Scott Tibbs

Are we still on the "incitement" canard?

By Scott Tibbs, April 8, 2022

If former President Donald Trump is guilty of "incitement" for his words and social media posts in the weeks leading up to January 6, then we will have to lock up thousands of elected officials, candidates for office and political activists from both major parties. This is a dangerous standard with serious implications for freedom of speech going forward. The "new" evidence is that Trump tweeted this on December 19, 2020: "Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!"

Of course, a prediction that a protest would be "wild" could indicate that one expects a large range of potential outcomes. This could be anything from the January 6 riot to thousands of people peacefully protesting and lobbying their elected representatives to address their concerns about the 2020 election. As a matter of fact, both of those things happened on January 6, 2021. The vast majority of the crowd peacefully protested and rallied. A couple hundred idiots also charged the capitol and vandalized it, including smearing their own poop all over the place.

The legal standard for incitement is a specific charge to commit a specific criminal act. Under that standard, there is no basis for charging Trump with criminal behavior for his words, no matter how Bad the Orange Man may be. No private citizen would be charged with "incitement" for saying the exact same things Trump said leading up to January 6, and politicians on both sides have been using language like "fight" as long as the country has existed. Furthermore, it actually is possible to think that Trump was wildly irresponsible with his mouth without thinking he actually committed a crime.

The "investigation" into January 6 has always been a witch hunt. Instead of prosecuting what actually happened - some idiots got overly emotional and stormed the Capitol building, chanted some really terrible things, and vandalized the building and menaced our elected representatives and police - Democrats in Congress are determined to dramatically broaden the culpability to constitutionally protected free speech and even actual votes cast by members of Congress. Pretending that members of Congress voting a certain way share guilt with the insurrectionists is utter nonsense, and is truly disturbing banana republic behavior. Why even have the House vote on such things if there is only ever one acceptable outcome? ‚Äč

We are living in a truly dangerous time in American history, where Democrats are dishonestly trying to criminalize political dissent and equate political opposition to a violent insurrection and attempt to overthrow the government. What Democrats do not realize is that these tactics can very easily be turned on them, especially if Trump is re-elected in 2024. If they were smart, they would cool down the rhetoric, if only for self-preservation should they be held to their own so-called "standard."

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