Speech Standards Must Be Applied the Same to All

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I was once fired by an employer because they did not like the way that I tweeted.

They had no problem with the way that other people at this same enterprise tweeted, they just didn’t like my own flavor of rhetorical panache. They never actually came out and said it was the subject matter of my tweeting, or my style, that got me a date with the guillotine. They simply said we told you to stop tweeting, you wouldn’t, and so we are letting you go.

I’m always fascinated when somebody else gets into hot water because of her online presence. I have written extensively about Donald Trump’s effective banishment from Twitter and talked about the grownups who went after Nick Sandman, the kid who can now go to any college he wants because of that defamation case against the Washington Post, et. al.

I’ve covered the cases of teachers who were fired because they dared to question the legitimacy of “trans” science, the sidelining of professors who challenged the equity in reparations, the firing of actresses, like Disney’s Gina Carano, who posted memes about “opening up the economy” and was branded a racist and an anti-Semite.

It’s an epidemic, a pandemic really, and it’s scary. My usual point is that we all need to fight back against the silencing, and it doesn’t matter which side is being silenced, although let’s be honest: The left is much more adept at pushing the mute button on people like me and my fellow conservatives than we’ve been at shushing them.

Now, that’s starting to change. President Biden’s choice for Office of Management and Budget head, Neera Tanden, has gotten a little taste of what happens when your Twitter history ain’t exactly history. Tanden, who was previously the head of the Center for American Progress, has spent a lot of time on social media hating on conservatives. While she has also put some liberals like Bernie Sanders in her cross hairs, most of her vitriol has been reserved for people who think like me.

For example, when Roy Moore was running for the Senate from Alabama, Tanden referenced accusations of child molestation against him with this tweet: “The Republican party is gleefully supporting an alleged child molester. And everyone who gives money to the RNC is doing the same.” Regardless of how you feel about Moore, who was never even charged with a crime, calling people who supported his candidacy allies of a pedophile is pretty far over the line.

She has also called Mitch McConnell “Voldemort” and suggested that a vampire had more heart that Ted Cruz. This was before his Cancun vacation, so she can’t use that as an excuse. She also accused Susan Collins, who voted in favor of Brett Kavanaugh, “criminally ignorant,” and said that her “terrible treatment of Dr. Ford should haunt Collins for the rest of her days.”

That last tweet was sent at a time when Collins was getting death threats phoned into her office, and some suggested she should be raped so she would understand what it’s like not to be believed.

I have had that same thing said to me, by readers. Anyone who adds fuel to that fire does not deserve to be in any position of authority.

So you might be saying, but Christine, I thought your whole point was that people shouldn’t be punished for their comments. And I would reply: Yes, but.

I have no problem saying that people should be held responsible for their words, as long as we are all held to the same standards. And we are so clearly not.

Donald Trump was banned from Twitter. Conservative teachers are fired. Conservative actresses are fired. Conservative writers are fired.

But people on the left keep tweeting along, with very little consequence. Sure, there are some high-profile examples like Kathy Griffin and … give me a minute … um … okay, well there’s Kathy Griffin, who lost some gigs because of her comments. But the number of liberals who have been held accountable for their words pales in comparison to the number of conservatives, mostly social conservatives, who have been deactivated.

For that reason, I’m not weeping about Neera. She deserves what’s she’s getting, and she knows she deserves it because she deleted over a thousand tweets in anticipation of her confirmation hearing.

So for all of those who were disgusted with the tweets of one Donald J. Orange Man, Karma, apparently, is a female.

Copyright 2021 Christine Flowers. Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

Christine Flowers is a Philadelphian who loves the Eagles but can leave the cheesesteaks. She writes about anything that will likely annoy the majority of people, and in her spare time practices immigration law (which is bound to annoy at least some people.)