Donald Trump is suing Facebook, Twitter and Google for silencing him. The action against the corporations follows a much larger plan: The ex-president also wants to bring the new government to its knees through legal action.
When Donald Trump announced his declaration of war against the three tech giants Google, Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, it almost seemed as if he was still president. He stands in front of a whitewashed house entrance with round pillars. In front of him is a lectern adorned with the seal of the United States. Behind him the stars and stripes standards and people who seem important.
Everything should make you forget that the ex-president is not speaking into the cameras in Washington, DC, but at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. After all, it’s against Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai, the bosses of Facebook, Twitter and Google. They banned Donald Trump from their social media platforms by banning his profiles. They have robbed the ex-president of his most powerful weapon. His direct line to the people has been severed since the Capitol storm in January.
“If you can do that to me, you can do it to anyone,” Donald Trump is now addressing to the public. He has therefore filed three lawsuits in Florida. Because the three corporations would have violated no less than freedom of speech. This is unconstitutional and also completely un-American, said Trump. It is a “corrupt censorship regime”, even the “censorship department” of the current US government.
A network of old companions and new organizations
With this appearance, Trump has reached the preliminary climax of his long-running agenda. He wants to bring the rule of law to its knees with its own means. No matter how promising his lawsuits may be in court. Trump chooses the legal route to continue to govern. Because what counts for him is above all to keep talking. And be it through pure symbolic politics.
He, the man of the people, against those up there – whether in Washington, DC or in Silicon Valley. That’s how Trump sees it.
Should a court decide against him, he will accuse the judges of bias if necessary. The numerous, so far unsuccessful lawsuits relating to alleged electoral fraud testify to this strategy.
In order to wage his numerous legal wars with the means of the democratic constitutional state, Trump has now spun a network of old companions and new organizations. You are all committed to his America First Agenda. All over the country they should stir up US courts and draw the people’s attention to the fight for the supposedly just cause.
Legal assistance from the right
In his statement at the Bedminster Golf Club, the ex-president says, not without reason, that he is filing his complaints with the America First Policy Institute, an organization that was founded in 2017 immediately after his inauguration. Above all, donations are collected and redistributed for Trump’s projects. In the wake of the Capitol protests, the CNBC television station reported that Trump supporters allegedly obtained money through hidden channels with the help of the America First Policy Institute, for example to organize bus trips to Washington, DC.
Another such America First organization was founded by supporters of Trump only in April of this year in close consultation with the ex-president: America First Legal (AFL). It is designed to fight the legislation of the Biden administration before the courts of the country with lawsuits. “America First Legal” is supposed to act as the common man’s lawyer against the overpowering state.
Also there is Trump’s former head of planning in the White House, the ultra-conservative Mark Meadows. His former attorney general Matt Whitaker is also on board. A man who as a patent attorney wanted to represent the concerns of men – for example with the invention of a toilet specially adapted to male needs.
The rhetorical flamethrower makes a comeback
The most colorful character on “America First Legal” is Stephen Miller. For a long time he was considered the man who once brought hatred into Donald Trump’s speeches. Others even referred to him as his rhetorical flamethrower during his presidency. Together with the radical right-wing Steve Bannon, Miller wrote Donald Trump’s gloomy inaugural speech in 2017. Bannon and Miller fueled the story of the forgotten people and the aloof political elite in Washington, DC:
“For too long a small group in the capital of our country has been reaping the fruits of the government while the people have borne the costs,” shouted Trump from the steps of the Capitol, while his predecessor Barack Obama had to endure the moment sitting stoically. While jobs would disappear and factories would have closed, the establishment would have protected itself, but not the citizens of the country, Trump said at the time. But all of that is now changing with him, Donald Trump. “This is your day. This is your celebration and this, the United States of America, this is your country,” said Trump. The “slaughter” of the American people – it ends here and now.
Around four years later, Donald Trump and Stephen Miller and his other followers continue to spin this story: The Americans are a people disenfranchised by political and digital elites.
