The Left’s latest Orwellian euphemism is claiming censorship is “content moderation.” They contend that “free speech absolutists” (those who support the First Amendment) are spreading disinformation, misinformation, malinformation, and hate in cyberspace and elsewhere; consequently, to “save lives” such “dangerous” content must be eliminated – i.e., “moderated” – by Big Tech with an assist by the government.
What constitutes disinformation, misinformation, malinformation, and hate? Anything the Left disagrees with. Still, why would the Left fear debate? Simply, it is hard to win an argument when your policies don’t work. So, the Left figures why have a debate when it can censor and silence its opponents? It is quite logical. Unfortunately for the Left, Americans disagree with censorship. And, of course, there is that pesky impediment to censorship, the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. What to do?
Break out the euphemisms and paranoia.
On the hobnailed boots of the “New Left’s” march through the institutions, anti-free speech radicals like Herbert Marcuse, the promoter of “repressive tolerance” (talk about an Orwellian euphemism), have carried the day. Free speech is now viewed as the major impediment to the Left’s success. Over time, then, Marcuse’s lengthy Leftist apologia for the Left’s demand of “free speech for me but not for thee” became the present call for “content moderation.” Packaging and projecting a narrative that whereby their hateful wielding of censorship to build their totalitarian state is deemed to be benevolent “content moderation,” the Left brands its opponents as hateful, anti-science radicals and/or domestic terrorists who want to harm others and erect a fascist state.
The Left’s demand to be the censorious judge, jury, and executioner of what you can or cannot think or talk about is as laughable as it is despicable. Be it run by Democrats or Republicans, there is nothing “moderate” about the government colluding with Big Tech to silence dissent. The façade of the “one-step-removed” defense by the government holds no water, any more than when police use private citizens to effect illegal searches. No, colluding to censor Americans results in a radical, unconstrained government subjecting sovereign citizens to unconstitutional civil rights violations upon citizens. Such maladministration is grounds for impeachment for government officials and should leave them personally liable for legal damages to the victims.
One need look no further than the COVID debates, where the government’s desire for mandatory vaccines required the “content moderation” of not only dissenters, but of itself.
In the latest string of bombshells from the Twitter Files, the current White House “rigged the COVID debate” by censoring information that was “inconvenient to government policy,” discrediting doctors and experts who disagreed with the administration's narrative, and by suppressing ordinary users, including those who shared data from the CDC, journalist David Zweig tweeted Monday.
It cannot be repeated often enough. Under the guise of “content moderation,” government censorship – of information generated and disseminated by the government – was employed as part of its coercive campaign to compel mandatory vaccinations of citizens, including healthcare workers, first responders, the military, and government contractors. Why? Because the truth interfered with what the government wanted to do to people – people who are, by constitutional design, not subjects but sovereigns.
It is a lesson lost upon a radical government’s promoters and practitioners. Case in point, in a tweet, U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) patronizingly deigned to enlighten the public regarding the government’s censorship of itself and others over the COVID information:
Dear @davidzweig: The tweet you cite is in fact misleading. People of all ages at high risk from COVID generally benefit from vaccines. Prior natural immunity may last only a few months. COVID appears to be a leading cause of death for children.
After Elon Musk and others pointed out Rep. Lieu’s tweet was false and outdated information, he deleted it. What Rep. Lieu’s behavior evinces is how radical government will not only falsely claim the truth to be “misleading” and censor it in order to attain its ends, it will also attempt to do so by issuing disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation, as well. If government censorship prevents the public from being able to “speaking truth to power,” radical government will be unstoppable, and the foundational principle that the public is sovereign over a servant government will join Rep. Lieu’s tweet down history’s memory hole.
Make no mistake. “Content moderation” is radical censorship, and it leads to an unrestrained, radical government that trammels the rights of every citizen and turns them into subjects. After all, if the government can censor itself, what can’t it do to you?
A Human Events contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003-2012, and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars; and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Radio Show," among sundry media appearances.