The Regime is currently trying to put a man behind bars for ten years for making memes. The most important First Amendment case of our lifetimes is taking place, and many have no idea it is even happening.
United States v. Douglass Mackey began this week and is a major part of the Left’s war on free speech in America. Two days after Joe Biden took the oath of office, the Department of Justice charged Douglass Mackey with election interference for posting memes in 2016. Mackey is alleged to be the popular Twitter poster Ricky Vaughn, who shared memes instructing Hillary Clinton supporters to text in their vote rather than wait in line at their polling place.
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It is easy to forget, after the Regime struck back in 2020 with totalitarian pandemic measures, color revolution riots, and a highly dubious election, that posters like Ricky Vaughn played a major role in the unexpected defeat of the Regime’s chosen candidate. We forget that in 2016, the big social media companies (which all are dutiful parts of the Regime apparatus) had not yet devised methods to restrict, censor, and deboost speech critical of the Regime. And it was not as though they were unable, as the waves of bannings and algorithmic deboosting of those on the online right began in earnest after 2016. The Regime simply underestimated the power of decentralized information and unrestricted social media. Men like Ricky made them look absolutely ridiculous. And this is why when they finally regained the reins of formal power, the very first thing they did was prosecute the man they allege is Ricky Vaughn.
Make no mistake, Mackey’s case is as crucial to whether the First Amendment still exists in America as Kyle Rittenhouse’s case was to the Second Amendment. Vaughn’s memes were the internet posting version of the old joke, “Republicans vote on Tuesday, Democrats vote on Wednesday.” No one mentally competent to vote would recognize either that joke or his meme as anything other than satire. If they can threaten a man with a decade in prison over obvious jokes, what else can they call election interference? Posting online about Hunter Biden’s “illegally obtained” laptop? Posting John Podesta’s “illegally obtained” emails and concluding that the bizarre code therein refers to pedophilia? In the last two elections, the Regime has insisted both of those things are Russian election interference. Would the DOJ pursue similar charges as Mackey faces—or worse—against anyone who amplified them on social media?
It is clear they want to set a legal precedent that will open the door to all manner of restrictions upon speech. They want to be allowed to wield broader powers to crush any and all dissent. The internet has decentralized the flow of information far too much. Even though they have been able to control the largest technology and social media companies, like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter, and use supposedly “private companies” to do their bidding, alternatives that courageously protect free speech at great costs, like Gab and others, have sprung up. The Regime has tried as hard as it can from every attack vector it can think of to shut Gab down, but so far, they have failed. Any source of information they cannot control, they want to destroy.
They won’t stop trying to kill the medium, but in the meantime, they will kill the messenger. That is the point of the persecution of Douglass Mackey, even if justice is done and the judge throws this spurious case out (as he should) or if the jury finds him not guilty (as they should), the injustice of even being brought up on such charges and having the great expense of defending himself from the U.S. Justice Department’s unlimited resources while living for over two years having a decade behind bars hanging over his head already is a great injustice. Like the aforementioned Rittenhouse, just the fact of being charged and the government not being laughed out of court demonstrates just how much we are under lawless despotism. Just as the point of the Rittenhouse trial was to make you think twice about shooting people who are trying to kill you, the point of the Ricky Vaughn Trial is to make you think twice before you share that meme. Will they jail me over this?
To that end, events like these give us insight into how things truly are. You can believe you live in the land of the free all you want until the government starts throwing men into the gulag over memes. The first thing the Ricky Vaughn Trial reveals is:
1. We live under anarchotyranny.
Anarchotyranny is when the state refuses to wield its power to protect its citizens (allowing societal anarchy) while readily using its power to crush both the innocent and those guilty of petty offenses (tyranny). The very same Department of Justice that refused to investigate widespread malfeasance in the 2020 election, the willful injection of millions of unsolicited and unverifiable ballots is a monumental and egregious interference in the voting rights of tens of millions of Americans.
It is the same DOJ that openly lied about the now-President’s dealing with Ukraine and lied about the damning evidence of his and his son’s crimes in the weeks prior to the election. These very same people are now prosecuting a man over memes, saying this might have impeded some people from voting, even though they have no evidence of anyone not voting because they saw Ricky Vaughn’s meme. Further still, there are tweets from Clinton supporters doing the exact same thing (pictured on right). Don’t hold your breath for United States vs. Wong.
Of course, the persecution of Ricky Vaughn is in a long string of obvious anarchotyrannical activity. Billions of dollars of property damage were done by organized, well-funded left-wing groups with prominent Democratic politicians, including the now-Vice President, promoting their bail funds, with very few arrests and no serious investigation of who organized or funded these groups, while people who spent a few minutes inside the U.S. Capitol, most of whom did no violence whatsoever to anyone, are spending years in prison for protesting a fraudulent election. Once again, during the Rittenhouse trial, we learned that during the Kenosha riots, the DOJ had aircraft overheard surveilling the scene, not to catch mobs of communist felons and pedophiles rampaging but to make anyone who might oppose them easier to prosecute. The anarchotyrants facilitate the victimization of normal people while coming down with an iron fist against any who even make them look silly—like Ricky Vaughn did.
