By Donald Jeffries
In a development shocking even for the crumbling America 2.0., a social media influencer named Douglass Mackey was recently convicted of “conspiring to violate people’s constitutional right to vote.” He faces up to ten years in prison. The “crime” in question was sharing a meme that jokingly encouraged Democratic voters to “avoid the line” and “vote from home” by texting in their vote for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
Exemplifying the state of our “free press,” the once cutting-edge magazine Rolling Stone dismissed Mackey as a “Twitter troll.” Politico and numerous other outlets referred to Mackey as “far-right” or “radical right.” Presumably, “trolls” and those on the “radical right” don’t enjoy constitutional rights any longer.
The odious Southern Poverty Law Center, which works in tandem with the Anti-Defamation League to squelch political dissent in America, celebrated the jury’s mind-boggling conviction by declaring, “Douglass Mackey Verdict Sinks ‘Shitposting’ Defense.” As The New York Times helpfully explained, “the federal prosecution of Douglass Mackey turned on the question of when free speech turns into dirty tricks.”
Mackey’s “criminal” tweet read, “Avoid the line. Vote from home. Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925.” In just one glaring example of how selective this prosecution was, a woman named Kristina Wong advised Trump voters to “Skip poll lines at #Election2016 and TEXT in your vote!” This was almost exactly the same “crime,” and yet—unsurprisingly—Wong has never been charged with anything, let alone prosecuted.
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace boasted, “Today’s verdict proves that the defendant’s fraudulent actions crossed a line into criminality and flatly rejects his cynical attempt to use the constitutional right of free speech as a shield for his scheme to subvert the ballot box and suppress the vote.” One shudders at the prospect of a tyrannical government targeting the memes of those they disagree with politically and prosecuting them in court for “conspiracy.”
Mackey’s attorney James Lawrence told “Breitbart” that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) “is nowhere to be found” and “MIA” with respect to the federal government prosecuting his client for speech protected by the First Amendment. The government’s “confidential witness” has made dubious allegations about being the target of a “secret right-wing congressional investigation.” Obviously, this case opens the door to even more censorship in our society. As UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh stated, the preposterous argument used against Mackey was “broad enough to potentially cover any lies in election campaigns.”
Aaron Terr, director of Public Advocacy for the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, noted:
It criminalizes conspiring to “injure” or “oppress” someone in the exercise of any constitutional right. If that vague language covers speech that deceives people into voting improperly, it raises the troubling possibility of the government also applying it to allegedly false statements about political issues or candidates that discourage people from voting, not just misrepresentations about the logistics of exercising the franchise. Anyone who cares about free speech should be concerned about how the government might abuse this vague and broadly worded law to chill the spirited public discourse on which our democracy depends.
He said that Mackey’s incredibly unjust conviction could “deter others from engaging in satire.” This has already happened to comedians. It simply isn’t possible to spoof or make fun of any of the favored groups in the “woke” hierarchy. Or, as in this case, a lifetime Deep State operative like Hillary Clinton.
Mackey wasn’t arrested until a week after Biden’s inauguration, again leaving the impression that this was a totally contrived political power play by the new “woke” Justice Department. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Luke O’Brien used email responses from University of Alabama professor George Hawley, a defense witness, in a predictable attempt to paint him as an “extremist.” O’Brien issued a passive aggressive threat in one email, when he asked Hawley if his employer was aware of his testimony at Mackey’s trial. In response, Hawley requested that his name be withdrawn as a witness.
Mackey could face an incomprehensible ten years in prison for simply sharing a meme on Twitter. When will Kristina Wong be prosecuted for this same “crime”?
Tucker Carlson accurately described the conviction of Mackey as “the most shocking attack on freedom of speech in this country in our lifetimes.” There have been a lot of shocking transgressions against free speech in recent years, but he may well be right.
Consider all the celebrities alone who have mocked Donald Trump in far more violent and hateful ways. There was even a play celebrating his assassination. Celebrities threatened him with physical harm or inferred he should be assassinated. Peter Fonda tweeted that Barron Trump should be put in a cage with pedophiles. Nothing happened to Fonda, or anyone else who threatened Trump demonstrating the double standards and politicization of justice in America.
Donald Jeffries is a highly respected author and researcher whose work on the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations and other high crimes of the Deep State has been read by millions of people across the world. Jeffries is also the author of three books currently being sold by AFP Bookstore.