By Wayne Allensworth
The short answer is that it is still not clear what actually happened. It’s quite plausible that provocateurs may have been present who encouraged a group of Trump supporters to enter the capital. See items concerning that scenario here, here, and here.
If that was the case, then, yes, the Trump people fell into a trap. Either way, the incident—as far as the level of violence displayed by the Trump supporters, a minor one after nearly a year of leftist riots across the country—is already being used to potentially target anyone deemed a threat to “our democracy.” The usual suspects are predictably calling for more censorship, especially of social media. I think we all know who will, and who won’t, be censored.
“In and of itself this won’t sound terribly concerning to the average citizen. Nothing wrong with taking steps to prevent people from plotting violence and terrorism on social media, right?
But how do you predict what protests are going to be ‘violent’? How do you decide which protests and what political dissent need to be censored and which ones should be permitted to communicate freely? Do you just leave it up to Silicon Valley oligarchs to make the call? Or do you have them consult with the government like they’ve been doing? Are either of these institutions you’d trust to regulate what protests are worthy of being permitted to organize online?
Because the actual power structures in the United States seem to be interested in simply censoring the internet to eliminate political dissent altogether.”
Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.