William Gheen of the American for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (AILPAC) has an article in VDare reporting on a purge of immigration restrictionist advocates from the Frree Republic web site discussion forums.
Members and readers of Free Republic would be surprised to know that many members of their community have fallen silent on the discussions about illegal immigration lately because free speech is an illusion on FreeRepublic.com. They are silent because they have been banned from the Web site without warning, cause, or explanation in most cases. For weeks the moderators have been suspending and banning new members that chimed in quickly on the immigration debates.[Cache of ALIPAC posts, banned]
Now this trend has broadened as the first groups of long-term users were suspended or banned this past week. Although Robinson and his staff removed many members of the Free Republic community in the first few days of the purge, those that religiously support President Bush's immigration plan, open borders and approve of public benefits for illegal aliens remain on the forum. Those that were banned were the members that wanted more done to control illegal immigration and a strict observance to the President's Oath of Office.
By taking sides with the open borders lobby, Jim Robinson has taken a position that is at odds with more than 80 percent of the Free Republic community and the majority of conservatives in America. The fact he is using tactics his own users would find unethical to censor articles and silence opposition with banishments and intimidation is of great concern to all of us as Americans. New members of Free Republic and those that are not aware of Robinson's covert attempts to stifle debate should be warned.
Robinson predictably calls the restrictionists all sorts of the standard nasty names.
In an update Gheen reports that conservative Fox TV News political talk show host Sean Hannity has a dim view of the Free Republic.
Robinsonís biggest mistake, besides implying he was fighting to keep Free Republic safe from secret Nazi conspiracies, was to show that the points of the original article were true for all to see. He banned true conservatives left and right in a vain attempt to control the debate while calling people names without any evidence his character attacks were true. He shot himself in the foot while that foot was placed deeply in his own mouth.
Robinson later admitted he had no direct evidence that any of the groups and individuals he banned and maligned were racists. He even admitted that he supported the Presidentís guest worker plan and ran a new poll that shows Freeper conservatives are clearly opposed to the Bush immigration plan. In this case it is Mr. Robinson that represents the fringe element and has supported unsubstantiated personal attacks on his forum.
Even Sean Hannity has written off Free Republic, saying "Everyone I knew basically left because of so much childish immature personal attacks, the propensity there to eat their own." [Listen to Sean Hannityís Statement about Free Republic. ]
There is perhaps irony in Hannity's reaction because the claim has been made that Hannity's own discussion board censors posters who oppose Bush's illegal alien immigration plan. Parenthetically, there is a reason why criticism of Bush's plan has to be censored: It is really bad. See my previous post "Thinking About Bush's Less Than Half-Baked Worker Permit Proposal" to read about just how bad that proposal really is.
I used to think that Robinson was simply an egotistical fool. Now, with the revelation of Bush White House subsidies to media supporters, I naturally wonder if more is involved.
My take on Jim Robinson's move is that it is seriously backfiring. He has scaled up his on-going purges to a level that has made them too visible and he's chosen to do this on an issue which elicits strongly held views and where he's far out of sync with the views of the majority of the people on the political right. Free Republic is going to become a shadow of its former self in terms of influence. So many members will be banned or leave on their own accord that Free Republic's hey days are likely behind it. Other sites that host uncensored (except for spam) conservative political debate forums are going to receive a fair number of new members as former Freepers look for new places to go. If enough sites of that sort do not already exist they can be created fairly easily and cheaply. If you know of any conservative or otherwise right-wing general political discussion forum sites (as distinct from blog sites that allow comments) which do not censor immigration restrictionist add links to them in the comments. Gheen has a list of threads in various sites that are discussing the Freeper purge. AILPAC has its own discussion forums including a section devoted to threads on the Freeper purge.
Robinson's purge is backfiring most strongly in the debate about immigration. His purge fits into a larger pattern of elite disdain for popular opinion and the purge serves to draw attention to the extent of the elite disdain of popular opinion on immigration and of the extreme measures which many in the Open Borders lobby will adopt in their attempt to shut out popular views.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2005 February 17 01:40 PM Immigration Politics|