Common Cause has always presented itself as a centrist sensible liberal organization, advocating evolution not revolution. Its leaders cross party lines and advocate democratic principles, which have traditionally included the open marketplace of ideas. It proudly proclaims its commitment to "empowering voices to be heard."
The organization distinguishes itself from the radical left, which has a history of advocating free speech for me but not for thee — free speech for the left but censorship for the right. Not so, Common Cause. Until now, it has advocated free speech for all as an important part of democratic governance.
The culture of free speech — "empowering voices to be heard" — transcends the First Amendment, which is applicable only to state action: that is action taken by governmental entities.
The culture of free speech, however, extends to private institutions as well, such as non-public universities, large corporations and the increasingly influential social media.
Now, Common Cause has broken with its past defense of free speech culture and has demanded that Facebook and presumably other platforms, censor Donald Trump and possibly his followers, supporters and enablers. Here is what they have said:
"Trump Cannot be allowed back on Facebook. Donald Trump abused his wide reach on social media for months to spread baseless – and as we saw on January 6th, dangerous – lies about our election.
"He repeatedly violated Facebook’s civic integrity rules and jeopardized our entire democracy. But as of now, Facebook has only ‘indefinitely suspended’ Trump’s account – and they may be on the cusp of letting him back onto the platform.
"We can’t let Facebook give Trump another opportunity to mislead voters and stroke chaos on its website. Sign the Petition: Tell Face book to permanently ban Donald Trump.