The largest crowd to attend a Portage County TEA Party event in years, was captivated by Dr. Robert Epstein's presentation at Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna, OH last night (3/8/19).  Dr. Epstein shared the research he has conducted over the past seven years to understand the degree to which Google is able to influence the views and opinions of those who use its search engine not just in the United States but all over the world.



After which, everyone in attendance clearly understood that this type of psychological manipulation cannot be allowed to continue if we are to continue to have free elections. The threat to Democracy itself is evident, regardless of your political persuasion or ideology. Dr. Epstein proposed a system of independent, objective, monitoring of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat and future social media technologies as the only way to stop this practice of manipulation that is currently invisible to the end user. The video of his presentation will be posted on the Portage County TEA Party website as soon as it is ready to upload. Dr. Epstein closed his presentation with tips to help citizens protect their own personal privacy, which are in large part explained in the article below.






Seven Simple Steps Toward Online Privacy

I haven’t received a targeted ad on my computer or mobile phone for more than two years now. If you care about your privacy — or even if you’re just sick of being bombarded by ads for diet pills seconds after you send an email to a friend complaining that your pants are too tight — here are seven simple steps you can take to make your online presence more private:

1) Junk Gmail. All Gmail emails, both incoming and outgoing — even the angry draft emails you decided not to send — are analyzed and stored permanently by Google, Inc., with every snippet of information the company can extract from your emails added to the massive profile it has compiled about you. I recommend using http://ProtonMail.com instead of Gmail. It’s based in Switzerland and subject to strict Swiss privacy laws. It takes only a few seconds to sign up, because the company doesn’t ask anything about you (imagine that!). The basic service is free, and the paid version is cheap. ProtonMail is incredibly easy to use, and it also uses end-to-end encryption for maximum privacy. Unfortunately, you might be using Gmail and not even know it. To save money, thousands of businesses and universities use Gmail under their own brands — even news services such as The Guardian, U.S. News & World ReportSalon, and The Hill. To find out whether you have been unknowingly corresponding with someone through Google servers, open that person’s email and then find and click on the “view full header” option in your email software. If you find “google.com” anywhere in the expanded header, Google has been monitoring all of your communications with that sender. Even if you switch to ProtonMail, you will still have no privacy when corresponding with someone using Gmail or hidden Google servers. I tell such people that if they want to communicate with me, they will need to use a different email service, and they usually do.

2) Switch Search Engines. Google’s search engine is the best because it indexes far more web pages than anyone else — at least 45 billion. But Google (the search engine) is also the most aggressive spying tool ever invented — funded from the outset by the NSA and the CIA to identify people who are a threat to national security. Google records every search you conduct, and your Google profile contains a complete history of every search you ever conducted — even those sketchy ones! Worse still, my research has shown in recent years that Google’s search engine is also the most powerful mind control device ever devised; it shifts the opinions of millions of people around the world every day without them knowing it. Instead of using Google.com, use http://StartPage.com. If you use the Firebox browser, you can even make StartPage your default search engine. Why StartPage? Because it doesn’t track you, and because it gives you full access to Google’s amazing index. In other words, it gives you great search results while also preserving your privacy. StartPage also doesn’t give you any search suggestions, which Google uses systematically to direct your searches as they please.

3) Kill Chrome. Google developed the Chrome browser because the massive amount of information they were collecting about you from their search engine wasn’t enough for them. With Chrome, they can see which web pages you visit — and what you do on those pages — even if you go to those pages directly rather than going through their search engine. If you value your privacy, never use Chrome, even in the bogus “incognito” mode. Instead, use http://Firefox.com, which is maintained by a nonprofit organization. As I reveal in “The New Censorship,” Google can still get information about you when you’re using Firefox or Safari, but nowhere near as much as they get when you’re using Chrome.

