When did it become acceptable and even laudable to lobby for censorship of free speech? Democrats and other progressives used to claim they were pro-free speech and then, more recently, they tried to cover up their censorship activities. No more. Now being pro-censorship seems to give leftists bragging rights.
Three recent stories struck me as illustrating how radically leftists’ talking points on free speech and censorship seem to have changed in the past few years. The first was the Biden administration’s petition to stay a July 4 injunction restricting government censorship collusion. While Louisiana U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty detailed evidence of an unprecedented government attack on the First Amendment right to free speech, the Biden administration was utterly shameless, per MRC Free Speech America.
Justice Department attorneys whined that the injunction (which was subsequently stayed) would “chill a wide range of lawful government conduct relating to Defendants’ law enforcement responsibilities” and “obligations to protect the national security.” Who cares about the Constitution? The Biden administration demands the power to coordinate censorship as a necessity.
The second story I noted on this issue was the recent House Judiciary hearing at which victims of censorship, including Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr, testified. Democrats actually moved to censor Kennedy during the censorship hearing!
Democrats tried to Censor RFK Jr. at a Censorship Hearing.
You can’t make this up. pic.twitter.com/cyKkaR7eQe
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) July 21, 2023
Democrats also essentially argued that free speech is a right subject to circumstances or government whims:
“No right given to the people of the United States is absolute, and that includes the right to free speech.” – @RepLindaSanchez
Congresswoman, our rights are not “given to” us by government. They are inherent. You have ZERO authority to infringe upon them.
Read the document… pic.twitter.com/0lyppEKtMm
— Young Americans for Liberty (@YALiberty) July 21, 2023
It’s stunning how open this type of talk is from Democrats now. They are proud to air their anti-free speech beliefs.
The third recent example that caught my attention was a Yahoo! Finance video clip published on July 21 of Meta president of global affairs Sir Nick Clegg. As you can tell from the title, Clegg is not American; in fact, before he worked for Meta/Facebook, he was UK deputy prime minister. Meta is an American company, however, and, in this video clip, Clegg was specifically addressing his company’s censorship efforts regarding U.S. elections. He was shockingly boastful about Meta’s increasing efforts to suppress election-related content online.
“We have teams, we have highly sophisticated automated models which are working to deal with elections non-stop, all year round, you know, month in and month out,” Clegg blathered. He added that Meta is learning all the time how to target election content, and “I do think we’re getting better.” He went on to tout Meta’s “massive investments” in “technology to deal with misinformation, disinformation and so on.” Clegg even seemed to frame Meta as an oligarchical arbiter of truth: “We give users as much information as we—as we possibly can.” How generous, Big Brother.
The really important context here is that this not only constitutes election interference, but such interference has proven highly influential in the past. In fact, a 2020 Media Research Center poll found that censorship of the Hunter Biden scandals altered the 2020 presidential election in Joe Biden’s favor. Elections have consequences, and so does election censorship.
High-profile Democrats and leftists are totally open now about their attack on our vital right to free speech. They are the enemies of our rights and liberties.