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Monday, January 25, 2021

Biden’s Assault On Free Speech–The Left’s Arrogant Move To Promote Their America

Free speech is enshrined in the Bill of Rights.  Americans have the absolute, inviolate right to express themselves freely, to be open and candid about their opinions, and to be assured that this right will always be protected.  The Founding Fathers understood the responsibility that comes with such a right, for the expression of such freely-spoken opinions will certainly be opposed by many.  That dialectic, they said, was at the heart of democracy.  Only out of the resolution of differing points of view and the settling of arguments would come better understanding.  They also were quite aware – the 18th century, despite the Age of Enlightenment and the enshrinement of logic was no less a contentious time than now.  In fact bar fights, shoot-outs, and brawls were even more common. 

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In the movie ‘Gangs of New York’, directed by Martin Scorsese, the city in the 1860s was a lawless place ruled by outlaws, syndicates, and brutal gangs.  The ‘Americans’ wanted nothing to do with the Irish immigrants coming to New York; but internecine rivalries were common.  While the privileged members of the Virginia elite might not have envisioned such mayhem and social chaos – their vision was far more optimistic, nurtured as it was by a belief in reason and reasonableness – it would not have completely surprised them.  The guarantees of freedom of expression were bound to lead to untoward, unpleasant, and even deadly consequences.

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Yet for the philosopher kings of the New Republic, it was only within this dynamic that democracy could flourish.  Democracy, they knew, was not a pretty thing.  The clash of difference was inevitable; but they had a fundamental belief in both the system in which opposing positions would resolve themselves through conflict, debate, and dissension and in the citizens of the country which they had helped form.  Government – as explained in the Constitution of which the Bill of Rights was only a preamble – was to be the guarantor of God-given rights, not the enforcer of any one opinion.   It was to be the adjudicator of last resort, and only then through due process.

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What is so heinous about the current move to limit free speech is that it defies both principles.  It assumes that government should not only be a guarantor and a neutral arbiter, but an interventionist actor, taking sides and ensuring that its side prevails.  Worse it assumes the fundamental ignorance of the people governed – people who are too stupid, uneducated, gullible, and weak to be able to assess, judge, and decide on the veracity or reasonableness of others’ arguments.  The Left has argued that the issues of today are too important to be left to citizens.  Without the brakes, traces, and harnesses placed on them by government, they are sure to become as savage as the most cannibalistic tribe of the jungle.  Ignorance, progressives say, is endemic; and unless they, through the instrument of government, can enlighten the masses, the country will fall into misrule and disorder and never achieve the Utopia they envision.

Donald Trump was a master showman, a vaudevillian, and a circus performer.  He was not a new breed of politician, he was unique.  He challenged what he saw was the cant and arrogant self-righteousness of the Left.  He was not only a populist, but a radical populist who energized his base – the tens of millions of people who felt that they had found a voice, a man who would stand up to the progressive juggernaut, stare them down, and help preserve the values that had been a part of the American ethos since Jefferson.

In so doing, and typical of a man who made his millions on the mean streets of New York where lying, intimidation, threats, and thinly-veiled chicanery were part and parcel of his trade; a man who understood celebrity and its influence; and a man who was born with a fierce competitive independence, he without a doubt exaggerated, misstated, and manipulated the facts; and if his critics are to be believed, lied, fabricated, and deliberately distorted the truth.