4) Axe Android. As I explain in “Google’s Gotcha,” even Chrome didn’t give Google enough information about you, so the company developed Android, an operating system for phones and other mobile devices — the equivalent of the Windows operating system that’s on most desktop computers. Chrome gives Google information about you only when you’re online, but because Android controls all your phone’s functions, it can track you — the phone numbers you dial or the music files you access , for example—even when you’re offline. If you value your privacy, donate your Android phone to a charity (such as http://CellPhonesForSoldiers.com), and buy a phone from a company that doesn’t use Google’s deceptive business model. Companies like Apple, Microsoft and Blackberry make most of their money by selling products, whereas Google makes almost all of its money by suckering you with free services it uses to track you and then charging businesses a fee to send you targeted ads. If that doesn’t creep you out, maybe it should.

5) Heave Home. If Google has mind-fucked you into installing their new “Home” devices all over your apartment or house — and, yes, the company is currently urging people to install one in every room — send those cute little cylinders straight to hell. The Home device records everything you and your children say, and even when you think it’s inactive, it is still sending a signal back to headquarters.

6) Clear Cache and Cookies. Companies and hackers of all sorts are constantly installing invasive computer code on your computers and mobile devices, mainly to keep an eye on you but sometimes for more nefarious purposes. On a mobile device, you can clear out most of this garbage by going to the settings menu of your browser, selecting the “privacy and security” option and then clicking on the icon that clears your cache and cookies. With most laptop and desktop browsers, holding down three keys simultaneously — CTRL, SHIFT and DEL — takes you directly to the relevant menu; I use this technique multiple times a day without even thinking about it.

7) Pick a Proxy or VPN. For even more privacy, sign up for either a proxy or a VPN — a service that creates a buffer between you and the internet, fooling many of the tracking routines into thinking you’re not really you. VPNs provide more protection than proxies. My favorite VPN at the moment is http://PrivateInternetAccess.com. For under $40 a year, you can install the PIA app on up to five devices. It’s lightning fast, and you don’t need to be a computer geek to install or use it.

Before or after taking one or more of these steps, you can check to see how secure your computer or mobile device is by running tests at websites such as http://DNSLeakTest.com or http://BrowserLeaks.com.

In Dave Egger’s 2013 book, The Circle — due out in April 2017 as a movie starring Emma Watson — the only way one of the main characters can find to “go off-grid” is to kill himself by driving his vehicle off a bridge. If you follow the seven guidelines I’ve outlined above, you won’t need to resort to such extremes to regain some privacy in your life — at least for the time being.

_____________

Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) is Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in Vista, California and the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today magazine. He is the author of 15 books and more than 250 scholarly and popular articles on creativity, artificial intelligence, internet manipulation and other topics. He is the co-discoverer of the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) and, more recently, the discoverer of the Search Suggestion Effect (SSE).

ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, the Tonight Show, Facebook "friends", Twitter "users", Al Sharpton, Nancy Pelosi, nearly ALL the Democratic Presidential Candidates, and other "news" sources lied to America and YOU again with the false narrativethat white male Trump supporters are racists. Remember what just happened with the Covington Catholic Students? Why do they keep doing this? Is this honest, fair or right? Why would you believe them in the future? Do they not want to admit that the United States is the most racially tolerant nation on earth? Know the truth and stop believing their lies that 62 million of your fellow citizens are racist. They are not!



Bearing False Witness: The Case against Jussie Smollett

Four below zero — that’s how cold it was at 2 a.m. in Chicago on Jan. 29, when actor Jussie Smollett claims he was the victim of a racist, homophobic hate crime perpetrated by two white Trump supporters. There were many reasons to be skeptical of Smollett’s story, but the fact that Chicago was experiencing a “polar vortex” of arctic cold was high on the list of doubts. Even if you could believe that two right-wingers would be stalking a not-very-famous actor in downtown Chicago, waiting for a chance to attack him on his way back from a wee-hours trip to a sandwich shop, why would they be doing this in -4°F weather?

Smollett’s story never made sense, and it came completely unraveled last week after Chicago police apprehended two of the Empire actor’s friends when they flew into O’Hare Airport, returning from a trip to Nigeria. According to reports by Chicago’s WBBM-TV and other outlets, brothers Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo were paid $3,500 by Smollett to stage the fake hate crime. Police have not yet filed any charges or given an official explanation of exactly what happened, and Smollett’s attorneys issued a statement Saturday asserting his innocence, but there is now every reason to believe that the whole thing was a complete hoax. If this proves to be the case, will any of the liberals who rushed to exploit Smollett’s tale face any consequences for smearing Trump supporters?

