Begun, the Free Speech Wars Have

Begun, the Free Speech Wars Have
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Tesla CEO Elon Musk just might have ignited another war over free speech in America – and he did it all just by purchasing Twitter. The purchase has elicited a wave of outrage, hand wringing, and doomsday prophesying from the hard left, which views the idea of free speech much in the same way a zebra might view a salivating lion. Now, progressives are already doing their darndest to figure out how to respond to the possibility that people of varying political beliefs will have a level playing field on the platform.

Democrats have already begun laying the groundwork for the government to inject itself into the matter ostensibly to address the problem of “misinformation” and “disinformation,” which we all know means: “Any content the left doesn’t like.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki already indicated the Biden administration would be urging Congress to pass legislation to address Section 230 and other matters pertaining to online speech.

Even more, shortly after Musk’s purchase of Twitter was affirmed, the Biden administration announced the creation of its very own Ministry of Truth. This “Disinformation Governance Board” is supposedly designed to combat disinformation from human smugglers enticing migrants to swarm the southern border and to address Russian interference in elections. But we all know where they really want to take this, right? This is what happens when you use George Orwell’s “1984” as an instruction manual rather than a cautionary tale.

But it isn’t just the government that is looking for ways to deal with the problem of people being able to express themselves freely. The activist media is also playing its role, attempting to convince the public that freedom of expression is no good. Several progressive commentators did the usual “Everything is Racist” routine and published op-eds claiming a Musk takeover would somehow harm black users.

CNN media activist Brian Stelter used his platform to use a bizarre analogy to explain why not using politically-biased censorship is a negative:

“If you get invited to something where there are no rules, where there is total freedom for everybody, do you actually want to go to that party or are you going to decide to stay home?”

This is just the beginning, dear reader.

Democrats have been talking about using the government to force Big Tech companies to engage in even more censorship. Last year, the Biden administration used its position to pressure Facebook to tamp down on posts on the COVID-19 pandemic that were not Democrat-approved. Indeed, President Joe Biden accused the company of killing people. The White House was even colluding with the Democratic National Committee to censor mass text messages with supposed “misinformation” on the disease and vaccines.

Psaki’s remarks at the press conference should be taken as a preamble to what is about to happen. Democratic lawmakers are going to push legislation designed to compel companies to censor certain users under the guise of cracking down on “misinformation” and “disinformation.” We all know which political leanings these folks wish to suppress, don’t we?

The activist media will be riding shotgun with the Democrats as they convince their audience that the state is only getting involved to protect the American people. They will savagely attack Musk for pushing back against progressive tyranny when it comes to speech. These media activists will likely attempt to find – or manufacture – a scandal designed to portray him as the ultimate villain. Indeed, some on the left have even intimated that he favors South African-style apartheid and have used a racial discrimination lawsuit against Tesla to paint him as a virulent racist.

I tweeted the other day that I was surprised that no women have come forward to claim Musk sexually harassed or assaulted them. I was only half-joking. It would not be a surprise if they give him the Kavanaugh treatment.

It’s not clear how this brewing conflict will shake out. For starters, Musk claims he will make Twitter a level playing field, but we have no idea what will happen when he actually starts running things. Although I will say the fact that conservative accounts have reported gaining a huge influx of followers while progressive accounts are losing followers is an indicator that things might already be changing.

But will Musk have what it takes to stand up to those who will undoubtedly be pressing him to diminish conservative viewpoints on the platform? It is possible. He seems to know what he is getting himself into. If he plays his cards right, he might just become the free speech champion we need even if he isn’t exactly a right-winger. At this point, this is a wait-and-see situation.

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