Man Charged With a Felony for Posting Satirical Voting Memes Sets a Chilling Precedent ⋆ Politicrossing
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Man Charged With a Felony for Posting Satirical Voting Memes Sets a Chilling Precedent

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Late last month, a Florida man was arrested and charged with a felony for posting memes pretending to instruct people to vote by text or social media. It is impossible to vote those ways, so the memes were obviously a joke. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of memes floating around joking about voting. Douglass Mackey, who also goes by Ricky Vaughn, posted several of these memes during the 2016 election year. One of the memes showed a black woman next to an African-Americans for Hillary sign. It said, “Avoid the line. Vote from home. Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925. Vote for Hillary and be a part of history.” A small notation at the bottom of the meme said it was paid for by Hillary for President 2016. 

 

No one would believe the meme was accurate, send a text message, and think they had voted. In fact, the Clinton campaign sent back a default response to anyone who texted the number saying the ad was not approved by the campaign. It was clearly someone’s goofy sense of humor. People joke about the saying, “Democrats vote on Tuesday, Republicans vote on Wednesday.” No one is prosecuted for it.  

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Legal scholar Eugene Volokh observes that Mackey is not being prosecuted under a statute that clearly prohibits lying about how to vote. Some states have them. Instead, Mackey is being prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 241, a federal law that punishes conspiracies “to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person … in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution.” Volokh says no one has been prosecuted under that law for speech influencing someone from voting. People lie in political campaigns all the time and aren’t prosecuted, so why go after free speech in politics now? Those prosecuted for election fraud generally engage in some type of activity such as voter fraud, not merely speech.

 

Twitter said at first that the memes did not violate their rules. Considering how quick the company is to censor memes and kick conservatives off the platform, it is telling that it did not initially find anything wrong.  

 

The fact the DOJ did not arrest MacKey until just after the Inauguration, even though he posted the memes over four years earlier when they first received publicity, is evidence the prosecution is politically motivated by the Biden administration. MacKey is an easy target. He posted antisemitic and racist memes. No one wants to defend someone like that. The right understandably wants to distance themselves from someone that offensive. But this is how the left makes inroads into silencing the right; they target a disreputable extremist who they associate with the right because they’re so easy to take down. Once a precedent is set with the first target, it becomes easier to go after others on the right, others who aren’t so offensive. 

 

It is part of a larger effort to ban conservative satire, because humor has proven to be effective. The right excels here, since the left’s positions aren’t conducive to humor. The left has made a lot of ground in recent years by pretending the right is offensive. Once they went down that path, it didn’t leave a lot of room left for the left to joke, or they’d risk violating their own draconian policies.  

 

And one of the main ways the left goes after conservative memes is by claiming they are fake news — even humorous memes that are clearly satire. Their “fact checking” sites now also fact check opinion, not just facts. So not only has the left been able to get these memes removed from social media, but gets those posting them banned.  

 

It was bad enough deleting obvious satire. It was worse banning people from social media who posted the memes. Now it’s gotten to an extremely disturbing level, prosecuting people who post the memes. This is a slippery slope and if allowed to continue, will set a dangerous precedent for conservatives merely posting satire about elections, a type of political speech our Founding Fathers revered, which is why they protected it in the First Amendment to our Constitution.

 

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Rachel Alexander is a conservative political writer and pundit. She is the editor of Intellectual Conservative and a recovering attorney. She was ranked by Right Wing News as one of the 50 Best Conservative Columnists from 2011-2019.



 
 
 

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Antisemitic college demonstrators should be expelled

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Jewish students are being assaulted on American and European campuses with a viciousness that is reminiscent of 1938 Nazi Germany. The demonstrators, many of whom are professional agitators in their 40s who have been trained to cause mayhem, scream “kill the Jews” as they physically prevent Jewish students from attending classes. Jewish students were told to “go back to Poland.” In New York City, Jewish students at Cooper Union sheltered in a library while pro-Palestinian demonstrators banged on its glass windows and doors. Protesters at Tulane University assaulted a Jewish student, breaking his nose.

“This truly has been the worst antisemitism crisis on campus that we have seen for a generation,” said Edward Isaacs, president of the Union of Jewish Students in the UK, “and its impacts run deep throughout the Jewish student population.”

With few notable exceptions, college administrators have coddled the demonstrators instead of expelling them for committing assault, destroying university property and creating an unsafe environment. Local police have been told to stand down instead of enforcing the law.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Bite-Sized Motivation

When it comes to choosing sides between violent antisemitic demonstrators and Jewish students who simply want an education, I am clearly coming to the defense of the innocent students. Instead of hearing angry responses from people who object to the flagrant contempt by the demonstrators for law and order, we have witnessed members of Congress, led by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Cori Bush (D-Minn.), express their demands that police should protect the violent demonstrators.

Omar and Bush have compared police responses after pro-Hamas protests on campus to the so-called Kent State massacre of May 4, 1970, where four students were killed by the Ohio National Guard. The students in that case were protesting against American military involvement in Vietnam. “On the 54th anniversary of the Kent State Massacre, students across our country are being brutalized for standing up to endless war,” Bush tweeted on X. “Our country must learn to actually uphold the rights of free speech & assembly upon which it was founded. Solidarity with our students.”

Are we denying the free speech and assembly rights of the demonstrators? The real question is, should we protect speech when it becomes violent? The answer is straightforward. When violence occurs, it is no longer about protecting free speech—the rule of law must be upheld. “Violence, vandalism, and antisemitic harassment and intimidation are not free speech and those engaging in this behavior should be held accountable,” read a statement from Congressman Adam Schiff’s office.

