Donald Trump, citizen, no longer President, may have escaped impeachment by the US Congress over the weekend but many of us can take heart from the fact that at least seven Republican Senators, 'people's State representatives', deserted him.
They were prepared to lose their livelihoods, following statements prior to the Capitol vote by Trump's son, Eric, that the GOP won't support their preselection in future: 'Any senator or any congressman [on this side] that does not fight tomorrow, their political career is over'. A couple of the Senators are retiring at the end of their terms, in any case.
All power to these 'Stoic Seven' for the moral stance they finally took, facing the truth in a way that Republican Congressmen/women and Senators had been evading for 4 years — a universal truth that you have to stand up to any bully trying to overturn democracy to establish his own kingdom based on the sweat of the common people.
The United States is in a much stronger position today to clear a pathway for a more humane and equitable society than it was last week — and especially last year.
Remember our small but persistent voice on this SSOA blog when we called for Twitter to shut down his lies, back in early May 2020? Trumping Trump — Can't Twitter ban him?, we asked. 'Not an easy task, you might say. But the owners of what is a global business, nothing more, can easily make the honest decision that Trump is using the service to disseminate falsehood, and take him off Twitter. No reason why not.'
But it turned out to be quite an easy task, after all. Late that month, for the first time, Twitter started putting warnings on several of Trump's tweets. The social media site began by highlighting two of his tweets that falsely claimed mail-in ballots would lead to widespread voter fraud in the elections; it appended messages to his tweets warning of misinformation and unverified claims.
Six months later, two days before the November 4 election, Twitter called out Trump's lies, labelling them with the explanation: 'Some or all of the content shared in this tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.'
Then, just five weeks ago on January 8 this year, two days after Trump's final incitement of his supporters to take over the Capitol, Twitter took the welcome step of banning Trump entirely, when it announced:
'After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.'
Now, four days ago, Twitter’s chief financial officer, Ned Segal, has told CNBC when asked whether Trump’s tweeting privileges can be restored if he ever returns to power: 'The way our policies work, when you’re removed from the platform, you’re removed from the platform.
'Remember, our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that, we have to remove them from the service and our policies don’t allow people to come back,' was his definitive message.
Seems like Trump's terminology, 'fake news', has come back to bite him — thanks to the stoic reporting by reputable journalists on reputable news media outlets, rather than ratings-chasing commentators who make it up as they go along in a lying President's wake.
All power to those news media, including social media, committed to exposing the real ‘fake news’, i.e. self-interested lies for political and financial ends.
Copyright C V Williams. Twitter logo. Research - The Independent, UK; CNBC; The Guardian.
MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics
Respect for truth and the public’s right to information are fundamental principles of journalism. Journalists search, disclose, record, question, entertain, comment and remember. They inform citizens and animate democracy. They scrutinise power, but also exercise it, and should be responsible and accountable.
MEAA members engaged in journalism commit themselves to:
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