Miller, Trump’s former closest advisor and speechwriter, still maintains close friendships in the far-right milieu. For example with the white supremacy activist Richard B. Spencer, the co-founder of the Alt-Right ideology. So it is not surprising that Miller leaves no doubt as to who is meant by Trump’s forgotten people, namely primarily the white, male Americans.
“Anti-America Crusades of the Radical Left”
The self-description of the “America First Legal Foundation” is pure Miller sound. The principles of Trump’s America-First ideology are currently “under attack” like never before, you can read there. Security, freedom, sovereignty and the most basic rights and values are being systematically dismantled “by an unholy alliance of corrupt special interests, big-tech titans, the fake news media and liberal Washington politicians”. America First Legal was founded to save the country from this supposedly coordinated campaign. Miller is soliciting donations for the intended legal proceedings against the “anti-America crusades of the radical left”.
In fact, Trump’s aides can show their first successes. In June, the Miller, Whitaker and Meadow organization assisted the white owners of The Lost Cajun restaurant chain in Texas in a lawsuit against the US Small Business Administration (SBA), which is responsible for small and medium-sized businesses. The reason: The SBA distributed around 29 billion dollars from a state fund for Corona aid to restaurants. First of all, however, owners should be supported who are “socially and economically disadvantaged” – including women, veterans or people with non-white skin color. America First Legal argued that this was unconstitutional and “racial discrimination” against whites.
“America First Legal” won: A judge suspended the disbursement of the aid money by way of an injunction. At the same time, he allowed payments to be made to other, i.e. white, owners. Miller tweeted, “This is just the beginning of our fight against institutional racism. Please support our legal battle today.” In another statement, he attacked the president directly: “The Biden government has inflicted unnecessary suffering on countless Americans.” Their unconstitutional system put restaurant owners at the end of the queue because of their race. Indeed, there have been other such cases where courts have ruled against this practice.
In this way Miller and his colleagues are cleverly making themselves advocates for that part of the people that they want to position at a time when they are cut off from their power in the White House. Most recently, Miller announced another victory in early July. Courts in Florida, Wisconsin and Texas suspended aid to black farmers after America First Legal filed a lawsuit. “The AFL has won an injunction against Biden’s illegal ‘equity’ initiative that has denied farmers debt relief based on race alone.”
Interpretation struggle for an anti-racial theory
And another old friend of Donald Trump’s talking about himself: Russell Vought. He, too, was once a high-ranking member of the Trump administration as director of the Office of Management and Budget. He, too, is now chairing a pro-Trump organization: the “Center for Renewing America”. The aim is to lead the fight for freedom and against the big tech companies, against insecure borders and against the Biden government, which believes in the state.
A very special concern also in this Trump organization is to want to protect the rights and privileges of the white American population. In many states, Vought is fighting against the so-called Critical Race Theory, which is already 40 years old. It is a scientific view of racism in the USA that tries to draw attention to the structural disadvantage of certain groups and to the fact that “races” are above all social constructs. Vought and his conservative colleagues, on the other hand, try to portray racism as an individual problem of individuals that must be resolved individually.
In total, local initiatives in more than 160 locations are to take action against the alleged communication of the “Critical Race Theory” at schools or universities, for example. To what extent this theory is taught at all is hardly proven. Russell Vought supports where he can – also state legislators in drafting and promoting bills against the theory. In 22 states there are now said to be bills based on Vought’s concerns. On the website of the “Center for Renewing America” there has been an “A to Z guide” since the beginning of June, with the help of which the culture war against the “Critical Race Theory” should succeed in every municipality.
Vought can be sure of the support of Trump, because he is of central importance in the large organizational network of the ex-president. And be it to collect donations. “Russel Vought did a fabulous job in my administration and I have no doubt that he will continue to do a great job in our quest to make America great again,” Trump said of him. Vought thanks him by also supporting Trump’s latest fight against “big tech”.
“The Center for Renewing America believes that the iron grip of the big tech oligarchy must be loosened and – if necessary – shattered,” it says on its website. This is the only way to ensure “that the American idea will live on for future generations”. It does not say that it is primarily about the political survival of Donald Trump.