Parler CEO Says Social Media App Is Back Online, Gets New Servers

The social media application logo from Parler displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Va., on July 2, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)
The social media application logo from Parler displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Va., on July 2, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

An executive with Parler, a social media platform favored by conservatives, said Monday that it will resume service with new management—coming about a month after Amazon Web Services removed its service from its servers.

Interim CEO Mark Meckler said in a news release that the company moved to a new server farm, saying that users should expect to be able to use the website on Monday.

As of 10 a.m. ET on Monday, the Parler website appeared to be accessible via desktop. Epoch Times staff members reported they could not access the desktop version of the site. Users posted on Twitter that they were able to use the mobile Parler app.

Meckler said that new users should be able to sign up for the service within a week or so.

“We are off of the big tech platform so that we can consider ourselves safe and secure for the future,” Meckler said in the release. He did not disclose what company is hosting Parler.

Elaborating, Meckler said that the firm is using artificial intelligence programs and human editors to investigate speech that violates its terms of service agreement.

“Cancel culture came for us and hit us with all they had. Yet we couldn’t be kept down. We’re back, and we’re ready to resume the struggle for freedom of expression, data sovereignty, and civil discourse. We thank our users for their loyalty during this incredibly challenging time,” said Dan Bongino, according to the release.

Meckler was tapped as the company’s CEO after the former executive, John Matze, was let go by the company several weeks ago.

Matze had announced: “On January 29, 2021, the Parler board controlled by Rebekah Mercer decided to immediately terminate my position as CEO of Parler. I did not participate in this decision,” Fox News reported. “I understand that those who now control the company have made some communications to employees and other third parties that have unfortunately created confusion and prompted me to make this public statement.”

Following the Nov. 3 election, Parler saw a significant spike in users as many moved from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms due to fears of censorship. In the wake of former President Donald Trump’s Twitter suspension, Google and Apple took action against Parler, and days later, Amazon terminated its hosting service agreement with the company.

Parler, in response, filed a lawsuit last month against Amazon, arguing that the company violated antitrust laws and colluded with other Big Tech firms to deplatform the website. The company alleged in a court filing that Amazon was primarily concerned with whether Trump would have moved to Parler, rather than alleged violations.

The Epoch Times reached out to Parler for comment.

Source: Parler CEO Says Social Media App Is Back Online, Gets New Servers

Trump Impeachment ‘Political Theater,’ Ignores US History: Constitutional Lawyer

Constitutional lawyer Rick Green in an interview with "American Thought Leaders." (The Epoch Times)

The impeachment effort against former President Donald Trump is “political theater” that goes against the history of the United States and the American Constitution itself, according to constitutional attorney Rick Green.

“When we have political actors involved, we get political theater. And that’s a lot of what we’re getting here. Is this the judiciary now? Is the Senate now the judiciary that will try any citizen? Because an impeachment is specifically for someone that is in office, according to the American Constitution,” Green, a former Texas state representative and co-founder of the Patriot Academy, told “American Thought Leaders.”

Trump’s attorneys have stated that it goes against the Constitution to impeach or try a former office-holder.

“Virtually everyone agrees that impeachment in our Constitution is designed for those three categories listed in Article 2, Section 4. And that’s the president, the vice president, and civil officers—so people that are still serving in office,” Green said.

He said the concept being pushed currently in the impeachment trial—that if Trump isn’t convicted he will get away with doing “horrible things,” and future presidents will be able to “do whatever they want and get away with it”—is “a total red herring.”

“It’s literally fantasy,” the attorney said.

House Democrats, joined by 10 Republicans, voted on Jan. 13 to approve a single article of impeachment (pdf) against Trump for “incitement of insurrection,” making him the first president to be impeached twice. On Feb. 9, he became the first former president to stand trial.

Democrats allege that the president incited violence at the Capitol in a speech he delivered near the White House on Jan 6. In his address, Trump used the words “fight like hell” in reference to his team’s legal efforts around election integrity. The Democrats allege that Trump used the words to incite his followers to commit violence.

However, Democratic House impeachment managers, led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), in their arguments on Feb. 10, presented no new evidence to support the allegation that Trump incited an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last month.

donald trump, trump
President Donald Trump at the Save America rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Lisa Fan/The Epoch Times)

Green suggested that in this case, constitutional provisions are being abused in order to “silence” the “opposition.”

