Libertarian former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is urging Americans on both sides of the political aisle to be careful about how people who participated in the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol building are being treated and labeled in the criminal justice system.
In a new op-ed for CNS News, Paul cautions people on the left and right that they might not like the way the court’s push for severe punishment and labeling of defendants as “terrorists” plays out in future prosecutions.
Paul pointed to a recent felony conviction and eight-month prison sentence for Paul Hodgkins, who entered the Senate building and snapped a selfie.
The sentence was “an affront to any notion of justice,” Paul wrote. “It is a political charge and a political verdict by a political court. Every American regardless of political persuasion should be terrified of a court system so beholden to politics instead of justice.”
The judge in the case labeled Hodgkins a “terrorist” while admitting that he didn’t quite fit the full definition of one. He was labeled as such because his actions were done in the “context” of an act that is being labeled as terroristic in nature.
Paul said it amounted to punishing someone for a “thought crime,” which is “beyond a slippery slope.”
In other words, the judge implied that Hodgkins is a “terrorist” because his carrying a Trump flag into the Senate meant he was more loyal to former President Donald Trump than to the country.
Error in judgment
The media continues to demonize even the most minor involvement in the events that transpired on Jan. 6. Instead of the situation being looked at as protesters getting carried away and breaking rules to commit minor acts of vandalism, which happens across the country on a daily basis, it has instead been labeled as an “insurrection” and an act of terrorism.
In mischaracterizing the entire event, a number of people, including the judge, have been allowed a license to mischaracterize many of the individuals involved.
“Americans being sent to prison not for what they did, but for what they believe?” Paul asked. “Does that sound like the kind of America we really want to live in?”
And while the left is enjoying seeing its political opponents punished in the public square, Paul said, they’re not going to like it very much when the same thing is eventually done to them.
“The kind of totalitarian ‘justice’ system they are cheering on will soon be coming for them,” Paul warned. “It always does.”