HUMAN EVENTS: Fight for your right to meme

In the infamous Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States, in which the Supreme Court upheld the jailing of an antiwar protester for distributing leaflets encouraging men to protest the draft, the progressive Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes observed that “the most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.”

While this might be the first instance in American history that a progressive has tried to argue for jailing their opponents because free speech doesn’t include “misinformation,” it sadly is far from the last. However, this week, even Holmes might have balked at how far this nightmare of a legal principle has been extended.

Witness the sentencing of Douglass Mackey, alias Ricky Vaughn on Twitter, for the crime of… wait for it... posting memes.

Yes, really.

Mackey’s “crime,” for which he has been sentenced to serve 7 months in jail, is that he posted a meme in 2016, which purported to tell Hillary Clinton voters that they could text their votes rather than showing up at a polling place.

According to Biden's weaponized Department of Justice (DOJ), this constitutes "election interference," and a "conspiracy against rights." Never mind that it was obviously a joke, and not one unique to Mackey himself: Hillary Clinton supporters posted similar memes at the time, in favor of their preferred candidate.

The difference, for Biden's DOJ, is that Mackey was on the "wrong side." He liked Trump, and in contemorary America this is the most unforgivable of sins. There’s just one glaring problem: this conviction and incarcertation is flagrantly unconstitutional.

Holmes’ laughably authoritarian opinion in Schenk v. US was long since overturned in the landmark 60’s free speech case Brandenburg v. Ohio (a case which was, ironically celebrated by Leftists at the time). And even using Holmes’ example of free speech not protecting a man falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater and causing a panic, the fact is that if Mackey can be said to have falsely shouted fire, it is equally true that no one believed him.

The DOJ could not produce a single "victim" who tried to "text their vote" because of his obviously unserious meme. Even if it had somehow been a hamfisted attempt to trick Hillary supporters into not showing up to vote, it didn’t work on a single person. In short, if Mackey can be said to have shouted fire, he didn’t cause a panic; he just made everyone laugh and/or yawn.

This case should have been thrown out from the beginning. That it was tried at all shows how vengeful the Deep State is against anyone who dares to mock its anointed leaders. That Mackey was convicted was a sign of how hopelessly partisan New York juries are. That he will be released on appeal, if not by a circuit court, then possibly even by the Supreme Court itself, should be a near certainty.

But even if it is, Mackey will still be out untold amounts of money paying for legal fees just so he can avoid becoming a political prisoner. Even if he wins, the punishment is the process, which is what the humorless apparatchiks at the DOJ are counting on. Though they and their #Resistance-brained allies in the media would love for Mackey to see the inside of prison, how else can you explain why Leftist reporters were intimidating witnesses during the trial, to the point that even the judge had to warn them to stop it, or be removed?

Childish though their tactics might be, they do understand one thing: if Douglass Mackey doesn’t have the right to post memes, then no one does.

And make no mistake, they’d love for that to be true. There’s nothing today’s Left hates more than the fact that people they regard as evil, unfashionable chuds are allowed to poke fun at the beautiful, empathetic Marvel heroes they imagine themselves to be.

Mackey, as an infamously irreverent meme war veteran, is exactly the kind of person they hate the most: a white man with elite credentials who refuses to bow to the pieties of the HR Department, and who has made no secret of his contempt for people they regard as “sacred” victims.

Yet, no amount of edgy, irony-drenched faux-racism from Mackey’s old Twitter account can match the contempt that his accusers display for their own voters by accusing him. For all their arguments that conservative voters are stupid, undereducated, misinformed bottom feeders, if they fear that their own constituents can be swayed by transparently fake and humorous memes, then it’s obvious who they really think—and fea—are stupid. And why not? They certainly treat their voters as stupid, if they expect them to believe half the nonsense that comes from their mouths. Anyone who believes that really will believe anything.

Except, apparently, they won’t, which is why you see supposedly safe Democratic-leaning demographics trending Republican today, and why it was impossible to find a single “victim” of Mackey’s meme.

Most Americans, despite the Leftist education system’s best efforts, are not actually that stupid. Nor, we hope, are most Americans willing to sacrifice the ability to criticize and yes, even mock their leaders and the people who vote for them, simply because the DOJ trots out someone they think will activate the Pavlovian hatred of blue state juries.

You don’t have to like Douglass Mackey, but like it or not, he’s you. He’s all of us. And if fighting for the right to meme means fighting for him, then we’re ready to enter the Meme War again.

A fund has been created to support Mackey amid his persecution.

Image: Title: Mackey editorial


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