It didn’t take long for censors to scrub former President Trump’s remarks at CPAC from the internet. While most conservatives are now accustomed to ongoing censorship by the technology giants, some are optimistic that the class action lawsuits Trump discussed in Dallas will be successful. Silencing conservative voices or blocking opinions directly attacks our freedom of speech. These blatant violations are likely unconstitutional and currently surviving under special government protection (Section 230) offered only to Big Tech.
We have seen this playbook before where those in power attempt to eliminate their competition and restrict speech for political gain. Fortunately, these efforts are rarely successful for any length of time. Once exposed, challenged, and overcome, it can be a rallying cry for ushering in a new era of common-sense conservative leadership that allows all ideas to be discussed, considered, and either adopted or rejected. The entities, time, or place may change, but as Yogi Berra described, it’s “déjà vu, all over again.”
Many see Mr. Trump’s lawsuit against the Big Tech companies as much more than an effort to open dialogue and undo censorship – it is a repeat of successful strategies to win back the White House in 2024. By winning a major First Amendment case that allows conservative messages to flow again, the base will become energized. We saw this scenario play out after the landmark McCutcheon v. FEC victory in 2014 that set the stage for conservative victories in 2016.
The McCutcheon case is very similar to Mr. Trump’s challenge against Big Tech. Both involve the suppression of political messages and limiting free speech. The international left, many in media and big tech have worked together to erase or eliminate ideas from conservatives, rather than attempting to combat the commentary or offer better solutions.
In McCutcheon, we overcame the challenges to limit freedoms to support multiple candidates – making it fair to everyone to express themselves equitably. Neither the government, the media, nor Big Tech (admitting the challenges with separating the three) should be limiting or suppressing free speech – and Mr. Trump’s lawsuit is exposing the conspiracy to disrupt the equality of voices.
The Big Tech media corporations have gone way beyond being just communication mediums. These entities are writing, controlling, and editing the media stories with little regard for truth or actual events. While those attempting to erase history and censor the present may win temporarily and appease a small base, the Constitution presents a formidable obstacle. As the Constitutional concepts of Free Speech and Due Process ultimately prevail, it will frustrate and disrupt the international left’s pursuit of power.
Those who complained about McCutcheon v. FEC never actually addressed the facts of the case. There were personal attacks on me and many “strawman” defenses that never made any sense. Rather than engaging in a thoughtful exchange, critics choose to ignore the facts – until it was impossible to do so anymore. The same is happening now as news of the class action lawsuit is belittled or ignored but never addresses the merits. These same opponents are attacking Mr. Trump in similar ways – but he‘s used to it and hopefully is staying focused on the benefits of winning this case.
The Constitution is clear. While big money from technology companies will fight hard, the blatant violations against Free Speech will cause an end to the immunity from legal action currently enjoyed by Big Tech. Once unleashed and the lawyers are clear to sue, it will be a game-changer – or perhaps, it will be game over. Big Tech is big. It is not too big to fail.
Mr. Trump’s case seems like a David versus Goliath situation. McCutcheon did as well, especially when learning about them through the filters applied by opponents. The pressing question that remains is, will the challenge be resolved favorably, in enough time, giving Mr. Trump the political advantages that will come from making the playing field open again?
As Mr. Trump’s class-action lawsuit gains more members and supporters and progresses through the courts, we are unlikely to hear much about it. The less we hear, the more likely it will be successful – and once it is, everyone, regardless of political leanings, will enjoy a much more diverse political dialogue, robust debate, and solutions to benefit all Americans. It will surely be a victory for conservatives, and more importantly, the First Amendment.
History repeats itself, and those who don’t learn from it remain destined to repeat it. If Mr. Trump’s legal challenge is indeed a McCutcheon 2.0, not only will he win the challenge, but he may also win the White House in 2024 too.
• Shaun McCutcheon, a Free Speech advocate, is an Alabama-based electrical engineer and successful plaintiff in the 2014 Supreme Court case McCutcheon v. FEC.