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Donald Trump Censorship and Ignorance Twofer: If Elected, He’ll Ask Bill Gates to Close the Internet

A regular visitor to Irregular Times writes to us to protest the words we use to describe Republican Party presidential front-runner Donald Trump.  When I say Donald Trump is “pro-censorship,” Korky Day calls that “libel” — in other words, a damaging statement about Donald Trump that is also false.

But it’s not libel, because it’s not false. Just today, Donald Trump offered his latest profundity:

“We have kids watching the Internet and they want to be masterminds. We’re losing a lot of people because of the Internet. We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some way…. Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people. We have a lot of foolish people. We have a lot of foolish people.  We’ve got to maybe do something with the Internet because they are recruiting by the thousands. They’re leaving our country, and then when they come back, we take them back.”


In this single passage, Donald Trump displays ignorance of the way the internet really works (you can’t close the internet like a highway), a disdain for freedom of speech as foolish, and a willingness to censor Americans.  Make no mistake: Trump is talking about censorship right here in the United States; he describes the problem of people accessing the Internet as a problem within American borders, leading people to “leave our country.”

If you support the ideals of America’s founding documents, if you oppose censorship, if you’ve taken an introduction to computer science class once in your life, how can you continue to support Donald Trump as a presidential candidate?

Conversely, as the plurality of Republican voters continue to throw their support behind Donald Trump, what does that say about the moral center of the Republican Party?


34 thoughts on “Donald Trump Censorship and Ignorance Twofer: If Elected, He’ll Ask Bill Gates to Close the Internet”

  1. ella says:

    Jim Cook, “censorship” already exists. It is called ‘parental control’. When responsible parents find material online, or on TV, or in the movies they find objectionable, or too advanced, for their children they can employ parental control. Is that against the Constitution? The same type of control is employed with adults that have been incarcerated for mental illnesses developed in our society. (Not knowing about other societies) They are protected from disturbing influences. It is not the criminal act to remove these influence from minds that can be influenced in a negative manner. That was not the intent of the Internet – ever. The Internet was originally designed to deliver information to learning minds developing technology, science, and art among other mental exercises. Not for destruction of moral values or the incitement of war and killing. What Donald Trump is suggesting is removing objectionable sites, sites that seek to recruit and influence troubled people to join war or commit murder and/or destruction of property – commit crimes against Americans, in other words. Is that censorship? No more so than is already practiced for the safety of the society, and is fact already in law, to remove threats against society. T help prevent the creation of traitors.That won’t stop global communication of these ideas, emotions, disturbing minds and actions, but it could prevent part of it. Social media contributes the most to it now, but even that has been abused to the point that some restrictions now apply.

    Every time someone creates technology for the good of mankind, there are those who will exploit it for the destruction of mankind. It happens with regularity. Once again Trump has had a good idea, but it is already in the law. Perhaps it needs more tweaking, and he needs to tweet member of the Congress to learn some information that would not only help him, but bring him closer to the people he wants to work with to – Make America Great Again.

  2. Leroy says:

    Equating parental controls to censoring ALL Americans and “closing the Internet” (parental controls locks up an individual tv or computer, not every one) is beyond ridiculous.

    When people will defend Trump for this, then they will defend him when he locks up enemies in concentration camps, poisons them, and incinerated them.

    Heil Donald!

      1. ella says:

        “In a speech at the U.S.S. Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on Monday, Trump referenced the use by ISIS of social media as a recruitment tool. He recommended a discussion with Bill Gates to shut off parts of the Internet.”

        Whose side are you on?

        1. Jim Cook says:

          I am on the side of those who do believe that freedom of speech is not foolish weakness, but a sign of fairness and strength.

          Donald Trump is very clearly on the other side.

          1. ella says:

            Right along with millions of others who look at it as an acceptable temporary safe guard, to reduce the communication of violent ideas to susceptible people. Like parental controls, which are set by parent, these would be set by the media. The same as with Twitter or Facebook. The Republican Party has slowly been drifting toward the Democratic side, and they have drifted toward the Republican side, for decades. IT was hoped at this time that no one would notice the difference and simply, in a haze go vote for who they were told to. Amazingly enough, two very diverse people come out at just the right time to bring the American people into awareness. They both represent the actual policies and earnestness of the parties to which they belong. It is so refreshing to have honest expressions of the people spoken in a dialog from politicians. At this time they are both in the lead for their parties. The Republican Party would do well to accept that there is at least one candidate that the people can get behind, who actually has the best interest of the nation and the people at heart.

    1. ella says:

      Excuse me, I missed that statement by Donald Trump. Please quote (and knowing Trump he would say it something like this) Shut down the entire Internet, close all communications, until we know what is going on. I just believe that this is another incorrect interpretation of of anything that Donald Trump says. There are many now who want him out and will do anything – say anything – misrepresent anything – to knock him off the top of the mountain. This sounds like a combo Clinton/Bush conspiracy. They both want him knocked off so that they can get back to their domination game.

      1. Korky Day says:

        Thanks, ella.
        If anyone wants the real position of Trump, he discussed it in the debate last night (2015 12 15).
        Quite reasonable.

