is a for-profit organization. It has every right to ban whoever it wants from its platform. It chose to act after Donald Trump kept fomenting the Big Lie about the 2020 election, that it was stolen from him. He used Facebook to promote the Big Lie; Facebook gurus decided they would have no more of it.
Does this inhibit Trump’s First Amendment liberty? Not one bit. He can still make whatever statement he chooses, meaning he is free to lie his a** off!
I had many discussions over the years while working in daily journalism with those who challenged my authority as a newspaper editor to disallow them from expressing themselves on our pages. I would reject a submission if it dealt in falsehood. I would tell the author of that decision. The author would respond: “But the First Amendment allows me to say it.”
No, it doesn’t. It does give us all the opportunity to run their own publication and to allow whatever they want to appear on its pages.
So, the fight over the First Amendment continues as Donald Trump and his minions try to make an argument that is as hollow as the lies Trump keeps telling.
The nation’s founders got it right when they said “Congress shall make no law … “