Consider, for example, what Stephen Colbert did on The Late Show. Two days after Smollett claimed he was attacked, Colbert invited lesbian actress Ellen Page onto the CBS program to blame the Trump administration, and particularly Vice President Mike Pence, for “what happened the other day to Jussie.” After describing Pence’s conservative policies as having “hurt LGBTQ people so badly,” Page said: “Connect the dots. This is what happens if you are in a position of power and you hate people and you want to cause suffering to them — you go through the trouble, you spend your career trying to cause suffering, what do you think is going to happen?” This was either deliberate slander, or evidence of insuperable stupidity, but neither Colbert nor Page have acknowledged any error, because they don’t have to. Presumably, the advertisers and executives at CBS have no problem paying Colbert to falsely blame Republicans for a “hate crime” that turns out to be a hoax, and Page knows that every liberal in Hollywood will applaud her “courage” for insulting the vice president.

Anyone with common sense could see that Jussie Smollett’s story didn’t add up, but evidently none of the Democrats running for president in 2020 has any common sense. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and California Sen. Kamala Harris used almost identical language in proclaiming Smollett the victim of “an attempted modern-day lynching.” Former Vice President Joe Biden declared: “We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts.” Smollett was the victim of “the latest of too many hate crimes against LGBTQ people and people of color,” said New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, adding: “We are all responsible for condemning this behavior and every person who enables or normalizes it.” Other leading Democrats joined this chorus of condemnation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the “racist, homophobic attack… an affront to our humanity,” while New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez asserted that the attack on Smollett was indicative of “the rise of hate crimes.” No Democrat more explicitly pointed the finger of blame than California Rep. Maxine Waters who said “this is happening for a reason.… It’s coming from the President of the United States. He’s dog-whistling every day.”

If the incident which provoked all these denunciations proves to be a hoax, however, will any of these Democrats apologize? Will they suffer any actual consequences for being so disastrously wrong about what happened to Jussie Smollett? No, don’t be silly. Liberal journalists won’t ask Booker, Harris, Biden, or other Democrats to explain why they were so easily deceived. Indeed, the media are already trying to spin the story to rescue Democrats. CNN’s Brian Stelter claimed Saturday that the real problem is that “random websites” had “weaponized” the story, whatever that means. Stelter went on to say of the Smollett hoax that “the motive here is still a mystery at the heart of the story.” Except it’s not really mysterious: Smollett has repeatedly declared his hatred of President Trump, and what better way to damage the president than to frame Republicans for a fake hate crime? And liberal journalists were eager to act as Smollett’s accomplices, as Daily Wire’s Ashe Schow remarked Sunday: “This is absolutely about the media and their constant desire to prove Orange Man Bad no matter how implausible the story.”

Meanwhile, in Chicago, WBBM-TV’s Charlie De Mar continues diligently reporting the story, with the latest development being that Smollett himself paid for the rope with which he claimed to be “lynched” by the Osundairo brothers. Sources told WBBM-TV that the rope — a clothesline, actually — was purchased at the Crafty Beaver Hardware Store the weekend before the Jan. 29 incident: “The brothers told detectives the three men rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening.” If Smollett is found to have filed a false police report, he could reportedly face up to three years in prison under Illinois law. Because of the hate-crime implications of the case, however, the FBI has also been involved in the investigation, and lying to the FBI could land Smollett in federal prison. But that’s mere speculation at this point, as law-enforcement authorities are not saying much officially, most of the reporting is on a “sources said” basis, and Smollett’s lawyers continue to maintain his innocence.

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” as the Ninth Commandment declares, and it would be a breach of that divine law to declare Smollett guilty of a hoax without certain proof. If we can believe what has been reported so far, however, it would appear Smollett himself had no qualms about bearing false witness against others — namely the 62.9 million Americans who voted for President Trump. Liberals are always willing to believe the very worst about Republican voters, and the apparent hate-crime hoax in Chicago looks like an effort to manufacture evidence to encourage that belief.

