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Did Trump Expose Himself As Anti-First Amendment in Twitter Tantrum?


Did Donald Trump just expose himself as anti-free speech...again...on Twitter?

Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

By Ian Ballinger, for TheBlaze

Donald Trump is heralded by his supporters as a thick-skinned, "tell it like it is" juggernaut of a candidate that doesn't take criticism from anyone.

People say he'll stay on focus, as president, and get the job done. In reality, he frequently posts tantrums on Twitter about how unfair the media treats him (something those skeptical of Trump's legitimacy said would happen back during the primaries).

Anger and the Internet hasn't historically been a great combination.

Celebrities frequently have to delete posts on Twitter or Facebook and go back and apologize (or in some cases, not apologize) because they'd said something anti-American, or racist, or whatever it is celebrities talk about these days. Most of the time, when you see these news stories play out, you can simply file it in the "I don't care" folder. Most of these celebrities, however, aren't running for president of the United States. Donald Trump is.

Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

So when Trump says something like, oh, I don't know, "It is not 'freedom of the press' when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want even if it is completely false", and that turns out to be a direct quote from his Twitter account and not some random example, well golly gee everyone, I feel a little concerned about this guy's policy positions.

Trump posted this eyebrow-raising post on Twitter Sunday night, among other posts such as, "I am not only fighting Crooked Hillary, I am fighting the dishonest and corrupt media and her government protection process. People get it!"

Maybe it's just me, but a presidential candidate, who has support from a lot of self-proclaimed conservatives, saying that he's fighting the protection that the media has, to me at least, is a little concerning. When he says he's fighting the media's "government protection process", is he talking about the First Amendment?

Past interviews with Donald himself would seem to imply so.

One example would be a speech Trump gave at a rally in Fort Worth, Texas in February, "One of the things I'm going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we're certainly leading. I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected."

Well, yes ... yes Donald, they are protected. That's what we call the First Amendment, and it's kind of important. There's also the case of Actual Malice. As stated in Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute, "the Court held that proof of actual malice is required for an award of damages in an action for libel involving public figures or matters of public concern. See New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964). The Court reasoned that speech related to matters of public concern is at the heart of the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment, and outweighs the State's interest in compensating individuals for damage to their reputations."

So what exactly does Donald Trump intend to change? He says, "We're going to open up libel laws, and we're going to have people sue you like you've never got sued before." Seems pretty self-explanatory. Trump is no protector of Freedom of Speech, and he's no protector of the First Amendment.

Those of us skeptical of Trump been told that the reason we have to back Trump is to stop Hillary. We can't allow Hillary Clinton to nominate a Supreme Court justice, we're told, and I don't disagree with that, but, and I want to clarify that I do believe Hillary Clinton to be a highly dangerous person, can we really afford to give Trump that power, either? After all of the anti-free speech, anti-freedom of the press policies he's espoused? I, along with many other conservative commentators don't see Trump saving the Supreme Court. Our freedoms as Americans matter more than the "Trump train". Conservatives have talked about a "revolution at the polls" for years. Put your money where your mouth is, don't be afraid to vote for an independent or third party candidate. I still believe that Americans care more about their freedoms and Constitutional principles than they do party/candidate loyalty. Don't be afraid to vote your conscience. Now, to be clear, if you're conscience points you in the direction of Donald Trump, don't let me, or anyone else skeptical of Trump stop you. However, don't be afraid to question with boldness, even Trump's legitimacy to his face.

Ian Ballinger is a follower of Jesus Christ. A young Constitutionalist Conservative, Ballinger was born and raised in Kansas. You can find him on Twitter @ianballinger925

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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