“My fear is a separation of powers conflict here that the Senate becomes more and more the judiciary… and now if they can go after someone that’s a citizen like Donald Trump is today, well, they can indict you. They can indict me, they can prevent us from running for future office.

“I know that was not the view of the Founding Fathers. And when you abuse a constitutional provision in one instance, then other people will be able to abuse it in other instances in the future.”

The constitutional attorney accused the Democratic House impeachment managers of stringing elements of the American Constitution together in order to argue that a former president can be impeached.

“I’ve said this throughout this whole process that what they’re doing and pulling together different parts of the Constitution and creating these new rules is more worthy of a banana republic than a constitutional republic,” he said.

Green said language from Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution was taken, “separated,” and mixed with some of the language in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, in a way that was both “masterful” and “deceptive.”

“The reason they’re doing that is because on one hand, they want to say he’s the president. On the other hand, they want to say, it doesn’t matter if he’s the president, he did something awful, and we can still impeach. Putting those things together is the way that they’re trying to make their case. It’s when we say political theater,” he explained.

“They took a few kernels of truth—a few phrases out of the Constitution that are obviously there, and even few historical stories. They used those to weave that together to create a fantasy of a situation that has never been done in history—but it feels like it’s accurate and is truth because of the little kernels of truth that were thrown out there. That’s frankly good political theater,” Green said of the impeachment managers in the way that they presented their arguments.

The attorney said that at this point, the United States is living “post-Constitution,” and urged Americans to read the text of the Constitution themselves.

“We’re literally ignoring the constitutional history and the plain text of the Constitution. I think it’s important for us to actually as citizens, to go look at the Constitution ourselves, and not just listen to the silver tongue rhetoric,” he said.

He added: “It’s just like any other trial, you walk into a trial. If trial attorneys are really good, they paint the picture that they want you to believe and I’m afraid they’ve done that in this case, but it is new territory, and it ignores 240 years of history in the United States. And most importantly, it ignores the Constitution itself.”

The Democrats face an uphill battle in convincing enough Republican senators that Trump should be convicted. Forty-four Republicans voted on the first day of the trial that the Senate doesn’t have jurisdiction to try Trump because he’s now a private citizen. Several Republican senators said on Feb. 9 that the vote is an indicator of how the GOP members will ultimately vote on the question of whether the former president is guilty.

Democrats need the votes of at least 17 Republicans in order to secure the supermajority needed to convict Trump. If the vote from the first day of the trial is any indication, the impeachment managers need to change the minds of at least 11 Republicans, a task which even liberal media commentators concede is virtually impossible.

https://www.scribd.com/document/494198699/Impeachment-Resolution

Source: Trump Impeachment ‘Political Theater,’ Ignores US History: Constitutional Lawyer

Facebook Hires NATO Press Officer as Intelligence Chief

Feature photo | George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs | Additions and editing by MintPress News

Ben Nimmo, a former NATO press officer and current senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, has announced Facebook has hired him to “lead global threat intelligence strategy against influence operations” and “emerging threats.” Nimmo specifically named Russia, Iran and China as potential dangers to the platform.

His announcement was greeted with joy by several NATO officials but was not met with such enthusiasm by others. “More censorship on the way as the former NATO press officer turned Pentagon-funded ‘researcher’ who labeled real people as Russian bots and peddled disinformation to link Jeremy Corbyn to Russian active measures moves to big tech,” responded investigative journalist Max Blumenthal.

Nimmo’s questionable past certainly raises questions over whether such an official having a substantial say in what 2.8 billion Facebook users worldwide see in their feeds is such a positive step for the free and open exchange of information.

“Disinformation agents”

For example, in 2019, U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn revealed secret Conservative Party documents showing negotiations the Tory government had with the U.S. over the privatization of the National Health Service (NHS). With just days to go before the U.K. general election, the scandal could have toppled the government and brought into power the most radical antiwar, anti-establishment government in the country’s history. Corporate media went into overdrive to spin the news, and Nimmo was a key part of this, immediately announcing, without evidence, that the documents “closely resemble…a known Russian operation.” His supposedly expert conjecture allowed the story to become “Corbyn’s links to Russia” rather than “Tories privatizing the NHS in secret.” Nimmo’s work helped the Conservatives to an election victory and consigned Corbyn to the scrapheap.