Common-sense skepticism is our best defense against the myths created by what Trump likes to call the “fake news” media. Maybe next time, they’ll get away with it, but this latest debacle, coming on the heels of the Left’s debunked smear of the Covington Catholic boys, has only further eroded the credibility of the president’s enemies. It’s gonna be four below zero in Hell before we trust them again.

Talking with people in DC last night to try and understand what really is in the budget bill, and not in the budget bill, and what that means to our agenda to close the border, and how it relates to the declaration of a National Emergency this is what I can share with you:

• Make no mistake that everything you are upset with concerning this bill is the fault of the REPUBLICANS not the Democrats. Trump was put in the horrible position of signing this bill because Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell made sure that the wall was not funded when "Republicans" held the House and Senate the past two years.

• The Top Line for the President is that Nancy Pelosi said Trump would get $1 for the Border Wall and he got $1.3 Billion. That money keeps the wall building going while they fight for the rest of the spending in the courts.

• The restrictions in the Budget Bill on the type of wall and location of Wall ONLY applies to the $1.3 Billion - NOT funds from other departments available under the National Emergency.
 
• The attempt to use children to allow illegal “relatives” to claim unaccompanied minors at the border and thus preventing them from being deported themselves will be “interpreted” by DHS in a very strict manner that will NOT result in a rush on the border or significant increase in illegal immigration.
 
• The limitation on funding for beds and border guards can be overcome by other actions - for instance using military on the border.
 
 
• Not ALL of the National Emergency funds are able to be challenged in Court.
 
• They believe that they can get the legal challenges expedited to the Supreme Court so the Wall Building will not be delayed for years
 
Many really bad things were NOT in the Budget Bill, that Dems tried to get into it. For instance a terrible violence against Women's Act was considered, the pay raise for Federal Workers was reduced, and the plan to reimburse government contractors for losses from the shutdown did not get in. I am trying to get a list of those that I can pass on to you later.

These are the things I have been told, and believe to be true, but no one really knows because no one actually has had time to look at ALL of the detail. Which is another thing you need to be angry about. This was no accident that a 1,100 page bill was dropped on the Congress and the President with 24 hours notice. They wanted to make sure that YOU and I had ZERO opportunity to weigh-in on this piece of garbage. The President needs to learn to not let them put him in this box. He should have declared on Monday or Tuesday, either you have the full bill on my desk for review on Wednesday or it is an automatic veto. He didn't and they used the oldest political trick in the book to screw us all - again.

Let me be clear, this Budget Bill is a disgrace and does not represent any interests of the American people. It represents the interests of K-Street and the Koch Brothers and Big Tech and ruling class and the need for voters for the Democrat/Socialist Party. This bill is DESIGNED to HAMPER the ability of the President, and the Border Patrol and ICE to stop illegal immigration into our nation. The people in Congress don't give a damn about you and your family or your community. These illegal will not be coming to their communities, they will not be flooding their schools, they will not be using their hospitals, and they will not be taking jobs from their sons and daughters. They don't care that these illegals suppress your wages, raise your taxes, and assaults the very fabric of American society where people living here want to be Americans and are not just here to take your money.

Now, let's deal with the reality of our situation. The President had no option but to sign this Budget Bill, many did not notice that the head of the TSA or Air Traffic Controllers Union said on Tuesday, they would shut down air travel that day if their was another government shutdown. Meaning, Democrats have no problem purposely hurting the American people to get their way.  They do it every day and unfortunately we keep letting them do it. As the map below will show there is a lot of border wall already built and this Budget Bill will add to it and the Declaration of a National Emergency will do even more in the long term. The war goes on, this was not a victory nor was it a defeat, it was another bloody battle in a long war - unfortunately an ever escalating civil war that may have no winners.

