Geopolitics

It is a sad day when the German Chancellor has to teach us about freedom of speech

In the 1970s, my professor of constitutional law, Gerald Gunther, was invited by the West German government to visit this country and speak on the American constitution. Gunther and his family had fled Germany in the 1930s.

When he returned to California, Gunther praised the Germans as hosts and for what they did as company. However, he added that they still did not fully understand the importance of free speech.

Nowadays, however, they understand it better than the American company – admittedly a low bar. CNBC reports:

Chancellor Angela Merkel has blown Twitter’s decision to ban US President Donald Trump.

“The right to freedom of expression is of fundamental importance,” Merkel chief spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Monday.

“In view of this, the Chancellor considers it problematic that the President’s accounts have been permanently suspended.”

Seibert said while Twitter rightly flagged Trump’s inaccurate tweets about the election, the ban on his account as a whole was a step too far.

Merkel is also not the only European who stands up for America’s freedoms. Jazz Shaw notes that both UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock and EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton have made similar comments.

It’s not just the US President who has been banned from various social media, either. Scott has addressed the silence of other conservative and / or populist voices in his “Shapes of Things” postings.

I hope one of two things will happen. Either the social media barons – of their own accord or under pressure – will give in, or conservatives, including the Trumpians, will find other ways to spread their opinions widely on a basis similar to other viewpoints.

But if both don’t happen, a third thing could be – a real riot in contrast to the less drastic event that took place at the Capitol last week.

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