There are times when discretion, respect, and courtesy are necessary in a healthy, functioning society. When they are lacking, no one walks away a hero or a winner. And so it was today, in the halls of the US Senate; no heroes, no winners; only shame where possibility had existed.
During a break, the junior Republican Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, was speaking to newspeople in a hallway, outside the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Social Media, explaining his feelings regarding social media, and the possibility of other countries tightening the freedom their dissidents have accessed on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Enter Alex Jones. He interrupted the interview, continually heckling, and yelling at Rubio, going so far as to call him a “snake” and a “little frat boy”. In yelling at Rubio, Jones accused him of playing dumb. He railed that the Democrats and tech companies are doing what Rubio said China was doing: Purging and shadow banning social media of conservatives. He said Republicans are just pretending it isn’t happening.
Rubio responded by claiming several times he did not know who Jones was. Then, Jones had to ramp it up by patting Rubio on the back. For anyone out there who doesn’t know this; you never, ever touch a political figure. Never. At this point, Security moved in, and Rubio told Jones not to touch him. Jones replied he only patted him, nicely. And, Rubio told him again, he did not want to be touched by Jones.
Seizing every opportunity to keep himself in the limelight, Jones then told onlookers Rubio was going to have him arrested. Rubio, visibly disturbed, said he wasn’t going to have him arrested; he would take care of him, himself.
As if Jones needed any more catalyst for ranting, he took Rubio’s words and went off like chain fusing fireworks on the Fourth of July: “Oh, he’ll beat me up? You’re not going to silence me, you’re not going to silence America,” he told Rubio. “You are literally like a little gangster thug, Rubio just threatened to physically take care of me.”
Senator Rubio ignored Jones while he finished speaking to the reporters, and Jones continued heckling and questioning him. When Rubio returned to the hearing, he had the last word, telling reporters he had to return to the hearing, and they could talk to that clown.
There, in the halls of the Senate, where serious, long and far reaching decisions could be made regarding Social Media, a lawmaker was verbally and physically accosted. The person behind all the clamor was none other than one of the major instigators of the freedom of speech issues currently taking up so much time and focus of tech companies, the public, and government.
Alex Jones knows his way around Capitol Hill, and he knows exactly how to get attention; it is his bread and butter. But, there are standards of behavior everyone learns, beginning in childhood. It is regarded as the socialization process. Jones has proved repeatedly he missed out on those lessons, and unfortunately, continuing down his chosen path, may very well prove to be his, and everyone else who cares about freedom of speech’s most ineffective plan.
(Photo courtesy of Reuters)