No one should believe for a second that if we are forced to vote for "Republican" House Members in 2020 to take back the US House that a "Republican" controlled Congress will do anything to help this President. Understand "Our" Government is NOT "OUR" Government. It is separate from We the People. Watch carefully this interview between Tucker Carlson and J.D. Vance where Vance explains that the establishment of the Republican party HATE YOU as much or more as they hate Trump! Unless Trump finally wakes up and understands that he must stop supporting the "Republicans" who are destroying him and our nation, we will lose our nation. It was "Republican" John McCain who pushed the illegitimate "Steele Dossier", it was "Republican" Jeff Sessions who allowed the ILLEGAL Mueller Investigation to begin with NO CRIME, it was "Republicans" who allowed the "Special Counsel" to go on and on threatening the President with Impeachment if he fired Sessions or did anything to defend himself, and it was Paul Ryan who would not allow Congress to issue subpoenas to force the criminals in the DOJ and FBI to turn over the documents. Got it? The Democrats are not the problem, the "Republicans" are the problem because of their corrupt party system, corrupt primaries, and corrupt relationship with monied special interests.

Let me conclude by saying that our nation is at a critical tipping point. The three most important issues of our time are to be decided in the weeks and month and years ahead. Are we a sovereign nation that allows immigration into our nation only for those who will assimilate and become Americans or not?  Are we a nation that is ruled by laws, not men, in that we are all entitled to equal justice and equal protection under the laws in our Constitution or not?  Are we a nation that will allow the murder of children and the elderly for the convenience of the state and other individuals or do we believe in the Right to Life from conception to death as is the very basis for our founding principles? You and I, for the most part, are going to decide these issues in our life times. It will take much more than standing back and watching President Trump stand alone against all the forces of evil in this world. He will not decide what because or our nation, your and my efforts will decide, and may God have mercy on our souls if we fail to do our duty to our forefathers and future generations by squandering the most precious gift available to our species - FREEDOM!

For Liberty,
 
Tom Zawistowski
President
 

Where Border Wall has Already been Built:


Ohio AG Dave Yost Steps Up to Protect Christian and Conservatives


Below you will see a letter from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to the FBI office in Kentucky that is handling the investigation into the threats made against the Covington Catholic student, parents and community members. AG Yost is offering to look into any threats against Ohio residents and any threats made by Ohio residents. On August 15, 2016, Ohio's telecommunications harassment statute was amended to criminalize "knowingly post[ing] a text or audio statement or an image [online] for the purpose of abusing, threatening, or harassing another person." Ohio Rev. Code § 2917.21 (b) (2).  This law was amended specifically to stop the kind of threats and bulling of which the Covington Catholic students have been subjected.

While an independent investigation this week cleared the Covington Students of any wrong doing in this incident, and private law suits are going to be filed - that is not enough. We as a society must reject the actions and methods used by the Left against these innocent student, and all of us, to silence Christians, Conservatives and Trump supporters by seeing the perpetrators prosecuted for their crimes. We DEMAND, and are entitled to under the U.S. and our State Constitutions, "equal protection under the law" and "equal justice under the law" and right now we are not getting either of them. That must change NOW. Any person residing in Ohio who attacked these students should be charged under this Ohio law and we expect Attorney General Yost to do that.

We look forward to having these criminals publicly identified and prosecuted in the week and month ahead. I personally thank all of you who called the Attorney General's office and the FBI and DOJ to demand that we get the justice we deserve!

For Liberty,

Tom Zawistowski
President

Bishop: CovCath students did not instigate D.C. incident and student behavior was commendable

 

The Diocese of Covington's investigation involving Covington Catholic students in Washington D.C. that went viral is over and found that the students did not "instigate the incident."

On Wednesday, Bishop Rev. Roger Foys said his hopes had been realized in that the students were exonerated and that they "can move forward with their lives."

The investigation was done by Greater Cincinnati Investigation Inc. in Taylor Mill. 

More: Nick Sandmann of CovCath may face challenges in proving defamation, experts say

More: Analysis: What the video from the incident at the Indigenous Peoples March tell us about what happened

Multiple videos of Covington Catholic students interacting with a Native American elder and a group of Black Hebrew Israelites went viral in January after the national March for Life in Washington D.C. Jan. 18 The investigation breaks down the videos and highlights interviews with parents and students who were present at the incident.  

"The immediate world-wide reaction to the initial video led almost everyone to believe that our students had initiated the incident and the perception of those few minutes of video became reality," Foys said in the letter to parents. "In truth, taking everything into account, our students were placed in a situation that was at once bizarre and even threatening."

