Around 2015, I was anxious to get out of the world of political journalism, and break into gaming journalism. I’d been a gamer for as long as memory serves, and it’s played a massive role in my life. Politics, however, had not.
Political writing was something that I fell into around 2010 after a mix of boredom and a love of history had pushed me into the commentary game.
But thanks to the consumer revolt known as “Gamer Gate,” in which gamers across the globe arose to beat back the social justice left that had taken hold of gaming journalism and restore a sense of ethics in their reporting, I had made some contacts and more than a few friends.
Thanks to those friends, an opportunity was granted to me by a popular gaming website to be a weekly columnist. It wasn’t a full on career, but it was a foot in the door. The column would be a humorous, lighthearted take down of that week’s news in gaming with no political commentary attached. It was just me writing about something I loved, in a way that I loved.
The managing editor of the site announced that I would now be a regular at the site…and all hell broke loose.
The left’s outrage was beyond anything I had expected. They began combing over every article, tweet, or video I had ever made. Soon, they came out with something that they thought would sink me. A tweet I had made in 2014 simply telling transgendered individuals that they can be trans if they please, but don’t expect everyone else to pretend along with them.
If you want to be trans, then you go right ahead. Don’t force everyone else to pretend along with you.
— Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) November 11, 2014
Message boards galore, and many a website popped up talking about my “transphobia,” and calling for the site that signed me on for a writing gig to terminate their business relationship immediately. One content creator who worked with the site declared that they would cease all business with it due to their decision to allow me to write under their banner. The managing editor, the parent company, and I were hit with a deluge of angry tweets accusing anyone involved with me of being just as evil.
Soon the managing editor got the call from on high. I was to be removed from the ranks of writers. Instead, I would be sent to write for a sister-site that dealt in politics. I had wound up exactly where I started. Gaming journalism was in my hands, then it was ripped away by the left.
As unfair as my story may sound, this is far from being an isolated incident. For all the “diversity” that the left wants to promote, one thing they do not tolerate is difference of opinion.
Ideological differences are a grave sin for the left, which requires everyone fall into lockstep with its narrative and agenda. There is no limit as to how far you can take this belief. You can passively be good with it, or become violent in the enforcement of that belief. So long as you agree, you’re one of the good guys “on the right side of history.”
However, question this belief, or stand opposed to it, and you have to face punishment. This punishment can come in many different forms, but one of the most popular is the deplatforming tactic.
This tactic can be seen very regularly throughout today’s modern culture. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube all engage in this as they censor or restrict certain conservative commentary. There have been a number of instances throughout the past few years by YouTube alone. Phillip DeFranco, a popular news commentator was hit with demonetization of one of his videos for calling out a feminist, social justice leader for her horrid treatment of a Lyft driver. Conservative commentator Steven Crowder had a video of his stripped from YouTube because he played a harmless prank on an SXSW gender fluidity group. He and his crew were likewise punished with suspensions by Twitter for the video.
These methods of deplatforming punish the individual who stepped out of line monetarily, however other methods of deplatforming result in a silencing of opinion or ideas, preventing them from reaching the general public through mainstream means.
This was seen most recently at the March for Our Lives event in D.C., where the “student led” march brought up a host of people to the stage to talk about restrictions on guns, as well as anti-NRA and anti-Republican messaging. Not seen on the stage was anyone with a differing opinion on how guns should be treated within the U.S.
The obvious absence from the March for Our Lives stage was Kyle Kashuv, who had been working in D.C. to get legislation passed that would actually make a difference in helping keeping schools safe. Kyle was not invited to speak, however, this was expected. Kashuv and his peers have been battling it out ideologically every day since the Parkland shooting.
Egregiously absent from the stage was one Hunter Pollack, whose sister Autumn died while trying to protect a younger student. Hunter submitted a three minute long speech to be read from the stage, but was told that he could not speak due to the roster being all booked up. The speech didn’t contain any anti-NRA rhetoric, or calls for banning or restricting weapons. In fact, Pollack promoted the idea of hardening schools with firearms. Unsurprisingly, he was not allowed on stage.
Only later did Parkland activist David Hogg play it off as a “miscommunication” on Twitter. Pollack called Hogg out for the lie soon after.
Thank you , I appreciate you pushing out my video but there was no miscommunication my speech didn’t fit I️n to the agenda . https://t.co/t3FnYTVnmC
— Hunter Pollack (@PollackHunter) March 31, 2018
Neither Pollack, Kashuv, or Patrick Petty, who had also lost his sister, were features of the mainstream media during the Parkland shooting saga. None of them believed in the restriction of guns, or the political rhetoric they had to offer, and thus were not given a mainstream platform.
And now we have the Laura Ingraham controversy, where David called for a boycott of companies should they not withdraw their ad dollars from her show. This message was carried by many mainstream media source, putting the fear of dollars lost into a company and causing them to withdraw from Ingraham’s show. She’s now left the show for a week in order to allow the controversy to cool down, effectively silencing her for that time.
And these are just a few recent examples. I’d have to write a book in order to relay all the deplatforming of the right that happens on college campuses.
For the left, the silencing of anyone who runs afoul of their narrative is a knee-jerk reaction. Argument cannot be tolerated. It must be either painted as the ramblings of evil people, or it must be squelched through some other means. Monologues, not dialogues, are the order of the day, as dialogues are conversation, and conversation may lead to understanding. Understanding leads to lack of fear. Lack of fear leads to loss of power.
And herein lies the truth behind the left’s consistent attempts at deplatforming. The left fears the contrary message that may shine light on an otherwise thickly shaded narrative. It may expose a perspective that was previously kept hidden that may allow a person to get a better look at the issue. Listening to Kashuv or Pollack may lead people to see the problem solving nature of guns, and not just the dangers of their use for nefarious reasons. Crowder might poke holes in the sacred cow narrative around protected groups through humor. Even a political commentator moving into the field of pop-culture isn’t a risk that can be taken.
In their quest to silence others, the left reveals that their arguments can only survive in a vacuum. Their narrative’s shelf life lives and dies by their ability to silence opposition. However, as Tyrion Lannister says in Game of Thrones, “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”