Biden’s free speech regulation board puts him in Putin’s camp
That headline will have some folks accusing me of more than hyperbole. I think I hear “outrageous” and “liar” echoing through the leftwing echo chamber. Perhaps it is a bit hyperbolic, but not totally outrageous.
Allow me to explain.
We have seen how the Madman of Moscow shuts down all opposition opinions. He shutters newspapers, radio stations, and television networks that do not report exactly what he demands. In other words, Putin uses his powers to curtail free speech. That is what autocrats do.
In America, such extreme censorship is not possible – at least not yet. But Biden and the Democrats seem to have the same gene as Putin when it comes to public information and freedom of speech. They are taking censorship to a new level in America.
The debate over censoring dissent – alternative opinions – has been raging for some time. Progressives have been proffering the argument that conservative voices are dangerous. Their words will literally destroy the American Republic and end democracy. Their philosophic enemies – we conservatives — are a danger to the state – a state that they would be more than happy to run on their own. Doesn’t that sound a bit like Putin and other dictators?
The phenomenon in America is seen in what is called the “cancel culture.” Leftwing institutions – such as colleges and universities – are refusing to invite conservative speakers on campus. And if they are invited, they are often shouted down by both students and professors. Scheduled visits are often cancelled.
Leftwing media is fully engaged in limiting Republican and conservative voices. Just check out the shows on CNN and MSNBC. Virtually all hosts and panelists represent one viewpoint – leftwing narratives that they arrogantly assume are the ONLY proper viewpoint.
The unholy twin of censorship is indoctrination. According to the left, alternative opinions and proposals are to be banned (censorship) and leftwing dogma are to be exclusively passed on to the next generation (indoctrination).
Much of the censorship/indoctrination/cancel culture debate has involved the social media platforms. Originally hailed as the most important development for individual expression, it has been transformed by progressives into another arena in which conservative views must be censored.
The left is so intent on controlling speech that they have gone hair-on-fire bonkers over billionaire business genius Elon Musk purchasing Twitter. What has them crazed is Musk’s promise to broaden the platform to allow a wider band of free speech. He is not going to be the leftwing’s censorship enforcer – as are Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey. (Ooops! He is gone.)
So committed is the left to oppressing personal opinion with which they do not agree that they have now persuaded President Biden to create the Disinformation Governance Board. It will be part of Homeland Security with Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in charge. (Keep in mind that he is the same guy in charge of the border crisis.)
If that Board sounds like something you would find in a totalitarian communist nation like Putin’s Russia, Xi Jinping’s China or Kim Jong un’s North Korea, you are starting to comprehend the problem.
Homeland Security was created after 9/11 to coordinate defensive actions against FOREIGN enemies. It was never intended to be an arbiter of domestic political speech.
There was no early warning of planning for this Board. So, the fact that it gets slapped together days after Musk buys Twitter makes the entire enterprise subject to suspicion. This would not be the first instance of the leftwing Washington establishment threatening Musk. He has been on the Biden enemy list for some time.
(If you do not believe that, please explain why the biggest producer of electric cars by far [Musk] is not invited to the White House to talk about electric cars – as are the heads of GM and Ford. And explain why Biden will give rebates to buyers of Ford and GM cars that are twice the amount for purchasers of Teslas. But I digress.)
By its own promotion, we know that the Board is designed to regulate speech – to determine what is disinformation and what is not. It is a dangerous slippery slope for a free small-d democratic society. We have already seen how the left views alternative opinions.
If it is about allegations of Trump conspiring with Russians, that false accusations run rampant across the leftwing media for years – only to be proven false. But the censors at Facebook and Twitter deemed the truth about Hunter Biden’s laptop to be Russian propaganda. There is still an open question as to whether Democrats and the media are hyping a riot into an ongoing insurrection/coup narrative. Does that mean those of us who do not believe the left’s sales pitch will be censored? There is no reason to believe that such a Board would operate any differently than the press and social media in fronting for leftwing propaganda – especially when you see who will handle the day-to-day operations.
In structuring this censorship Board the way Biden has, they avoid the need for congressional action. There will be no public hearings. Biden has circumvented the ability of the Senate to advise and consent (or not consent) on the appointments. More authoritarianism.
Mayorkas has appointed Undersecretary for Policy Rob Silvers and Deputy General Counsel Jennifer Gaskill as co-chairs. Not much is known about Silvers in terms of free speech, but Gaskill is on record in believing that government has a right and duty to limit speech for the public good.
What is most concerning about this new Board is that it is focusing on political speech. It will be asked to decide what political opinions are “dangerous.” And by extension, that means dangerous to the elitist political establishment’s grip on power.
America already has all kinds of laws that protect the public from dangerous speech. We have laws against inciting riots … and slandering people. If you use speech to harass folks at night, you can be charged with disturbing the peace. You can be arrested if your speech disrupts the operation of a business. Free speech does not allow citizens to impose pornography on others – especially children. We have commercial libel laws that make it illegal for companies to lie about competitors’ products. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission has regulations banning excessive or dishonest claims about products. All these, and more, are just matters of common sense.
This new Board, however, is the nose of the bureaucratic camel under the tent of democracy and personal freedom. Hell … it’s half the camel. It expands the already serious problem of cultural censorship by schools, publishers, news media, and social platforms by putting the power of government behind it.
Authoritarianism does not come from conservatives – the folks dedicated to limits on government. It comes from the left – the believers in an expanding central government controlled by an unaccountable bureaucracy. This Board shifts more sand from the constitutional rights side of the scale to Big Brother authoritarianism.
The establishment of the communist-sounding Disinformation Governance Board is a greater danger to the American Republic and personal freedom than the riot on Capitol Hill could ever be. Any danger to the Republic is coming from the left.
The creation of this Board by the Biden administration may not be as obvious and dramatic as Putin ordering the cancellation of all opposition messaging, but it comes from the same political genetic pool – the same mindset. It is a major step in that direction. It represents an existential threat to America’s constitutional Republic.
So, there ‘tis.