Foys said the reaction of the students was expected and "one might even say laudatory."

More than 40 students were interviewed, as well as some of the 16 chaperones who went to D.C. Nick Sandmann, a Covington Catholic student featured in the video, and Nathan Phillips, the Native American man who approaches the crowd of students, were not interviewed in the investigation. 

"We have nothing more to add," a statement to local media said. 

Here's what the investigation found: 

  • No evidence was found that students performed a "Build the Wall" chant or made racist remarks to the Black Hebrew Israelites or Phillips
  • Most of the students felt like (Phillips) was coming into their group to join in with the students' cheers, investigators said. None of the students said they felt threatened by Phillips and many stated they were "confused."
  • Video shows that some students performed a "tomahawk chop" to the beat of Phillips' drumming and some joined in with his chant.
  • Nine chaperones reported being present at the Lincoln Memorial when the main interactions took place. Investigators said video confirms at least five chaperones were present.
  • Chaperones said they didn't feel that students were in danger or threatened.
  • In regards to the "It's not rape if you enjoy it" video, investigators said the man in the video was not a Covington Catholic student.
  • In regards to the 7-second video of two students making comments to two women, investigators said they could not determine if the students were from Covington Catholic.




Talking Points on "Medicare for All":

When your hear someone say they support "Medicare for All" or ObamaCare or any kind of Government controlled Healthcare, tell them that the only thing in the History of Mankind that has consistently produced better products and services, at a lower cost, is Free Market Capitalism. What we are FOR, and ALL Americans should want, is low cost, high quality healthcare, that EVERY American can afford provided by private companies - not government. So called "Medicare for All" is Government run overpriced, inefficient, inferior heath care that no one can afford and no one should want!

Most importantly remind them that we are AGAINST any form of Government controlled health care system because it is a LIBERTY ISSUE!  Once the private health care industry is gone, as Socialists "Democrats" Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris are proposing, Government can control YOU! If the Government controls your health care, they can control EVERYTHING you do or cannot do and you are no longer free. That is why the Communists and Dictators always provide provide "free healthcare" to every citizen. That is how they control the population. If you don't agree with a government that controls every single part of your health care they can kill you, or worse yet your children or spouse, simply by denying you access the the treatment you need. Americans want government OUT of health care not controlling it!

"Medicare for All" is fools game, it is a trick designed to mislead the ignorant - and it works only if YOU don't expose the lie that it is to the people you know. Here is the proof. Recent polls say that 71% of American's support a national health plan that would "guarantee health insurance as a RIGHT for all Americans".  (Take note, by the way, of how the left intentionally interchanges health insurance with health care which are NOT the same things!) When those same people in the poll are then told that "Medicare for All" would require that people pay more taxes their support falls to just 37%. Then when told that some medical tests and treatments could be delayed or denied in a government run health care system, like what happens in Britain and Canada, support drops to 26%!  How many people would support government health care at ALL if they understood that it is a means for Government to control your behavior and deny your freedom??? It is up to YOU to make that truth be known to everyone you know and to help us defeat this threat to our way of life and to our individual liberty and freedom!

For Liberty,

Tom Zawistowski
Executive Director
Portage County TEA Party

Click Here for Highlights of President Trump's State of the Union Speech


Click Here to watch the ENTIRE State of the Union Speech



A full house of concerned citizens filled the cafeteria at Maplewood Career Center on Monday night, February 4, 2019 to hear our guest speaker Brian Massie talk about out of control property taxes. You can download Brian's Powerpoint by Clicking Here. You can follow his work on taxes at this website: https://lobbyistsforcitizens.com


 


The Portage County TEA Party Meeting Scheduled for Wednesday Night Has been RESCHEDULED!
The meeting will be held Monday, February 4, 2019 at 7:00 PM at Maplewood Career Center.


Covington Catholic Is the Terrible Sequel to the Kavanaugh Case



By 
January 22, 2019 2:44 PM

[caption id="attachment_745" align="alignnone" width="789"]Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, DC, U.S., September 27, 2018. Win McNamee/Pool via REUTERS - RC14DED657D0[/caption]

 

Conservative parents look at liberal hate and think, “They could do that to my son.”

