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?