It’s the only way to resume its national progress.
by Conrad Black
“The fight for free speech is a matter of victory or death for America, and for the survival of Western civilization itself… By restoring free speech, we will begin to reclaim our democracy, and save our nation.” These are the words of President Trump last week in a very intelligent speech he gave shortly after his bizarre and overblown announcement of the release of Trump digital trading cards, which he recommended as Christmas presents.
In the subsequent thoughtful and sober address, he set forth a Bill of Rights to generalize the Elon Musk renovation of Twitter. He promised on his first day back in office “to ban federal agencies from colluding with any entity to censor or categorize the lawful speech of American citizens,” and he promised to ban the use of federal funds to declare anything to be “misinformation or disinformation” and promised to fire every federal employee who “has engaged in domestic censorship activity.”
Mr. Trump also promised to amend section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which protects the social media platforms from liability for engaging in censorship, and he promised to ban for seven years any former employee of the FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI, DHS, or DOD from content platforms “possessing vast quantities of U.S. user data.
In recent weeks, bombshell reports have confirmed that the sinister group of deep state bureaucrats, Silicon Valley tyrants, left-wing activists, and depraved corporate news media have been conspiring to manipulate in silence the American people. They have collaborated to suppress vital information on everything from elections to public health.”
Unfortunately, this is undoubtedly true and what is also true is the Democratic Party and administration have promoted and benefited from this profoundly illegal state of affairs. And the third major truthful fact on this subject is that it appears that scores of millions of Americans simply don’t care.
Nor do they care about what may be as many as five million people entering the United States illegally in the next year, few of them qualified to do skilled work, a small minority competent in English, and bearing with them wittingly or otherwise many tons of deadly fentanyl.
An astonishingly large number of Americans seem also to be blissfully unconcerned about skyrocketing crime rates, and the profound damage done to America’s reputation with a shambles like the apparently panic-stricken departure from Afghanistan. An incomprehensibly small percentage of Americans seem to care that the FBI and the senior intelligence agencies engaged in a prolonged and intricate effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 and 2020 elections and to undermine and remove the president of the United States in mid-term for completely fictitious and maliciously confected reasons.
And we now know that the FBI intervened heavily in the operations of Twitter and likely other social media platforms (as Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed in the case of Facebook), for the express purpose of influencing the result of the 2020 presidential election.
There is unfortunately no evidence that any significant number of Americans is seriously concerned that the current president and his family appeared to have been conducting a seriously improper and perhaps criminal grifting and influence-peddling operation around the world for many years as Joe Biden ascended from the Senate to the vice presidency to the presidency of the United States.
It is not possible to be confident whether the public has simply lost interest in such vital questions or just that its interest in them has been lulled by the great talent the Democratic Party and its almost totalitarian lock on the national political media have developed for defaming the former president, Mr. Trump, as a man so dangerous and evil that recourse to almost any means short of physical assassination is justified in keeping them out of the country’s highest office. This is the one great talent of the Biden Democrats and it must be said that in some measure, the former president makes it easier for them by his unnecessarily bumptious and bellicose utterances.
The fact that this state of affairs is both dangerous and outrageously unjust to Mr. Trump and his followers will be recognized when current cant and emotionalism subside and serious historians evaluate these times. (“Serious historians” is a category that does not include decayed hacks and itinerant propagandists in the group of largely discarded “historians” devoted to invigorating President Biden with the unspeakable nonsense that his performance bears even the faintest resemblance to that of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The latest member of this school is the leader of America’s unionized teachers, Randi Weingarten.)
Whatever the reasons for the general unconcern about this immense sequence of unconstitutional activities, no people can become indifferent about the rule of law within their society and expect that rule to continue for long. Whatever the motives for this sudden collapse in American civic values, no one should doubt the proportions of its threat to the continuity of America’s political and judicial institutions. Almost every policy President Trump implemented: economic, alliance, environmental, immigration, and diplomatic, was sensibly based and somewhat or very successful.
The only policy that the succeeding administration has pursued successfully is the defamation of their predecessor. It appears at this point that the Republicans are inching towards the reimplementation of Trump policy with a leader that is harder for the Democrats to demonize than Trump.
If Mr. Trump is renominated in a civilized campaign and the Never Trumpers, led by such eminences as Republican Senate leader McConnell accept this more wholeheartedly than they did in 2016; or if a less controversial Republican is nominated fairly, espouses Trump policies and is supported by the former president, there is room for much hope that America will rediscover its dislike of rank unconstitutional corruption of its political system.
This is after all a country that only 50 years ago became almost hysterical about a forced entry of a political office where there were no injuries, no vandalism, and no theft and about which the incumbent president, one of the most accomplished in the country’s history, had known nothing.
It is hard to connect the country that so unjustly treated President Nixon for the illegalities of his subordinates today countenance monstrous and routine breaches of the Constitution to assault another relatively accomplished president.
All who wish America well will hope that in 2023, it manages to sort these issues out coherently and resume its national progress as a lawful and democratic society. Merry Christmas and a happy and successful 2023 to all.
First published in the New York Sun.