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The Internet Leveled The Playing Field During The 2016 Election

The Internet Leveled The Playing Field During The 2016 Election

Photo credit: Michael Ives

This feature appears in the January ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.  

Without the digital marvels of the Internet—the freest, most open, most accessible, most diverse means of mass communication ever developed—the 2016 presidential elections might well have had a different outcome, and the future of the Internet itself would have been in grave danger.

Because of the power of the Internet, Hillary Clinton will never make the journey down Pennsylvania Avenue to take the oath of office as president of the United States. Because of the Internet, Donald Trump will have that well-earned, well-deserved honor. Had the dissemination of news and commentary been dominated by big media alone, Hillary likely would have won the election and right now would have been preparing her basket of nominees to pack the U.S. Supreme Court with justices eager to render the First and Second Amendments moot or meaningless.

Had the dissemination of news and commentary been dominated by big media alone, Hillary likely would have won the election and right now would have been preparing her basket of nominees to pack the U.S. Supreme Court with justices eager to render the First and Second Amendments moot or meaningless.

But because of the Internet—with its exponential free flow of political ideas covering every imaginable perspective—the elite media couldn’t shut out the truth. They couldn’t shut out the NRA. They couldn’t shut out the power of Donald Trump to reach the American people. They couldn’t shut out the truth about the Clinton sleaze.

Had Hillary taken the White House, the light of the Internet would have been snuffed out for certain. This is the candidate who pledged to rewrite the First Amendment to be altered at the whim of Congress.  

Keep in mind that John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign manager, spent years through his George Soros-backed Center for American Progress pushing schemes to control the Internet and to literally snuff out the networks of conservative talk radio.

As to what America’s “progressives” will forever have in store for the future of digital freedom as we know it, look no further than President Barack Obama’s vision, expressed before an Oct. 13, 2016, symposium on “innovation” at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh:

“We are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information-flow some sort of curating function that people agree to. … There has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world.”

When Obama used the term “wild-west,” he really meant that American’s freedom to choose and sift the amazingly diverse information on the net equals anarchy, which must be controlled by government. What’s so ironic about this Orwellian view of digital free speech is that Obama’s nightmare of thought control really describes the present state of the elitist legacy media and its all-out war on real truth and fairness. 

What’s so ironic about this Orwellian view of digital free speech is that Obama’s nightmare of thought control really describes the present state of the elitist legacy media and its all-out war on real truth and fairness.

Consider the very notion of Obama’s “basic truthiness tests.”

“Truthiness” was what The New York Times put into practice from the get-go in its coverage of Donald Trump’s bid for the White House.

“Truthiness” meant that pre-election polls were rigged by weighting samples with Democrats.

“Truthiness” meant ignoring the most obvious “poll” of all—the political rallies that were taking place every day across America, where Trump attracted tens of thousands of enthusiastic voters, sometimes filling sports stadiums with 30,000 voters, while Hillary was drawing hundreds in bare high-school gyms.

“Truthiness” was when the mainstream media outlets failed to report that Hillary’s running mate drew an outdoor crowd of 30 in Florida, while Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate, drew throngs to his appearances.

“Truthiness” was the mainstream media—including the three major networks—shutting out major coverage of Donald Trump’s deep and engaging policy speeches.

“Truthiness” was the regular vilification of Trump supporters as racists, or homophobes, or haters. The epithets were boundless.

“Truthiness” in the mainstream media was creating a whole new vision of the blue-collar voters who had joined a shift from the traditional Democratic column to Trump populism. When they were part of the Democratic past, this segment of the citizenry was made up of heroic “working men and women.” In the new lexicon of the mainstream media, these good Americans were now “deplorable,” “uneducated” or “non-college educated,” as if the people who are the backbone of our nation became lesser beings when they voted for Donald Trump.

But as NRA members, we have known big-media “truthiness” since the very beginning of our fight to save the Second Amendment with the birth of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action in 1975.

And we know better than any other segment of the American political scene the power of the Internet. It is our solemn pledge to keep it free.