Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), the lesser known and perhaps more dimly witted of San Antonio’s politically ambitious Castro twins, has responded to the recent leftist narrative that President Donald Trump’s rhetoric has placed certain Americans in direct danger by publicly shaming and therefore indirectly endangering some of his very own constituents.
Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up.
As The Daily Wire reported, Castro took to Twitter yesterday to dox 44 San Antonio-based Trump supporters. A sitting United States congressman and twin brother of a current presidential candidate literally outed constituents who happen to support the opposing political party for the express purpose of attempting to shame the constituents and gin up outrage against them.
Whether we live in the greatest nation-state in the history of human civilization or in a third-world banana republic is, in the year 2019, sometimes sadly difficult to discern.
Notable Republicans were quick to condemn Castro for his reckless tweet. Trump re-election communications director tweeted, “How low have Dems sunk? This is Joaquin Castro, Congressman & chair of his brother’s campaign. Naming private citizens & their employers, targeting them for political views and exercising 1st Amendment rights. Should delete & apologize. Castro campaign should disavow.”
Even the normally spineless House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was able to summon righteous indignation, tweeting, “Targeting and harassing Americans because of their political beliefs is shameful and dangerous. What happened to ‘when they go low, we go high?’ Or does that no longer matter when your brother is polling at 1%? Americans deserve better.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted, “EVERYONE needs to tone the hateful partisan rhetoric way down. This is WRONG & Castro should retract it. In our constitutional Republic, the People rightly hold their representatives accountable; elected representatives should not be vilifying & doxxing their own constituents.”
It is impossible to overstate just how reckless and myopic a stunt Castro has pulled here. A congressman who helps directly control the levers of power in the United States of America has effectively sicced the foaming-at-the-mouth leftist mob upon American civilians. American civilians, that is, who reside in Castro’s own city! Castro is almost assuredly clueless as to the hell that he has wrought — the profoundly dangerous and harrowing precedent he has helped promulgate. Consider Angelo Codevilla’s timely essay this week at American Greatness: “[I]t would be surprising if many ordinary followers have not concluded that harassing if not harming conservatives in restaurants, airports, as well as in their public functions is not just permissible but praiseworthy, and if thousands of persons who exercise power over cities, towns and schools have not concluded that facilitating such harassment and harm is their duty.”
Progressives seem increasingly comfortable, alas, with this brave new world — where politics becomes an all-consuming blood sport and the most cynical and nihilistic of tactics are bestowed with legitimacy.
The First Amendment is the crown jewel of our Bill of Rights. The Free Speech Clause is the smaller crown jewel within that broader crown jewel. And political speech — the right to freely give voice and efficacy to political causes, much like pamphleteer Thomas Paine did with “Common Sense” in the colonial-era Philadelphia town square — is, as Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the 2000 U.S. Supreme Court case of Nixon v. Shrink Missouri PAC, “the primary object of First Amendment protection.”
The natural goal of Castro’s stunt is therefore to intimidate free citizens from exercising “the primary object” of the miniature crown jewel of the broader crown jewel of the Bill of Rights. Like every tinpot dictator and would-be tyrant before and after him, Castro’s goal is to cow free citizens into subjects — to sap the very sovereignty of which the constitutional Preamble’s “We the People” speaks. Castro must be rebuked and excoriated for such grandiose flirtations with totalitarianism. We “Normals” will never, ever be silenced by the supercilious mob.
Speaking of Justice Thomas, he saw this day coming. Ever the prescient jurist, here was Thomas opining in the landmark political speech-affirming 2010 case of Citizens United v. FEC (internal citations omitted): “Disclaimer and disclosure requirements enable private citizens and elected officials to implement political strategies specifically calculated to curtail campaign-related activity and prevent the lawful, peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights. … I cannot endorse a view of the First Amendment that subjects citizens of this Nation to death threats, ruined careers, damaged or defaced property, or pre-emptive and threatening warning letters as the price for engaging in core political speech, the primary object of First Amendment protection.”
Indeed. Absolute shame on Joaquin Castro, the latest would-be despot to emerge in a fundamentally Orwellian and tyrannical political party.