This was much to the relief of Nimmo’s Atlantic Council, who had brandedCorbyn the “Kremlin’s Trojan Horse” — someone pushing Moscow’s agenda abroad. A British Army general was of a similar opinion, claiming that if Corbyn were to win the election, the military would respond. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said that the U.S. government was “doing its best” to prevent a radical leftist from winning power in the U.K.

Nimmo has been extremely liberal with whom he labels Russian disinformation agents. In 2018, his research identified one Twitter user, @Ian56789, as a “Kremlin troll.” In reality, the user, Ian Shilling, was a British pensioner, as Sky News was easily able to confirm, interviewing him on air and asking him the patently absurd question if he was actually a Russian bot or not. Despite clearly being a flesh and blood human, Shilling’s account was later deleted anyway.

In the past, Nimmo has also insisted that Ruslana Boshirova was an influential Russian bot. In reality, she is an internationally known concert pianist, as one Google search would have shown. This sort of behavior does not augur well for those critical of Western foreign policy, who have faced constant harassment, suspension, or outright bans from social media.

Pro-war putsch

The Atlantic Council began as an offshoot of NATO itself and maintains extremely close connections to the military alliance. It continues to receive major funding from Western governments and weapons contractors, and its board of directors is filled to the brim with senior American statespersons, such as Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Henry Kissinger. Also appearing on the board are no fewer than seven former CIA directors and a number of top military generals, such as Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, Wesley Clark, and David Petraeus.

In recent years, the council’s employees have penetrated deep into big tech and social media organizations. In 2018, it announced it had partnered with Facebook to aid in the curation of Facebook news feeds of users worldwide, giving it considerable power over what sort of views to highlight and which to demote. One year previously, Jessica Ashooh left the position of the council’s Deputy Director of Middle Eastern Strategy to take the position of Director of Policy at Reddit, the eighth-most visited website in the United States. However, as with many intelligence agencies, it is unclear whether one truly “leaves” the Atlantic Council.

It is not just Russia that is in NATO’s crosshairs. Last week, the Atlantic Council published an anonymous, 26,000-word report stating that their goal for China was regime change and advising President Biden to draw a number of “red lines” around it, beyond which the U.S. would respond militarily. Meanwhile, the head of STRATCOM, Admiral Charles A. Richard, wrote that the U.S. must prepare for a potential nuclear war with Beijing.

Greater control

The military escalation has been mirrored by an intensifying online propaganda war, where the U.S. has attempted to isolate China economically and stop advancing Chinese technologies such as Huawei’s 5G network, mobile phone, and semiconductor manufacturer Xiaomi, and video sharing app TikTok. Nimmo has played his part in ramping up suspicions of nefarious Chinese activity online, claiming the existence of a wide-ranging pro-Beijing bot network encouraging Americans to believe that China has handled the COVID-19 pandemic far better than the United States. That Americans might have come to that conclusion on their own appears not to have been considered.

There is an enormous government effort to convince its population of the existence of (foreign) government efforts to manipulate their opinions online. In a massive case of projection, Western governmental organizations point the finger at their enemies, all the while securing greater access and control over the means of communication themselves, to the point where it is now difficult to distinguish where the deep state ends and the fourth estate begins. Nimmo’s move from NATO to NATO-aligned think tank to Facebook is just another example of this phenomenon. Perhaps the reason Nimmo is not looking for any Western influence operations online is that he is part of one.

Source: Facebook Hires NATO Press Officer as Intelligence Chief

A Digital Apartheid Is Upon Us

Facebook, Google, and Twitter logos are seen in this combination photograph. (Reuters)

Commentary – John Mills

Col. (Ret.) John Mills is a national security professional with service in five eras: Cold War, Peace Dividend, War on Terror, World in Chaos, and now—Great Power Competition. He is the former director of cybersecurity policy, strategy, and international affairs at the Department of Defense.

It started innocuously. It was an acceptable drag coefficient from Facebook, just be careful what you say politically when you post something.

The quick and seemingly inexpensive brown boxes from Amazon were addictive, so just accept the sneers and derision of the self-appointed newspaper of record (subsidized by Jeff Bezos, the common owner of both).

