Human Events contributor Charlie Kirk took the stage at CPAC 2021 in Orlando, Florida to discuss freedom of speech and the overwhelming power of Big Tech.
Kirk began his speech by posing a question: “Which is more powerful, Google or our federal government?”
He pointed out that conservatives are taught to say the federal government, as they can create law, can audit you and put you in jail. However, at least with the government you have due process rights and representation by an attorney.
You don’t have those same rights when it comes to Big Tech.
“What happens if Google comes after you?” Kirk asked. “What happens if Google decides to digitally assassinate a certain person? Like what we saw happen last month. They can wipe away the existence of an idea, of a human being, of a political movement instantaneously,” he said.
Kirk went on to ask the crowd, “What does it mean to be a conservative? First and foremost, we are here to conserve God given liberties and freedoms,” he said. “We are here to protect the family, our country, the American way of life.”
“When a group of people in a concentrated area controlling trillion dollar companies decide to impose a viewpoint that is completely contrary to the American way of life and then we say, well we can’t do anything because they’re a private company, excuse me,” he said. “As soon as you have 200 million users and 93 percent of all search results, you’re not the local flower shop or the local coffee shop, and you shouldn’t be treated as such, and we as conservatives must be very clear, if you do not support breaking up Big Tech, or challenging Big Tech you are not a conservative, you are a corporatist,” he urged.
Kirk laid out the two things conservatives care about the most.
“For all the lawmakers that are passing through here, or for people that want to win elected office, there are two things that conservative grassroots care about more than anything else,” he said.
“Number one, restoring election integrity in our country for fair and free elections,” he said, “and number two, it is challenging Big Tech.”
“It is giving us the ability to speak freely on social media. We should neve take a default position just to defend corporations. I love free enterprise. That’s why I want to challenge these corporations because they don’t,” he said.
Kirk urged that if we, as conservatives, do not fight for free speech, we are going to live in a country that is “unrecognizable.”
“We, as conservatives, have more power than I think we realize. We have purchasing power, we have consumer power, and we must, in a variety of different ways, make sure our lawmakers do not take money from these corporations,” he said. “Push back against their pattern of actions and be unafraid to entertain ideas, to liberate the marketplace, empower real entrepreneurs because the digital age is upon us and if we do not have free speech or first freedoms, then we’re all going to live in a country that is unrecognizable.”
“I believe if we do that, and restore integrity in our elections, we’re not just going to win a little, we’re going to win big and we’re going to win for the next couple of decades. Our best days are ahead,” he concluded.