        1. Jim Cook says:

          Korky, I presented the “real” words of Donald Trump, in context. It’s not my fault if he can’t control his mouth. And he is still calling for closing off the internet in the debate: . He doesn’t know what he’s talking about technically or constitutionally. The extent to which you’ll bend over backwards to make excuses for this guy is really impressive, in a dismaying way.

        2. ella says:

          Thank you Korky Day, you make reasonable and intelligent comments. Sometimes I am not always so good at it. 🙂
          Since the debate transcript was provided, and sincerely, thank you for that, I would like to point out some things.

          1) These ‘debates’ are set up with certain rules. In this one, if one candidate calls another candidate’s name, that gives the other candidate time to speak. “BUSH: Look, he mentioned me. I can bring — I can talk.”
          2) Another candidate can make outrageous comments without any complaint. “CRUZ: Well, you know, I’m reminded of what FDR’s grandfather said. He said, “All horse-thieves are Democrats, but not all Democrats are horse-thieves.””
          3) Cruz also pointed out that: “It’s not a war on a faith; it’s a war on a political and theocratic ideology that seeks to murder us.”
          4) On Trump referring to the Internet:

          “Blitzer: Are you referring to closing down actual portions of the Internet? Some say that would put the U.S. in line with China and North Korea.” Notice that other nations have already done this – perhaps for other reasons – but to block ideas they do not want commonly available to their populations.
          “Trump: (in part) Well, look, this is so easy to answer. ISIS is recruiting through the Internet. ISIS is using the Internet better than we are using the Internet, and it was our idea.”

          and also:

          “You talk freedom of speech. You talk freedom of anything you want. I don’t want them using our Internet to take our young, impressionable youth and watching the media talking about how they’re masterminds — these are masterminds. They shouldn’t be using the word “mastermind.” These are thugs.”
          “But we should be using our brilliant people, our most brilliant minds to figure a way that ISIS cannot use the Internet. And then on second, we should be able to penetrate the Internet and find out exactly where ISIS is and everything about ISIS. And we can do that if we use our good people.

          These are the opinions of Donald Trump, in his words, from the debate. You have insinuated a misrepresention of what was said, or perhaps were only paying half attention. Oddly enough Trump has only asked for what is in part being done by the government at this time. So if our military and security forces are already doing this type of location surveillance, what is the ruckus about?

          1. Korky Day says:

            Excellent, ella!

  3. Leroy says:

    I also think that some people think that Trump has a great personality and that is all that counts.

    His policies – and he definitely has VERY specific ones – don’t matter, because once he gets elected he will go out of his way to talk to all the right and true experts and grasp what his real policies will be. Supposedly.

    I find it shocking that ANYONE would think that way.

  4. Leroy says:

    Personally I hope that by the time he loses the Republican nomination that close to 100% of his Republican supporters (25-30% depending on polls taken at various times) will vote for him in a run as an Independent candidate (and I believe that his ego will force him to run as Third Party)

    1. ella says:

      Uh huh, Bernie Sanders is taking the show in New Hampshire.

      1. Korky Day says:

        Yes, ella, Sanders by 4 points in NH.
        Great! But quite behind in Iowa.
        I’m hoping for Trump vs. Sanders vs. Greens in November, without super-PACs on either side!

        1. ella says:

          You and me too.

          From Middle East Forum, Winter Quarterly:
          This is what whoever goes into the White will have to face. The results of this administrations actions. Personally, I would rather have Trump than Clinton, and though I have deep respect for the Green, it will take someone who can strongly speak man to man with these people. Bill Clinton cannot be elected again, he cannot step in for Hillary on any issue, that is not Constitutional. He is neither the Vice President nor President if she is elected.

          1. Korky Day says:

            Of course, ella, Hillary could put Bill into her cabinet, but I very much doubt that she will.

          2. ella says:

            Korky Day, is it Constitutional for a former President (2 terms completed) who has been impeached, to serve again in any capacity within the government?

          3. Korky Day says:

            No law against it.

            John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson were the only 2 presidents to be elected to something after being president.

            Appointments to cabinet or anything else are allowed, too.

          4. Korky Day says:

            Being impeached and/or convicted makes no difference.
            You can even be elected president after being impeached and/or convicted, as long as you don’t violate term limits.

            Read your Constitution!

  5. Korky Day says:

    Thanks for the mention, Jim Cook.
    When I referred to your libel, it wasn’t mainly about censorship.

    Anyway, Donald Trump, in his inimitable, engaging style, is talking about the limits of freedom. I’d say his talk about limiting recruiting of traitors is similar to the classic yelling fire in a non-burning theatre. He’s kind of thinking out loud, and not without justification.
    That’s good. Let’s talk about it.
    We have Trump to thank for opening this topic.

    The establishment candidates (Hillary and all the other Republican candidates) want us to sit back and do nothing while they profit from endless war.

    Closing the Internet? Now there’s possibly the most twisted, misleading, exaggerated headline of the year. Congratulations!