Tweet away but be careful next time you were released from the penalty box.

Search all you want with Google, just ignore the first 100 returns that were algorithm-ed to shape your world view.

It’s been 10 years since the kindred dalliance between the Obama Administration and the titans of Silicon Valley began to form and solidify. I point to 2010 and the summer push for Cybersecurity legislation as when the alliance began to take shape.

The initial encounters were tepid and taken initially with baby steps, but now it’s difficult to tell the difference between the Democrat administrations and Big Tech. Now we know there is a price for this lifestyle we became accustomed to and the gleeful surrender of our data. You will be deleted if you do not conform.

Instead of working our alternative worldview and the cyber infrastructure to enable it over the last 10 years, we willingly traded freedom for convenience. Now what do we do to counter-act this groveling obeisance we’re forced into when we’re the majority of the population? We need to walk away and build our own future.

Lawfare

The foundational battleground of societal warfare waged by the public/private progressive alliance is the legal battlefield. Social progressives have refined this capability to an efficient, highly effective, and ferocious art form. The alliance between the Democrat administrations and Big Tech aligned further with a legion of non-profit organizations that are highly lawyerized and have a very mature, repeatable model on how to leverage civil rights laws and environmental laws far beyond their original letter, spirit, and intent.

Cancel culture, massive coercion of the business environment, and intimidation of public figures (with some exceptions) is the current high point of this art form. This progressive alliance has used lawfare as the vanguard of their color revolution to take over America.

I would posit one of the initial groups that refined lawfare from the left was the Southern Poverty Law Center. From that successful model, other activist groups moved onto other cause celebs such as the Nuclear Freeze movement of the 1980’s, the take down of Big Tobacco in the 1990’s, and endless environmental browbeating that goes into attack mode when science is used to upend their litigation gravy train. It will never end—why not? It’s been very successful (and very profitable).

Those being faced with this Digital McCarthyism need to relentlessly establish their own legal take down strategy, just like they did against Big Tobacco. Using the spirit of the Civil Rights movement and the 1964 Civil Rights Act (CRA) they must develop, refine, test, and improve the arguments that demonstrate that although political speech is not a protected class in the CRA, the sheer volume and magnitude of Big Tech’s actions are beginning to negatively affect substantive portions of protected classes established in that law.

Some states do provide some forms of protection in relation to political views. There should be more development of the use of the Rico Act, Equal Protection, and Anti-Trust arguments. It will take time and there will be some court losses, but just like they did, we need to relentlessly return over and over and over again, building upon little legal successes here and there. There is money to be made in these cases and after some success is shown that will release a ravenous pack of trial lawyers upon Big Tech.

Our Own Data Storage

Creating alternative hosting environments for data (i.e. data centers where our data is often stored) is perhaps an action more within immediate reach in the near future. There may be big names in data center hosting such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), but alternatives do exist. This is becoming more and more of a market-based commodity, so steering clear of providers inclined to be partisan combatants is wise.

The mobile access to our data (smart phones, tablets, etc.) is a little more challenging. The two current dominant environments are Android and Apple (IOS). With that dominance comes the ability to essentially determine which apps are compatible and which are allowed to operate in their environments.

In the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021 chaos in Washington D.C., Twitter conducted great purges of users. Many immediately moved to Parler. Parler made a bad decision and assumed their App would be offered and maintained on these environments. When Android and Apple made decisions to not offer or maintain the Parler App, it brought Parler to an immediate halt.

Gab, Rumble, and others had developed their environments to be more old-school, web-based, and independent of Android and Apple and soon took many of the Twitter to Parler refugees. The scent of coordination between Twitter, Android, and Apple gives an opening to an anti-trust lawfare counterattack.

As dominant as Android and Apple may seem right now, their pre-eminence does not stretch that far into the past. And believe it or not, there are rising alternatives. In the fast-paced tech world, the peak of dominance is a transitory vapor that can come and go quickly.

Mobile alternatives are in the making, we have to vote with our dollars to help accelerate this evolution. Disruptive events such as 5G are always opportunities for those companies more agile, hungry, and adaptive. Android and Apple need to watch their rear-view mirrors.