No president has been so viscerally hated as Donald Trump.  His presumed lies and distortions were not only expressions of a manipulative, selfish, and ambitious man, but an evil one – a destructive, satanic, malignant force; and only removing him from office and public life would satisfy them.  No measure in the pursuit of this objective would be considered inappropriate; and the most damaging and most corrosive act to weaken the very foundations of Constitutional America, has  been the desire to close down free speech.  Trump’s utterances were to be prohibited from social media, and the voices of support for him monitored for inappropriateness

‘Inappropriate’ became the meme for suppression.  It became inappropriate to challenge conservatives’ views on abortion, gay marriage, black activism, abrogation of Constitutional rights, and One World internationalism; and even the more moderate critics of the progressive agenda which focused on race, gender, and ethnicity were forced to hold their tongues or at the very least express their opinions in a far more tepid and ineffective way.  People who spoke out loudly against the gross incompetence of Congress, its political corruption, and its anti-democratic agenda were considered facilitators of the renegade assault on Congress (January ‘21), complicit in the death and destruction.  Now, more than ever, those who even intimated a radical makeover of the discredited body, were to be surveilled, monitored, and even drawn before the courts.

The January ‘21 assault was a watershed moment for the Left, for it gave image and footage of unbridled free speech.  While only a handful of agitators stormed the Capitol, they were enabled by the millions who joined with Trump in his harsh, dismissive, and unrepentant attacks on it.  Whether or not Trump’s accusations of voter fraud and the illegitimacy of the election has any validity is beside the point; and so is the fanatical support of his followers.   The point is that only the few who actually breached security and entered the halls of Congress with bad intent were guilty.  ‘Enabling’ words and speeches, no matter how angry or intimidating, are not tantamount to destruction. 

The fact that the democratic system worked, that there has been an orderly transition of Presidents, and that a new, quieter, and more traditional Administration is in place, should be enough.  The braggart, blowhard, menacing, and hateful Donald Trump has been shown the door.  Enough people in the United States had had quite enough and were ready, as unpalatable as many of Biden’s policies were, for a change.

So what does Biden do in his first days in office? Inflame the anti-free speech hysteria, cloture the voice of millions, step on the neck of individual expression, and revert to the elitism and arrogant Establishment presumptuousness that he said he hated. He now wants to reverse the 1996 law (Section 230)which prevents any lawsuit against social media for the speech of their subscribers.  In other words, if government decides that John Smith has not only violated ‘community standards’ but has suggested, implied, or indirectly ‘threatened’ the United States, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be sued.  If the new law passes – and there is every indication that in a bi-cameral Democratic Congress it will – these social media will be obliged to shut down all political speech; and since much speech is political, referring as it does to social, economic, financial, or international policy – most speech will be shut down.  Social media will become forums for sharing recipes.

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Biden insists that removing Section 230 is not tantamount to restricting free speech, but no more disingenuous, misleading, and distorted comment has come out of the new President’s mouth.  Of course it will abrogate the fundamental Constitutional rights of Americans; and Biden knows it; but far worse than his commitment to a profoundly anti-democratic and unconstitutional move, is his enthusiastic approval of it.  He like his progressive claques insist that America is too important to be left to right wing anarchists; and better to nip in the bud the already disturbing emergence of ‘fascist’ groups.  Once the threat has been eliminated says the manipulative, hyper-partisan Biden, we will restore press freedom.  Right, sure, whenever.

Biden in his first few days in office has confirmed the worst fears of conservatives.  He is indeed in the thrall of ‘The Squad’ and their shills.  Donald Trump was an opportunity, not a problem.  Now that the country has seen what free speech can do, they will be supportive of our moves to limit it.

This is not just about Donald Trump, nor the siege on the Capitol, but about the progressive agenda which requires compliance and obedience.  There is only one way to look at gender, race, and ethnicity; only one way to view the free market and the capitalist system; only one way to look at the world and its interrelationships.  Any objections recorded will be noted in the files, and offenders sent to the gulags for re-education.

For all Biden’s claims of unity, consideration, inclusion, and tolerance, his actions speak otherwise. Conservatives have been right all along in their objection to Biden and the progressive Left.  Their voices, unfortunately, were drowned out in the hysteria over Trump, and he is responsible for relegating valid conservative principles to insignificance.  It will take a strong, eloquent, persuasive, non-controversial leader to restore the Republican party, give it salience and importance, and to eventually restore democratic order.  No one, however, is in the wings let alone on the stage.

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