In Defense of Thomas Massie’s Lone ‘No’ Vote on Antisemitism Resolution

The libertarian-leaning congressman’s vote had nothing to do with supporting hate.

On Wednesday, Republican Congressman Thomas Massie was the only member of the House to vote ‘no’ on a resolution that condemned rising antisemitism.

His vote had nothing to do with tolerating hate. This didn’t stop many from instantly and eagerly jumping to this conclusion. 

Using the logic of the folks above, anyone who voted against the Patriot Act in 2001 or its renewal at any other time was not a patriot – which is how many Americans over two decades ago after 9/11 viewed those not on board with giving the U.S. government sweeping new surveillance powers.

As Massie noted in a tweet:

Massie voted against this resolution for reasons similar to why he has tried to repeal the Patriot Act in the past: It could violate Americans’ basic liberties.

The bill asks that social media “institute stronger and more significant efforts to measure and address online antisemitism while protecting free speech concerns.”

Politicians dictating to social media and other platforms how to operate is a problem for anyone who still cares about free speech.

Granted, many don’t anymore.

But that’s not all. As Reason’s Christian Britschgi observed, the “resolution also calls on Congress to work more closely with the Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism—an international working group whose membership includes lawmakers from the U.K., Canada, Israel, the U.S., and Australia.”

“The task force’s first briefing in November 2020 featured presentations from groups also calling for Section 230 reform and holding platforms and their executives accountable for antisemitic speech,” Britschgi.

Here’s how Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to “reform” Section 230:

So it is dishonest to portray this legislation as a mere condemnation of antisemitism.

But this is still not all. “The House’s antisemitism resolution also endorsed increasing funding for a Department of Homeland Security program that provides security grants to ‘at-risk houses of worship, schools, and community centers’,” Britschgi pointed out.

He added, “Given that the Department of Homeland Security shouldn’t exist, expanding its funding doesn’t sound like a good idea. One can see why a libertarian-leaning budget hawk like Massie wouldn’t like that provision either.”

One would. One would also wonder why in an environment where so many Democrats are intent on censoring or labeling “disinformation” and many Republicans are opposed to such efforts, why didn’t more Republicans didn’t join Massie in voting against this resolution?

It should be easy for a member to say that they roundly condemn racism and antisemitism specifically, but do not support the other troubling aspects of this bill, just as Massie has.

So why did every other Republican support it? Was Thomas Massie the only one who actually read the legislation he was voting on?


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Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter is a freelance writer, the co-author of Sen. Rand Paul’s 2011 book ‘The Tea Party Goes to Washington’ and the former politics editor for