(ANTIMEDIA) If, for unknown reasons, you feel the urge to volunteer for Donald Trump’s campaign, be certain you’re prepared to make a lifetime commitment never to insult or disparage him, his family, his businesses, products — and, of course, his campaign.
After reports circulated last week of a non-disclosure agreement required of volunteers for the candidate’s phone bank located in Trump Tower in Manhattan, the Daily Dot finally managed to procure a copy on Monday. Its contents — though not shocking, considering Trump’s litany of complaints against the media — reveal telling control issues, if not outright paranoia.
According to the Daily Dot:
“In addition to forbidding volunteers from disparaging Trump, the contract also includes a sentence that demands volunteers prevent their employees from criticizing Trump, thus making volunteers responsible for the free speech of others for an indeterminate amount of time.”
Again. Yes, seriously. These far-beyond-Orwellian strictures found their way into contracts for unpaid volunteers. Now, imagine what fun a Trump presidency might entail.
“I guess he doesn’t know about the First Amendment,” New York City employment lawyer, Davida Perry, told theDaily Dot. “This is really shocking.”
For journalists, activists, constitutional advocates, and every civilian in the so-called free world, shocking might be the understatement of the election season.
“There can’t be a contract without consideration,” Perry told NBC News. “His campaign isn’t giving the volunteer anything in exchange for their agreement to not speak about what they see or hear.”
Perry added that the concept of a campaign creating a contract such that volunteers are unable to discuss the campaign without being sued is “outrageous” and “highly unusual for the political process.”
Of course, the entire 2016 presidential election season is nothing if not atypical. Trump has drawn the ire of throngs in his crackdown on legal protest, bashing of the media, and general brashness tinged with outright xenophobia. His apparent aversion to even mild castigation and inability to accept deserved criticism makes the attempt to censor negative comments by volunteers not all that astonishing.
Nonetheless, his latest trick to avoid potential haters likely has no legal basis in reality.
“It’s overkill,” Professor Samuel Estreicher, director of the labor program at New York University School of Law, told NBC News. “I don’t think it’s enforceable. I don’t know why he’s doing it.”
Perry, however, theorized to the Daily Dot:
“He’s apparently so afraid that people would say something bad about him after spending some time on his campaign that they have to sign some sort of agreement.”
It would arguably appear the election for United States president will boil down to a choice between an unapologetic warhawk, who is also an habitual liar, in Hillary Clinton — or a paranoid, demagogic, megalomaniac who can’t stand the heat, in Donald Trump.
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