    The only way to defeat Trump is to take him seriously, which he deserves, quit your unfounded mocking and misquoting, and beat him ON THE ISSUES.
    I hope that Bernie Sanders or a Green does that.
    If they don’t, though, Trump might be quite a good president.
    He’s already giving hints about his peace-making intentions, even before getting the nomination.
    After he gets it, he’ll stress peace treaties, if I judge him right. If not, we must challenge him to do so.
    If not,

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Do you support Donald Trump’s equation of freedom of speech with foolishness?

      1. ella says:

        Jim Cook: “Do you support Donald Trump’s equation of freedom of speech with foolishness?”

        Do you consider the right to burn the American flag Freedom of Speech? The rest of those in the world who heard of that said goody, we can disrespect Americans too! And still do so, as Americans, citizens living with all of the ‘rights’ and privileges it stands for. And because those who stand by that flag, who fight with that symbol over their heads, so that they can have the right to disgrace it, use it to disassemble what it stands for. Do you still stand for that?

        1. Jim Cook says:

          Burning the flag is freedom of speech. You’re anti-freedom and pro-Trump.

          1. ella says:

            I am sorry you equate freedom of speech with freedom to tell someone how to kill you. It includes you, don’t you realize that? You are the same as anyone else when someone with a gun walks into a room or building with guns intent on killing. Of course that can be anyone. Blocking sites with videos that entice people to engage in that activity, it not blocking freedom of speech. Only those who are interested in that information are interested in those sites. Do they have freedom of speech to put up the sites? Do others have the freedom of speech to read those sites? Then it is freedom of speech to carry out what is proposed on those sites. You are scaring me now.

          2. Jim Cook says:

            Burning a flag is not telling someone how to kill you.

            And of course I have the right to tell someone how to kill me. I don’t see why I would, but I sure do have the right to share that advice.

          3. ella says:

            Alright and so you do: “DENVER (CBS4)– A board member for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado has resigned after urging people to kill supporters of presidential candidate Donald Trump.”

            And so do others, who support another party’s candidate, have that right. And this is what you want for the nation we live in. Civil war is an ugly thing. It is what you support.

  6. Korky Day says:

    Thanks for your intelligence, ‘ella’.

    ‘Leroy’, I think that many USA presidents have been more like Hitler in their results than Trump. (Monroe, Nixon, Reagan, the Bushes, Bill Clinton.) The USA violently dominates and exploits the world far more than Germany ever did.

    Trump, like most populists (Look it up!), is more defensive.
    Hitler was not a populist at heart, though he was popular.

    Yes, Trump has a friendly, engaging, brilliant, relatively open and honest personality.
    Quite open-minded. Practical. Determined, not weak, like Obama.
    Most attractive personality of ALL the candidates. Just needs us to bring him up to speed on the issues. He’s been focussing his life on business, so I’m hoping he’ll get more enlightened.
    Which is possible, because he (like Sanders) is not controlled by big money and the war-mongers.
    He likes peace. He admitted avoiding being drafted.

    As far as Nazis and racists supporting him, it is to Trump’s credit that he is luring them and educating them to be more kind and reasonable.
    People are racist out of stupidity. Trump is smart, not racist, and is ‘smartening’ his followers.

    Did you hear Trump saying that drugs (including alcohol) are a bad idea? People listen to him respectfully about that, knowing that he’s right.
    I, like him, have never drunk alcohol or taken mind-mood drugs.
    That’s more important than you might think in a candidate.

    1. ella says:

      There is a concentrated effort to misrepresent what Trump has said. Fortunately, today there is widespread communication so that people can go an find out the truth for themselves. This type of information is what should be broadly communicated so that those who do not have technology available will have a chance to make an informed decision. Trump is finally getting into learning about things other than his business. He is going to Israel to speak with Netanyahu. He is a quick learner and will benefit from the experience. Not only that he is making connections with people in a way he hadn’t before. It won’t take him long to learn and in the meantime, they will get to know him. Not as a politician only, but as a person and friend. That is priceless.

  7. ella says:

    Perhaps reading this article will inspire some research into Clinton policies.

  8. ella says:

    “Turkey’s Human Wave Assault on the West”

    “For starters, it doesn’t have much to do directly with the civil war in Syria or the rise of ISIS. The vast majority of the 886,662 migrants who illegally entered Europe this year embarked from Turkey, a little over half of them Syrians who took shelter in the country over the past four years.”

    This has been established, finally, but it seems not to have reached the ears of very many. Yet there are those who will openly support that these and any others so inclined, have the freedom and apparently obligation, to go to Internet sites that will teach to to, and how to, kill Americans.

    “If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because the late Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi used to play the same game, turning the pipeline of illegal trans-African migration into Europe on and off as a way of extracting concessions. The most vexing question, then as now, is not what to do with the migrants, but what to do with a government that so callously manipulates masses of downtrodden human beings as a diplomatic pressure tactic.”

    Desperate people seek desperate solutions.

  9. Marie says:

    All I can say plain and simple “DUMP TRUMP” we need brains, not an ignorant megalomaniac called Trump!

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