Republicans, including popular vote loser Donald Trump, love them some second amendment. They love to talk about your right to own completely ridiculous and unnecessary assault rifles and whatnot, but when it comes to the first amendment, you know, freedom of speech, religion, free press, etc., not so much.
In fact, in a completely insane and unhinged cabinet meeting earlier this week, Trump basically declared war on libel laws. The First Amendment does not, protect all speech. It does not, for example, protect speech that leads to illegal activity and/or imminent violence, obscenity,defamation, and libel. The First Amendment also does not protect speakers from liability for the foreseeable consequences of their speech.
Trump announced that his administration will be looking at opening up the “libel” laws in an effort to stop people from reporting what they want to report. Trump says it will be meant to address the lies the press allegedly tells on a regular basis.
Trump made this announcement:
“We are going to take a strong look at our country’s libel laws so that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone, that person will have meaningful recourse in our courts. And if somebody says something that’s totally false and knowingly false, that the person that has been abused, defamed, libeled, will have meaningful recourse.
Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values or American fairness. So we’re going to take a strong look at that. We want fairness. You can’t say things that are false, knowingly false and be able to smile as money pours into your bank account. We’re going to take a very, very strong look at that. And I think what the American people want to see is fairness.”
The irony here is clearly lost on Trump. He has spent the majority of his presidential campaign telling outrageous lies to the public, and Tweeting lie after lie virtually on a daily basis. This is not just an opinion. Trump gets fact checked constantly on his lies, yet he doesn’t see anything wrong with it.
Although, truth be told, Trump is so pathological that there is a very good chance Trump doesn’t even know he’s lying most of the time. He actually believes the things he’s saying.
This is, of course, without question, a response to the release of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, a book so explosive that Trump has melted down multiple times over it already. He’s angry that he couldn’t block release of the book (he tried legal action, and failed) and he’s angry that he can’t trust his staff to not reveal how inept his administration is.
So, the logical next step, in Trump’s mind, is to alter laws to stop people from reporting their findings to the public. Clearly, anything that is printed negatively about Trump HAS to be a lie, right?