Over the last 72 hours, I’ve been asking myself a simple question: What would happen if a group of Black Israelites had spent an hour taunting my son’s high-school football team? How would they have reacted if a Native American elder had walked into their midst – apparently not saying anything intelligible to them, but rather banging a drum and chanting inches from one kid’s face. Would they have thought that was an effort at “peacemaking,” or just more taunting? What would they have said if some of the people walking with that elder had yelled insults at them?

I ask those questions, but I’m pretty sure I know the answer. The boys wouldn’t have reacted all that differently from the kids at Covington Catholic. They would have sung different songs, they would have chanted different chants, and maybe one or two of the kids would have lofted an obscene gesture in the direction of the Black Israelites. In other words, they would have been kids, and barring some sort of overt criminal act, the blame for any tension that followed should rest with the adults who behaved so aggressively and strangely (and, let’s face it, walking through a group of boys chanting and banging a drum is not exactly normal behavior). If a kid responds poorly to a challenging situation, you reprimand him. You teach him.

But this is America in 2019, and it’s full of rage and hate. And parents of young men know that hostile people would instead want to destroy your child’s life. They would want to destroy your own livelihood. They would wish violence on him and you. They would try to destroy your school, and they would mock your faith. And then, even when their rage is proven to be unfounded, they would spend dayshunting through your background and your school’s history to try to find some reason to hate you anyway.

Earlier today, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes tweeted this:

He’s exactly right. So long as the Covington Catholic story remains in the news – so long as activists continue to comb through internet archives and social media to try to damn the school, its students, and parents to social-justice hell – this story is Brett Kavanaugh, the sequel. And here’s why, as summed up in a tweet from Bethany Mandel:

In the Kavanaugh case, conservative men and women looked at decades-old, uncorroborated allegations, the unquestioning acceptance of those claims, and the furious effort to destroy a man’s reputation and career – even by passing along the wildest and most implausible claims – and thought, “That could be me” or “that could be my husband.”

Now, these same people look at the reaction to the Covington Catholic kids and think, “That could be my son.”

 
The Government Shutdown Is the Longest Shutdown in History

You can hold that fear in your heart without excusing or condoning sexual assault in any way. You can hold that fear in your heart without excusing or condoning racism or even thoughtless taunts. Because you’ll know that for all too many people, the truth doesn’t really matter. You’re a symbol, not a person. When angry people cook that social-justice omelet, they break eggs not with regret but with angry glee.

Yes, I know the “whatabouts.” I know the habit of some people on the right to immediately hunt through the pasts of even dead black men and boys to find some evidence they were a bad person, even if those facts aren’t relevant to the case at hand. I’ve seen the supposedly incriminating pictures of young black men passed around social media as if they’re evidence when they’re not. I know about cases like the Central Park Five.

I also know that practice is horrible. I know that it’s evil. And I understand why black parents worry that their kid could be next – and live in fear of something far more deadly than social media shame campaigns or lost jobs.

But the existence of that fear – and the reality of those cases – does not justify in any way a decision to intentionally inflict fear and pain on your political enemies. And when you are found to be wrong, when snap judgments go awry, the proper response is to apologize (as some of my colleagues have done). We’re human. We make mistakes. The proper response is not to double down in digging for dirt, hoping and praying that you’ll find some reason to justify your initial rage. When activists and partisans do that, they send a clear message to their opponents: They will destroy you if they can.

That’s the message that sent a shudder up the spine of husbands and wives during the Kavanaugh hearings. That’s the message that sends a shudder up the spine of moms and dads as we watch men and women try to ruin the Covington Catholic kids. This isn’t just a media scandal. When we see the hate, some of us see our sons, and we know that in America today, their futures, their reputations, and – given the prevalence of death threats – perhaps even their very lives are in the hands of an angry mob.

It’s that concern for our kids that makes Chris Hayes correct. After initial missteps, the Right is largely united. There exists out there a level of hate – and an eagerness to believe the worst – that not one of us should tolerate, and that not one of us should visit upon our foes.

DAVID FRENCH — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.