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Joaquin Castro's Trump Donor Tweet Was Blatant Intimidation

BY Adam Brandon
08/14/2019
Originally Published in The Washington Examiner by Adam Brandon on 8/13/19.

Democratic Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, brother of Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro, tweeted a target list of individuals and businesses in San Antonio who have donated to President Trump. This was not a list of public figures or high-profile mega-donors. It was a collection of private citizens who had donated only $2,800, including 11 retirees and a homemaker.

The individuals on the list are Castro’s own constituents. So much for “representation” in Washington.

Democratic apologists argue this exposure, the malicious publishing of a person’s act of free speech, wasn’t a big deal since the information is already available for those who dig hard enough to find it. They call it “following the money.” But let me tell you something: This simple act did more damage to our republic than a stupid Russian Facebook ad could ever accomplish.

Castro’s intentions were clear. He wanted to scare private citizens away from donating to the Trump presidential reelection campaign. He wanted to funnel the outpour of anger following the string of mass shootings last week in the direction of Trump donors in his own home district.

House Democrats are not unilaterally defending Castro, but they did implicitly endorse the idea of donor exposure back in March when they passed one of the most unconstitutional, anti-speech pieces of legislation in years, the so-called "For the People Act," or H.R. 1.

If signed into law, H.R. 1 would have forced political organizations to reveal their donors, causing a profound chilling effect on political speech. The Supreme Court already shut down this type of donor-doxing in the landmark civil rights case, NAACP v. Alabama, when it ruled the NAACP did not have to disclose its membership lists.

In its wisdom, the court understood that forcing the NAACP to disclose its donors would be unconstitutional and lead to potentially life-threatening intimidation. Democrats like Rep. Castro seemed to have missed this crucial lesson from our nation's history. Or worse, they understand it, but choose to ignore it for their own selfish political impulses.

The radical wing of the Democratic Party operates on two tactics: shut down and shout down. Whether they are campaigning or governing, those tactics never change. Don't like the politics of a small-business owner? Damage her reputation until the doors close.

Don't like a speaker on a college campus? Heckle him until the event gets canceled. Don’t like someone making fun of you on Twitter? Threaten them with your newfound congressional subpoena power.

Don’t like a New York Times print edition headline? Bully them until they change the headline to something else in the digital edition. Don't like your constituents voting for your brother’s political opponent? Release the names and businesses of their individual donors in your district.

There is no acceptable explanation for Castro’s tweet. He wanted private citizens in his own district to wake up to harassment, lost business, or worse, simply because they had the audacity to participate in the democratic process. He published that tweet as a green light of permission for the radical progressive mob to shout those people down and shut them up.

This included several of his own donors, who had also donated to the Trump campaign. Something tells me Castro won’t be able to count on their votes or donations the next time around.

The radical Left doesn't believe in the open exchange of ideas – they believe in a forced consensus around their political agenda. If they can't alleviate your dissent, they will try like hell to make sure nobody hears it.