by Martin Odoni

The persecution complex right wingers suffer from – specifically their hysterical anger whenever anyone treats them as badly as they treat almost everybody else – was sure to follow any consequences of Wednesday’s disturbing scenes in Washington DC. The right, especially in the USA, never seem to have any sense of consistency. We know what about ninety-nine per cent of Trump supporters would be saying had a coup against Capitol Hill been attempted by, say, supporters of Bernie Sanders. But when their own do it, not only is it automatically fine, it is also political oppression when anyone tries to stop them, or impose any subsequent penalty.

The number of times, in the almost-twenty years since the ‘9/11’ attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, that I have heard right wing Americans saying they “hate Muslims because they’re killers and terrorists!” (1.5 billion killers and terrorists worldwide, and yet somehow they have come nowhere near conquering the planet?) I long ago lost count of. But thousands of right wing Americans on Wednesday were violently trying to derail the democratic process, while chanting calls literally to murder the outgoing Vice President (Mike Pence – a Republican Vice President!), while constructing a scaffold complete with noose. So with “killers and terrorists,” it takes one to know one. But again, their moral inconsistency misses them entirely.

Violence is fine so long as it’s white, American, conservative violence.

Perhaps most disturbing though is the reaction to Twitter’s and Facebook’s very correct decision to ban the US President, Donald Darth Satsuma Trump, from posting any more inflammatory material. It is quite unsettling enough that many people have far more objection to that than they have to the violence, or Trump’s all-too-obvious role in stoking it.

There is even growing suspicion that Trump set up the siege of Capitol Hill on a more fundamental level. I distrust conspiracy theories, but this one rings true; after losing the Presidential Election to Joe Biden in November, Trump had senior staff at the Pentagon replaced, including those responsible for controlling Capitol Hill security. It has been widely noted that police were woefully few in number for an Electoral College vote count. Also startling was the apparent decision of officers to open the gate in the barricades to let the ‘protesters’ (actually terrorists) into the main compound. The notion that the new personnel Trump planted at the Pentagon deliberately reduced the security at the President’s demand so that it would be easy for him to incite a crowd to disrupt the count sounds painfully convincing. Doubly so, as, had it succeeded, Trump would have had a pretext to call a State Of Emergency and halt the transition to Biden, perhaps for months. That would further explain why, in contradiction of his later claims, Trump refused to call in the National Guard when things turned violent, and Pence had to summon them well over an hour later.

Let there be no doubt, a ban from Tweeting tidal waves of hate and deceit is the very minimum Trump deserves. Objections have largely side-stepped discussion of his behaviour, and invoked a roundabout principle called “freedom-of-speech”. A lot of right wingers, and even some liberals and leftists, seem dreadfully unhappy that Trump has been banned from several social media sites. They object that he is being “censored”.

There is a term for this. How does it go….? Oh yes I remember; –

Anyone trying to paint Donald Trump as some kind of ‘victim’ in all this needs knocking over the head with a boot

Censorship, nothing! Five people have died because this narcissistic psychopath irresponsibly rabble-roused the maniac fringe of his supporters. And the worry is that Trump will not be allowed to send Tweets anymore?

And no, Trump is not being ‘censored,’ and he has not had his freedom-of-speech confiscated either. He is still, alas, President of the most powerful nation on Earth for at least another week-and-a-half (unless the new impeachment attempt succeeds). He can speak to the nation, to the world, from the Oval Office, or from the White House lawn, and more people will hear him in that moment than will hear the rest of us across an entire lifetime. All that has happened is that he has been deprived of a couple of alternative platforms to speak from, and the providers of those platforms, who have made their terms & conditions clear beforehand and Trump did violate them, have every right to terminate his access. Trump still has a voice that reaches further than almost anyone on the face of the Earth.

As for the principle of free speech more broadly, there is a genuinely justified, applies-in-all-circumstances reason for curtailing it for certain people. Quite simply, Trump tried to rule by seditious force rather than consent this week. Indeed, the consent to govern was given to another, and Trump tried to scupper it. What he did was therefore largely the definition of Fascism. Fascism, as I have noted numerous times before, is often used as a generic insult, substituting ‘bullying’. But in this case, it fits. This was a political attempt to prevent the formation of a democratic Government, and replace it with a hard-right, anti-democratic, anti-human-rights administration forged through violent insurrection.

Fascism, by nature, does not allow freedom-of-speech. Those who seek Fascism therefore, are opposed to free speech. And with their rejection of this principle in mind, it surely follows that they cannot then invoke the right to free speech, when they wish to peddle the very ideas intended to put an end to it.

Quite simply, anyone who advocates ideals that are against free speech is not entitled to free speech. Fair?

So if Trump really is being censored – and as I say he is not – after his spill-over into outright Fascism this week, I really do not think I care. I would not care, indeed, if none of Trump’s words was allowed a public airing again.