Financial Systems

The growing partisan behavior by financial system providers to enforce their worldviews is perhaps the most disturbing part of recent events. This thinly veiled social activism, may have started by targeting gun sales, but is becoming a standard part of financial firm social activism and is being applied across a larger target set in support of broader issues.

Access to capital is the lifeblood of businesses and citizens, and social activists know this. These financial providers are showing bolder willingness to asphyxiate any form of opposition. The financial sector not only introduced measures to limit conservatives, but at the same time, provide support to activist groups such as BLM.

The all-in nature of these financial firms is craven. Because of this, a clarion call is sounded to establish new financial firms to ensure the full spectrum and diversity of society is serviced. Bank of America started small to ensure migrants received access to capital and financial services. It can be done again.

Taking from one of Jeff Bezo’s toys, let’s make sure democracy and our incredible republic do not die in the darkness of this oppressive Digital Apartheid.

We can begin this journey in simple things such as web browsing using alternatives such as Dissenter, Brave, and DuckDuckGo instead of the web browser that must not be named. The current Tech Titans started out small and grew giant. With a little bit of our coordinated effort they can be retired and become remembered only as questions in future versions of nostalgia trivia games. The sooner we start, the sooner it will happen.

Retired Col. John Mills is a national security professional with service in five eras: Cold War, Peace Dividend, War on Terror, World in Chaos, and now, Great Power Competition. He is the former director of cybersecurity policy, strategy, and international affairs at the Department of Defense. @ColonelRETJOHN

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Source: A Digital Apartheid Is Upon Us

‘Never Warned Me’: Twitter Suspends Conservative Radio Host Wayne Allyn Root

Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey gestures while interacting with students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 12, 2018. (Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images)
 

Twitter suspended conservative radio host Wayne Allyn Root over the weekend alongside the permanent suspension of The Gateway Pundit.

“I am in shock,” Root told Fox News in confirming the development. “It appears to be a permanent ban. Although I don’t know.”

“Twitter never warned me. … And never sent any communication saying I’ve been suspended or banned. I simply tried to tweet yesterday afternoon and could not,” he said. “But unlike a previous suspension … My followers suddenly said 0.”

The Epoch Times has reached out to Twitter for comment.

When attempting to access Root’s Twitter page, it displays the typical suspension message: “Account suspended … Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules.”

Root told Fox News that he asked why he was suspended, saying he was previously suspended for questioning lockdown policies surrounding the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

“That got me a 7-day suspension for ‘misleading medical advice,’” Root said. “We made Jack Dorsey one of the richest men on earth. He got an army of worker bees to spend thousands of hours for free making him rich. And what’s my reward? No more free speech. In America. My opinions are banned. My opinions are forbidden,” he added, referring to the Twitter CEO.

And as of Saturday, The Gateway Pundit’s account was no longer available. Prior to the suspension, the account had around 375,000 followers.

The website’s founder, Jim Hoft, said the suspension came after the website posted an update about alleged election fraud on Election Day at Detroit’s TCF Center.

“Just an FYI—The fake news media and others challenged our TCF Center video report from Friday. That was a bad move. We have much more coming!” he wrote on his website.

Following the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Google have handed out permanent bans of numerous prominent conservatives, including former President Donald Trump. The suspensions were decried by civil liberties groups and conservatives who argued that they could lead to a slippery slope where more people are silenced due to their political viewpoints.

In the waning months of Trump’s administration, the former president frequently argued that Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act needs to be repealed or changed. The law, he said, provides a liability shield for social media and other Big Tech firms while they can censor with impunity.

As a result of Big Tech’s actions, alternative social media and messaging platforms such as Gab, Signal, Telegram, MeWe, and more have exploded in popularity. Meanwhile, an adviser to Trump told news outlets over the weekend that the former president will “reemerge on social media” in the future and may “[create] his own platform.”

Source: ‘Never Warned Me’: Twitter Suspends Conservative Radio Host Wayne Allyn Root

Trump Jr.: ‘Here’s What Comes Next for Our Amazing Movement’

Donald Trump Jr. at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, northwestern France, on June 6, 2019. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump Jr.., the son of former President Donald Trump, said that efforts from the former president and his team to advance the interests of the United States are continuing. He characterized such efforts as “a movement of the people … against the elite.”

