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August 01, 2016

Trump Pledges To Target Porn On The Internet-UPDATE

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL—Remember Donald Trump? He's the 70-year-old loud, abrasive, misogynist Republican presidential nominee whose current wife posed nude for Max magazine in 1996, and who himself was interviewed by Playboy in 1990, and who just last year said, "If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her." Well, guess what? He's now signed onto anti-porn group Enough Is Enough's "Children's Internet Safety Presidential Pledge," wherein he promises to "aggressively enforce existing federal laws to prevent the sexual exploitation of children online, including the federal obscenity laws, child pornography laws, sexual predation laws and the sex trafficking laws" by appointing an Attorney General who'll make such prosecutions a "top priority" and by throwing federal money at "the intelligence community and law enforcement" so they can create, for example, more sting operations such as the ones like MiPorn and Operation Wormwood that have ensnared adult manufacturers and distributors for decades. The pledge, if he lives up to it, would also have him spending taxpayers' bucks "requiring schools and public libraries ... to filter child pornography and pornography," so the kids, who may want to do essays on such subjects as breast cancer, breast feeding, STDs, homosexuality, transgenderism and several other topics, won't be able to find such information when they look for it. Other parts of the pledge would have Trump "giv[ing] serious consideration to appointing a Presidential Commission to examine the harmful public health impact of Internet pornography on youth, families and the American culture" (which impact is virtually non-existent) and to fund anti-porn groups by "establish[ing] public-private partnerships with Corporate America to step up voluntary efforts to reduce the threat of the Internet-enabled sexual exploitation of children by the implementation of updated corporate policies and viable technology tools and solutions." Remember how we warned, about a decade ago, that if a .xxx top-level domain were created, it would only be a matter of time before the government forced all sexually-related websites to use that domain—and only that domain—so as to make it easier for censorship groups to target that content? Welcome to Trump/Pence 2016! Enough Is Enough's pledge is filled with "whereas" clauses, one of which falsely claims that "Not all written or visual material, however, is protected under the First Amendment. The United States Supreme Court has ruled there are four categories of pornography that are not entitled to full First Amendment protection, and which can be restricted or proscribed altogether. With respect to the Internet, those categories include the obscenity and child pornography laws"—regardless of the fact that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in the case of CAN-SPAMers Jeffrey Kilbride and James Schaeffer, stated that "We agree with Defendants that the district court should have instructed the jury to apply a national community standard" rather than the local standards typically used to prosecute such material. The pledge, from an organization that supports only "abstinence education" for schoolchildren, also claims that, "The invasion [sic] of graphic online [material] worldwide is 'the largest unregulated social experiment in human history'" and that "Internet pornography is 'deforming the sexual development of younger viewers'"—who, sadly, can't seem to get their sex education anywhere else. As anyone who's been following the evolution of the advocacy of censorship of sexual speech knows, its proponents have migrated from the position that viewing porn is a "moral defect" to the new iteration that porn is a "public health menace," thanks in part to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation's promotions of resolutions claiming same, such as was passed in May in Utah. Hence, it's hardly surprising that Enough Is Enough founder (and former Gary Hart mistress) Donna Rice Hughes has stated, "Over the last two decades America’s children have paid an unnecessarily steep price for the lax enforcement of federal obscenity laws. Obscenity is not protected under the First Amendment, and the failure to enforce the law is harming children across the nation and around the world." And there's good reason to think Trump might actually uphold his pledge, especially if, as previously announced, he will be turning the creation of his administration's social policy to his arch-conservative VP Pence. "When you look at the man he has chosen as vice-president … you can see that, for all the glamour and celebrity he is known for, Trump seems to be committed to a brand of governing that will consider policy issues seriously," said Penny Nance, president of the pro-censorship group Concerned Women For America. "And nothing is more serious than the sexual exploitation of women and children." It is, of course, a matter of faith in anti-porn circles that explicit content exploits women, and since sexual exploitation of children is already illegal under the child porn laws, Pence is likely to focus legal attention on adult porn, which he and his cronies would dearly like to see made illegal somehow—and Trump may just get the chance to appoint Supreme Court justices who'd be only too happy to do so. UPDATE: At least two adult industry moguls have commented to US News & World Report on Trump's vow to target porn. "I'm not too worried that the ultimate misogynist Donald Trump would enforce the obscenity laws, as I'm quite sure he has no idea what they are," said Vivid head Steve Hirsch, who opined that it's the parents' job to shield kids from porn, noting that there are plenty of filters they can buy to help do so. "One would think Mr. Trump's time would be spent on building fake walls and deporting immigrants." Michael Lucas, CEO of gay company Lucas Entertainment, had similar thoughts. "We hear the same kind of dialogue about porn every time a Republican runs for office, and those puritanical promises are quickly forgotten after the election," Lucas predicted. "If Trump is actually concerned about protecting Americans from obscenity, he may want to earnestly consider that suggestion to delete his Twitter account... And honestly, I do not think any intelligent person who loves America can vote for Trump."   Photo of "The Donald" signing the pledge by Michael Vadon

 
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