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I feel compelled to say something about President Trump and recent events, but realize that I would merely be repeating things I’ve said in my few most recent posts. So I will briefly summarize, and then move on to other things in 2021.
1. The President did not meet any legal definition of incitement.
2. The President’s claim that the election was stolen has not actually been thoroughly investigated, much less disproven. The narrative — that the courts rejected it so it can’t be true — is nonsense: evidence is examined in trial, not in pre-trial review. We simply don’t know the extent of the fraud, and we don’t know that the President is wrong — nor to what extent.
3. I condemn unlawful riots, regardless of the motivation of the rioters. I condemn the 500-plus riots of 2020 brought to us by a demonstrably false claim that police disproportionately kill young black men and do so with impunity. I condemn the one riot of 2021 brought to us, I believe, by people who believe the as yet unresolved claim that fraud determined this election.
4. If the President has been “unpresidential,” I can live with that: at no time since his inauguration has he been treated in a presidential fashion. Having never been shown the respect due his office, I won’t fault him for his behavior now.
5. And, finally, I think that there is no sense or justice for impeaching a President for making a claim that hasn’t been disproven and may be true or mostly true, and who has committed no crime.
Powerful institutions silence opposing voices so that they can lie with impunity. The truth can defend itself: being the truth is always its greatest strength, and it will almost always prevail — if it is allowed to speak. This is why tyrants control the press, imprison dissidents, and force confessions.
The gravest injustice this year is not the 501st lawless riot. It is the silencing of so many voices by powerful institutions like Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Google. Be wary of anyone who tells you that depriving people of their voice is in everyone’s best interest.Published in