When it comes to free speech, the pro-Hamas protestors are intolerant of opposing points-of-view. One student at Columbia University made that clear when she expressed sympathy with pro-Palestinian protesters and not with students of opposing views. “At the end of the day,” she said, “I don’t want a relationship with students who don’t support the cause.” Free speech for me but not for thee.

Many of the current crop of demonstrators who are physically assaulting Jewish students, shouting “death to the Jews,” believe they have the right to exercise violence in support of their views and think they should bear no consequences for their violent actions. They are upset at the prospect of being suspended or expelled. Most of them wear keffiyeh and Covid masks, presumably to protect their future Goldman Sachs job prospects.

“I think that the university needs to start with dismissing all their charges against the students if they want to rebuild trust,” said a deluded student at Columbia. Alex Morey, director of campus rights advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, disagreed. “That doesn’t mean that students are immune from the consequences of their actions,” Morey said. “You don’t want to see cops in riot gear descend on peaceful student protests. But if they’re breaking the rules and engaging in civil disobedience … sometimes that’s what has to happen,” she says.

Beating up Jewish students and destroying campus property do not come under the heading of civil disobedience. They constitute a flagrant contempt for law and order. Such activities must be stopped right at the outset. Jewish students across America are terrified, as they should be. They will not feel safe on their college campuses as long as hateful, antisemitic rhetoric, violence or intimidation go unaddressed.

Violent, antisemitic demonstrators deserve to be arrested, put in jail, and then expelled from the university. Campus administrators like Minouche Shafik at Columbia who attempt to negotiate with the neo-Nazis are doing a disservice to our republic. University leaders should take “personal responsibility” for protecting Jewish students on campus, said UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. This is not 1938 and we must not give an inch to the haters.

Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of two No. 1 Amazon Best Sellers, AMERICA ON ITS KNEES: The Cost of Replacing Trump with Biden, and THE WAR ON WHITES: How Hating White People Became the New National Sport.

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Biden: Admit Hamas Terrorists

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Joe Biden’s policies reflect the contempt he and his handlers have for our country. The latest example is Joe’s announcement that he wants to bring thousands of Palestinian “refugees” into the US with a pathway to citizenship. This will certainly include members of the terrorist organization known as Hamas. In what conceivable way does this benefit America? “Whatever hurts America the most,” said author Sean Parnell, “is often where the Biden Administration lands on any given issue.”

According to CBS News, “The Biden administration is considering bringing certain Palestinians to the US as refugees, a move that would offer a permanent safe haven to some of those fleeing war-torn Gaza, according to internal federal government documents.” Which Palestinians? Those “who have immediate family members who are American citizens or permanent residents. Those who pass a series of eligibility, medical and security screenings would qualify to fly to the US with refugee status, which offers beneficiaries permanent residency, resettlement benefits like housing assistance and a path to American citizenship.”

Requiring a connection to “American citizens or permanent residents” is a subterfuge when you consider that activists in Dearborn, Michigan were heard chanting “death to America.” These people, who support Hamas and its terrorist activities, make it likely that we would be admitting Hamas terrorists. It is important to recognize, as pointed out by journalist Katie Pavlich, that the Palestinian Center for Policy Survey and Research found that 72 percent of Palestinian respondents believe that Hamas’ attack on October 7 was “correct.”

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Bite-Sized Motivation

As reported in Townhall, “A ‘path to American citizenship’ would also mean that these people would get to vote, likely one more tactic of how Biden is looking to gain support from the far-left, anti-Israel part of the Democratic Party. The Biden administration would thus not just be bringing over future potential Democratic voters, but be bringing over ones who are among a population that we know supports Hamas and their attack against our ally in the Middle East.”

A wave of commentators condemned Biden’s plans. “We are ruled by malicious traitors,” said Blaze commentator Auron MacIntyre. “Horrifying,” said NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck. “We are a nation committing suicide.”

“Anyone seeing the protests on college campuses right now should not need to be told why ideology matters when conferring the privilege of access to the United States to outsiders,” said Daily Wire reporter Megan Basham. “We do not need more people here whose worldview so clearly clashes with that of the American founding. We should not accept immigrants from among people known to harbor terrorists.”

More than two dozen Republican senators are calling Biden’s policy a national security risk. As reported in The Hill, “The GOP senators doubt that the Biden administration could prevent Hamas-members or other members of a terrorist group from entering the US. ‘We are not confident that your administration can adequately vet this high-risk population for terrorist ties and sympathies before admitting them into the United States,’ they wrote.”

“The open border isn’t enough,” Senate Republicans added. “Now Biden wants to import people who supported the murder and rape of Israelis. Unfortunately, the risk of terrorists entering our homeland is no hypothetical matter,” the senators wrote, citing that in 2023 border officials arrested 169 people on the FBI terror watchlist.

“President Biden consistently undermines our national security with reckless decisions like this,” said Sen. Tim Scott. “We have no clue who is coming into our country, whether on our southern border or from war-torn regions run by terrorists. Not a single Hamas sympathizer should be let into this country.”

The administration kept its intentions secret until this week. No one knew about it. Commentator Mark Levin is angry that Congress did not seem to know about it, or if they did, nothing was done to stop it.

Biden’s anti-American actions prove that he is an infiltrator. Does he do the bidding of Iran or China? The Squad also are infiltrators—they have infiltrated our Congress. They hate America. What sort of country allows this? If he gets another four years, Joe and his Obama/Soros puppet masters will complete the destruction of our country.

“Other insanities aside,” someone tweeted, “this is politically insane. Biden is forcing people to consider voting for Trump. I have every intention of leaving President blank in Nov, but not if Biden insists on opening the doors to a terrorist state.”

Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of two No. 1 Amazon Best Sellers, AMERICA ON ITS KNEES: The Cost of Replacing Trump with Biden, and THE WAR ON WHITES: How Hating White People Became the New National Sport.

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