In a video on Trump Jr.’s social media accounts, headlined “here’s what comes next for our amazing movement,” he told supporters, “Just want to make sure everyone knows, guys, we are not done yet.”

Trump Jr. then shared a recent video clip that showed his father walking off the golf course while saying, “We haven’t finished yet.”

“He’s actually accurate,” Trump Jr. said of his father’s remarks. “The reality is this movement isn’t over. All of the blood, sweat, and tears that you guys have all put into this thing is very much still alive and well. You see that. I mean, this is really a movement of the people, a movement against the establishment, a movement against the elite.”

He continued: “A lot of those things have been brewing for quite some time. And that’s why for me I’m still standing engaged and we’re going to get in there and fight to elect people who really represent the people—people like you who have gone through so much.”

Trump Jr. said that the former president is still “going to be in that fight.”

“I know he’s still going to keep going. I know we’re up against a lot, we always have been,” Trump Jr. said, later adding that his father is “going to be in there making sure that we have people who truly represent what America is all about.”

The former president’s son moved on to speak about how fact checkers on social media appear to be biased against conservatives while lenient toward “the other side.” Drawing from his personal experience, he said that his content is fact checked “even if there’s even a little bit” of irregularity.

“When I look at things that I put up on my social media that are totally objective or that are satire, one or the other, that [social media content] gets fact checked so that they can use that to knock my platform, to prevent me from getting any kind of reach,” he said. “I see that stuff on a daily basis, I don’t see that on the other side. I don’t see Joe Biden getting fact checked when he said he’s not going to ban fracking, when he bans fracking.”

He added, “If there’s even a little bit of ambiguity they get the benefit of the doubt, whereas if there’s even a little bit, a modicum, something like I said, subjective, who’s to know what the fact checker’s thinking, but certainly I know what I’m thinking and I can come up with a parameter that makes everything correct but the fact checkers can say that it falls outside of those lines.

“Joe Biden, not one tweet—as many incorrect ones that they’ve put out—has been fact checked. It’s truly sick,” Trump Jr. expressed.

He alleged that the Biden administration appeared to have a “China first, America last policy,” accusing the new administration of “crushing jobs” amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

“The nonsense never seems to end, but neither will our fight, neither will our resolve, neither will our will to go on. We’re going to keep pushing for the American people and make sure our kids grow up in a country that we all recognize and love,” he said.

Trump recently opened an “Office of the Former President” that seeks to advance the interests of the United States and carry on the agenda of his administration.

Epoch Times Photo
President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Valley International Airport after visiting the U.S.-Mexico border wall, in Harlingen, Texas, on Jan. 12, 2021. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

Jason Miller, a campaign adviser, said in January that Trump would be involved in the 2022 midterms with the immediate focus being to help Republicans win back both chambers of Congress.

When Trump left Washington for Florida on Jan. 20, he told supporters that he and his team would “be back in some form.”

“We love you. We will be back in some form,” he said at the time. “I will always fight for you. I will always be watching. I will be listening.”

Trump on Friday appeared to have made his first social media post since leaving the White House. The post showed a letter from Trump’s lawyers to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the House of Representatives’ lead impeachment manager, saying that they reject attempts to have Trump testify in his upcoming impeachment trial.

House Democrats impeached Trump on a single charge that alleges that he incited a mob that breached the Capitol on Jan. 6. The Democrats were joined by 10 Republicans.

This is the first time in U.S. history that a president has been impeached twice. It is also the first time a former president faces an impeachment trial after leaving office. In a trial memorandum, Trump attorneys denied the allegations and challenged the constitutionality of trying Trump after he had left office.

Source: Trump Jr.: ‘Here’s What Comes Next for Our Amazing Movement’

1776 Commission Director: Abolishing the Commission Won’t ‘Get Rid of These Principles’

Dr. Matthew Spalding, a professor of constitutional government and Dean of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government at Hillsdale College was interviewed by The Epoch Times’ program American Thought Leaders. He was the executive director of the 1776 Commission, created by executive order by former President Donald Trump.

The host of the program, Jan Jekielek, asked him some key questions highly relevant to the current intense political zeitgeist, allowing Spalding to cast lucidity on the partially forgotten, at least for the younger generations, ideals of 1776.

The new Biden administration has abolished the 1776 commission, a history-centered, patriotic education program that calls for remembrance of and upholding the nation’s founding principles.