2. They want to criminalize political speech.
The point of this prosecution is not ultimately about this man, Douglass Mackey, or his alleged internet persona, Ricky Vaughn. The point of this prosecution is to restrict any and all criticism of the regime. Just as Abraham Lincoln was about to shut down newspapers critical of his war and Woodrow Wilson was able to jail Americans who publicly criticized American involvement in World War One, so too does the Regime. A Regime, mind you, that has already perpetrated tyranny worse than all others in American history combined, now seeks to criminalize public criticism.
Their pursuit of this legal strategy revolves around the concept of “stochastic terrorism,” which is now a very fashionable idea among libs. It essentially means that certain kinds of speech, when uttered, spiritually infect the world so as to eventually produce violence and, therefore, must be banned. For example, if you say, “transwomen are just men who have cut off their penis and testes,” just uttering those words will result in violence against transsexuals (the majority of which is done to themselves, as 41% of transsexuals attempt suicide). Stochastic terrorism means that it is deemed “racist speech” that incites violence against black people. Under the Left’s theory of stochastic terrorism, Donald Trump contesting the 2020 election results incited guys in Buffalo horns to be let into the U.S. Capitol by the police, resulting in an unharmed policeman dying of a stroke the next day. “Stochastic terror” is how the Charlottesville organizers were able to be sued for the damage that Antifa goons did to the city. Their speech incited so much anger in the filthy communists they could not be held responsible for their actions. “Stochastic terrorism” is like saying someone yelled “fire” in the crowded screening of The Dark Knight Rises right before James Holmes killed a dozen people; therefore, he’s not guilty.
It might sound spurious to us or any other sane person, but these are the legal wrangling and perversions that the top legal minds come up with in order to justify whatever they want. Never forget, for 50 years, they were able to conjure up a constitutional right to murder one’s child by positing the “umbra” of this Constitutional amendment and “penumbra” of this other one. Power will always find a post hoc legal justification for what they have always wanted to do. So it is with the Mackey case. They cannot be allowed to get away with it without a fight.
3. Internet posting is a far more effective political act than you realize.
If I had a nickel for every time someone has said to me, “Why do you waste your time arguing on the internet? No one ever changes their mind,” I would be able to enjoy a pre-January 2021 standard of living. The fact is, the internet has changed many things. They do not enjoy total control of information like they did throughout the majority of the 20th Century. There are not 3 TV networks with Walter Cronkite alone building out the entire country’s perception of reality. Any dissenting opinion from the mainstream was entirely gatekept from the public. If you wanted to disseminate your ideas, you would have to stand on street corners handing out pamphlets or set up an elaborate and expensive mailing list operation. The internet completely changed all of that.
In the early 2000s, the early adopters of the internet, largely tech nerds, began to have access to forbidden knowledge in obscure internet forums. As more and more of the mainstream public began to adopt internet usage, especially with the rise of social media by the early 2010s, wide swaths of people began to be exposed to ideas and counter-narratives they absolutely never would have otherwise. Despite a lifetime of being catechized with the religious slogan “diversity is our strength” and being told that skepticism of immigration was evil and racist, an open internet with unrestricted social media was able to show that, no, you aren’t the only one with concerns about mass migration of third-world peoples, and here’s this TV man running for president on this very issue!
Social media, and people publicly presenting their opinions for their friends, their neighbors, and the entire world to see was powerful in countering the official narrative. It very much was not a pointless waste of time. Being able to publicly state ideas and arguments that counter the official narrative is dangerous to a Regime built on lies. That is why they a prosecuting Douglass Mackey. Not because he himself is alone a major threat to the Regime. But because all of you collectively are. One man saying the emperor has no clothes can be dismissed as a madman. But even a small faction shouting about the emperor’s nakedness can topple an empire. They want you to be afraid. They want you to fear what he has already suffered and might suffer if he should lose this case. They want you to think, “if I post this funny meme, the FBI might knock on my door.” They would not do that if posting that funny meme was not highly effective. Protecting free speech is absolutely crucial. Douglass Mackey must win.
How you can help:
Above all else, pray. Pray that this case will be dismissed. Pray that the judge would see that the horrid communist insects at the SPLC intimidated a defense witness, and the whole sham would end. Pray that the government lawyers would be embarrassed by this ridiculous spectacle. Pray that Doug Mackey would remain a free man.
And please visit his website: https://www.memedefensefund.com/ in order to support his cause financially and stay updated on his case.
Andrew Isker is the pastor of 4th Street Evangelical Church in Waseca, MN. He is a graduate of Minnesota State University and Greyfriar’s Hall Ministerial Training School, and he has served churches in Missouri, West Virginia, and Minnesota. He is the author (with Andrew Torba) of Christian Nationalism, and the author of the forthcoming book, The Boniface Option. Andrew, his wife Kara, and their five children reside in his hometown of Waseca, MN. He can be found on Gab @BonifaceOption.