By Justin Buckner, President of Chapman Republicans
The last three months have been extremely confusing and frustrating, there is so much I want to say but don’t exactly know how to say it. First, to my fellow Republicans who are defending the lawlessness at the Capitol, my question to you is simple: Why? We had spent months condemning the BLM riots as being terrible, unlawful, and harmful to their message, but when the tables turn and now, all of a sudden, it is our “team” doing it, it’s now justified because you believe in the overall cause? I understand the frustration, but what happened that day does not help our cause. If Trump had won, and the Democrats claimed election rigging for a second time, stormed the capitol and vandalized the inside, you also would have called them un-American terrorists.
With that said, Democrats who have been calling these protestors “domestic terrorists” while simultaneously supporting the riots over the summer are hypocrites. “No Justice, No Peace,” “riots are the language of the unheard” and much more has been said to justify the violent BLM riots, which happened on a much larger scale for months on end. I am not saying all of the BLM protests were riots, but you must separate the violent protests from the peaceful ones. When talking about violent protestors, you also cannot pick and choose who is a terrorist and who is not based on whether or not you agree with the message. Either all violent protestors are terrorists, or none of them are. Americans have the right to peacefully assemble to try to incite change, but now the violence is occurring on both sides and it is heartbreaking to watch our nation slowly slipping out of our grasp.
President Struppa, I appreciate your strength over the past two months in response to extreme backlash from students and faculty. You have done an exceptional job in not caving to the mob up until this point, yet you eventually fell victim to this too. It was disappointing to see the release of Dr. Eastman for the sole crime of exercising his First Amendment right; he did not incite violence nor should be punished for his actions. The events that occurred after the speech were not in direct response to Eastman’s peaceful words. Those individuals acted on their own free will and should be punished for it.
President Trump has been impeached for the second time for “inciting insurrection,” which nowhere near accurately describes the actions of the President. On January 6, Trump said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence!” The claim that Trump was inciting violence is absurd. Encouraging people to join a constitutionally-protected protest, and then denouncing the violent protestors shortly after is nowhere near inciting violence. Trump never encouraged violence. It is a mockery of the Constitution to impeach a president for using his right to free speech to encourage others to exercise their right to peacefully protest. Should all Democrats in power be impeached for encouraging peaceful BLM protests over the summer? I don’t think so.
Censorship has now reached an all-time high as we see Free Speech on life support. Big Tech corporations such as Twitter and Facebook have banned the President of the United States and other large conservative voices from their platforms. Simultaneously, 100% free speech platforms that do not censor any legal content whatsoever such as Parler have been removed from Apple and Google App Stores completely and are now unusable. We are entering an age now where if you have something to say that upsets others and they disagree with it, your voice may be removed. The most shocking thing to me is that Democrats are defending this removal of free speech. The internet is now the “Town Hall” of the 21st century, and if free speech is to survive, we must confront these censorship issues head on. If the tables were turned and Republicans dominated the Big Tech industry and were removing liberal voices from the internet, the left would be furious, and I would agree. We cannot have a small number of elites determining the information we are allowed to consume and disseminate.
I also think this is a good time for the Republican Party to reevaluate their old-school boomer ideologies and begin standing up for actual liberty. The separation of church and state, equal rights for everybody, the freedom to do as you please without being told what to do from others based on their political or religious beliefs, etc. Thomas Jefferson used to talk about that, and it was a key element in classical republicanism, but for some reason we seem to have forgotten about it. For instance: Republicans re-elected Mitch McConnell, a man who is in favor of the Patriot Act 2.0 because, supposedly, it’s the government’s right to spy on the people. Is he really representing your core beliefs, or do you like him just because he has an “R” next to his name? Conservatives say we stand for small government, but is that really what the GOP is doing? We need new faces in government who will stand for true conservative values. Much of our platform has been ignored and that’s why we no longer have any control on the federal level. We needed a smack to the face to put us back on track, I hope we can make the most of it.
What has happened, happened and we are now faced with the reality of a Joe Biden administration with a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress. Forget checks and balances with a split government, they will have the power to pass whatever federal laws they please. For us Republicans, the future of our nation now rests in their hands for at least the next two years. We must all pray that they do a good job in leading our nation forward as we no longer have a say. I wish the best of luck to the Biden Administration over the next four years and hope they abide by the Constitution.
President Trump, thank you for standing up for the American people and trying to fix our slowly crumbing nation. Your strength and commitment in trying to better each individual American life is one that will never be forgotten. Your Presidency will be a historic one and you will be greatly missed, but always admired.
Justin Buckner is a junior at Chapman University majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Documentary with a minor in Political Science. He is serving as the president of the Chapman Republican’s Club during the 2020-2021 academic year. This opinion piece is part of a running column written by Buckner.