Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, is suing President Trump for blocking him on the social media platform Twitter. Professor Cohen professed to being “shocked” when he saw he was prohibited from viewing the Commander-in-Chief’s Twitter feed, even though he himself tweeted out messages such as: “Corrupt Incompetent Authoritarian. And then there are the policies. RESIST.”
Reports are that Cohen and several other parties, including something called the Columbia University Knight First Amendment Institute, are suing the president for allegedly violating their First Amendment rights. According to the Cornell Daily Sun, they are doing so because Trump “has restricted them, because of their political beliefs, from participating in a public forum, accessing official statements and petitioning the government for redress of grievances.”
The nutty professor stated that it is “’surreal’ that Trump is personally blocking people ‘with his own fat little thumbs.’” Thanks for that plum, professor.
One would think that hard-left academics (are there any other kind?) would be happy to be free of Trump tweets, as they are continually mocking and savaging them. But, apparently, some of them are offended by losing their “right” to be offended by them.
The tragically aggrieved radical’s free speech argument is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Or it would be if we were comparing apples to apples. No one has a “right” to be unblocked on Twitter, just as no one has a “right” not to be unfriended on Facebook. However, colleges and universities all across the land, with the encouragement of their professors, ban conservatives from speaking on campus at the drop of a hat. That is restricting free speech and is, by definition, preventing them from participating in a public forum, basic rights that are protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Blocking someone from having access to one’s personal social media account is not restricting free speech, is not unconstitutional. These same wackos want to brand any idea or thought they don’t agree with-no matter how tame and reasoned, whether written or spoken- as hate speech and ban it from the public realm, yet they purport to believe the president has no right to block their vile, hateful tweets from his personal online account?
I am not on Twitter. I don’t tweet because I have a modicum of respect for thought processes…and language. With apologies to President Trump, Twitter might be a suitable platform for a brief restaurant review (“Great food, good-size portions, reasonable prices. I loved it!”) or a nasty remark about a hated sports rival (“Packers suck!”), but it is embarrassingly inadequate for conversations pertaining to nuclear proliferation, gun-control, free speech, or the relative merits of all-gender bathrooms. Facebook and Instagram are equally unsuitable venues for substantive discourse.
Blogs, in contrast, if in capable hands, afford writer and reader alike a chance to wax eloquent.
I can think of one or two examples off the top of my head. Can you?