Spalding spoke about the clashing points that juxtapose the New York Times’ controversial “1619 Project” and the United States’ founding history, along with the ideological and theological ramifications.

Spalding noted that current popular educational trends are unfair to students because they don’t reflect the true picture of the founding of America. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are regarded as “dusty old documents” rather than honored documents that hold in them powerful truths that led to the founding of the first nation with the assertion that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with unalienable rights.

Epoch Times Photo
A replica of the U.S. Constitution. (WikiImages/Pixabay)

He asserted that America has not always lived up to the principles that the founders believed in, but should not be judged due to its deficiencies.

One of the most obvious deficiencies is the subject of slavery.

When questioned about the irony of some of the founders owning slaves and at the same talking about abolishing slavery, he acknowledged the legitimacy of the criticism, but that it’s important to see how overcoming slavery and realization of these flaws were part of history. It shouldn’t invalidate the greatness and nobility of the founding principles, something that he said should still be loved and inspire patriotism.

“Slavery clearly existed. They were arguing about it at the time, Jefferson held slaves at the same time he wrote a condemnation of the slave trade in the draft of the Declaration of Independence. George Washington owned slaves. But by the time he writes his final will, he frees them, those that are in his estate, because he has come to detest slavery,” said Spalding.

He stated further that slavery didn’t grow out of the founding itself.

“The principle [of equality and freedom] had been established. So they can then carry it out at the appropriate time. They made compromises, but we have to understand that they were compromises, compromises in light of the Declaration of Independence. That’s the only way to understand it. Because otherwise, you must condemn the whole thing. And I think that’s just not good history. And that’s not fair to them,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
(Illustration – Author/Shutterstock)

Spalding asserted the necessity to understand something in order to love it, and in contrast to other regimes, the love is not to be imposed on the people.

“You can love this country, despite its flaws, because it has done so much to advance that cause. And that’s what makes it a great and wonderful, successful nation,” he said.

Spalding then turned to the subject of education, and important topics that are not taught properly anymore, such as civics.

“What is a genuine education? And what the report is especially concerned about is what is education about civics? What does one need to know to be a good citizen?

“In America, to be a citizen means you actually need to know something about American history, how American government works, the debates over what the declaration means, alternatives, great figures in history, those kinds of things. And that’s not the way civics is taught much anymore. And we think a recovery of that would be a large step in the right direction.”

Spalding then highlighted a controversial view of progressives, who ironically over-empower government and interpret “truth” rather than give people the capability to govern themselves.

“The intellectual point they make is that ‘the idea that there are truths isn’t true. They’re only historical truths or truths that progress with time.’

“Instead, what they turn to, at least the early progressives turned to science, expertise, or the idea of bureaucrats, people that have been specially trained to run things, whether that’s in the economy, in the academy, or say in government. And this is how they reshaped and rethought government to that they have themselves into this administrative state.

“It’s no longer about the fundamental ends of government. It’s about the process. And so yes, they very much introduced in its place, in the place of a Constitution granted on the principles as understood by the founders. Having unmoored it from the principles, they now kind of re-invented this new way of thinking about how to run things.

“And I think that’s something that has stuck in American history in politics, and we continue to have a kind of a troublesome problem in our politics is the fights over bureaucracy, the so-called fourth branch of government.”

On the topic of religious liberty, Spalding asserted that it was a “core right” and that it is intrinsically related to civil liberty. He added that securing rights should “garner the most respect and protection” over the increasing dominance of government.

The removal of the 1776 report from the White House webpage, Spalding believes, is due to the incompatibility of the founding principles with some of the policies that the new administration is attempting to empower or instill, such as identity politics and critical race theory.

He believes the removal gave the report, which is available in other institutions, more prominence.

“I think by abolishing the commission and removing the report, they actually drew more attention to it. Thank you very much,” he said.

Spalding was asked about the future of the 1776 commission.

“The commission, in some form, will carry on.”

“You could abolish the commission, but you can’t erase history, you can’t get rid of these principles. That’s what we’re dedicated to. And that’s what we will continue teaching and working to defend,” Spalding said at the conclusion of the interview.

Source: 1776 Commission Director: Abolishing the Commission Won’t ‘Get Rid of These Principles’