“Roughly 40 percent of the country appears convinced that the current President was elected fraudulently and that the election was rigged,” Barack Obama said last week as he called for more censorship of social media. 40% is not a fringe group of extremists. It is a large segment of the population. So, 2 out of every 5 people you meet believe the election was rigged. That’s fairly mainstream thinking, and yet Barack Obama wants any mention of the election being rigged, scrubbed from the internet.
Let’s set aside the mail-in ballots, and no voter ID for a moment, and focus solely on two things that we all know actually happened; social media censoring the true Hunter Biden laptop story, and social media spreading the false claim that Donald Trump called dead American soldiers in France “losers” and “suckers”. Both of those stories dropped inside of 2 months of election day, and every social media platform allowed the false Trump story based on an unverified unnamed source, to run through their platforms like wildfire. There was no proof, there was no corroboration; in fact, 21 people who were with Donald Trump in France, went on record and denied the story outright. Yet that false story was allowed to spread on social media. Conversely, the Hunter Biden laptop story which the New York Post verified prior to running it, was taken down from social media within hours, based on the claim that it had not been authenticated, even though they knew it had been.
Those two stories are all you need to know that the 2020 Presidential election was rigged. If you censor every negative story about Joe Biden, and spread every negative story about Donald Trump, you create a complete imbalance of information that will alter the outcome of the election. 16 percent of the people who voted for Biden, said if they had known about the Hunter Biden laptop story, they would not have voted for him – that comes out to 12.9 million votes – over 5 million more than the difference in the election. And here we have former President Obama claiming that the election was not rigged, and then calling for expanding one of the mechanisms they used to rig the election – selective censorship – arguing that it should be done to promote democracy. The Democrats live in their own delusional world where they tell each other they are the only party who supports democracy which gives them the arrogance to act anti-democratically and rig our elections in the name of democracy because doing so ensured that the so-called pro-democracy party, their party, wins.
We spent over two years investigating the false “Russia collusion” accusation against Donald Trump, and the only thing that was discovered was a handful of Russian agents bought roughly about $100,000 worth of Facebook ads to try to influence the 2016 election. Joe Biden spent $1.7 million every day on his 2020 campaign, so a one-time expenditure of $100,000 by the Russians is like one raindrop in the ocean. It does absolutely nothing. But we spent over $40 million investigating that false accusation, but no one wants to investigate Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg spending $400 million to put his people into the voting places in the major cities of the battleground states. Are we to believe that the CEO of the social media company who was rigging the news stories about the election to favor Joe Biden, donated $400 million to these battleground voting precincts to ensure the election was fair? He did that to ensure that his guy won, knowing that his guy would give his company favorable treatment.
Like it or not, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become the premiere place for American citizens to voice political opinions, so blocking people from speaking on those platforms is a slap in the face to the first amendment. When it comes to censoring content, the questions are always who is doing the censoring and what is being censored? And as we all know with American politics, as soon as large amounts of power are concentrated in one place, political operatives will do whatever they can to get their hands on that power, and use it for their own benefit. If social media is able to sway elections, then politicians will find a way to control it, and that is precisely what Obama was lobbying for when he called for more censorship of social media.
These calls for censorship are always based on the grounds of stopping the spread of misinformation. The best way to combat misinformation is to have more voices, more opinions, more speech, not less. As we saw with the 2020 election, when censorship is allowed, the truth usually gets censored, and the falsehoods are disseminated. This was the prevailing tactic for the last two years with Covid, as any dissenting opinion from the official government narrative was labelled misinformation and taken down. But now that the fog of Covid has lifted, we see that much of the censored Covid content has turned out to be true, and much of the official narrative has proven to be not only false, but harmful. We are no longer in a quest for the truth in this country, but a battle to win the narrative.
That was what was so encouraging last week, when Elon Musk bought 10% of Twitter’s stock, and made an offer to purchase the platform and privatize it. Musk tweeted, "Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.” If Musk is able to free Twitter from the left-wing censors, and allow all Americans to voice their political opinions, he will have done as much for American democracy as Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, or the millions of soldiers who laid down their lives for our country. He will have re-democratized social media, turned it into what it was supposed to be, platforms for every citizen to voice their opinions and exchange information. The initial rise of the internet and social media meant that the average citizen was no longer a slave to a corporate media that had become as corrupt as the politicians they were covering.
It is not a given that Musk will be able to gain controlling interest of Twitter. There are a lot of entities out to stop him. The board at Twitter has created a “poison pill” to prevent the purchase. Max Boot of the Washington Post, which is billionaire Jeff Bezos propaganda arm, said, "I am frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter… For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less." Former secretary of labor under Bill Clinton, Robert Reich said that Elon Musk’s vision for Twitter is “dangerous nonsense,” and went onto say that removing Donald Trump from all major social media platforms was “necessary to protect American democracy.” So, free speech is dangerous, and censoring protects democracy.
They will also claim that words are “dangerous”, because they want to control your words. They will tell you that “words are violence” or “silence is violence” depending on whether they want to silence you or compel you to speak. But neither words nor silence is violence. Violence is violence. Words are words. The liars always see the truth as a threat, whereas the truthful do not fear lies. The best way to protect democracy is to give every citizen a voice in the political process, not just specific voices that the social media platforms approve of.
If Musk does take control of Twitter, will it become a true bastion of free speech, or simply his preferred censorship platform? Musk tweeted yesterday, “A social media platform’s policies are good if the most extreme 10% on left and right are equally unhappy.” Thomas Jefferson did not write, “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, unless it’s the extreme 10% on the left or the right.” How does Musk automatically know that the truth is not on the edges of political discourse? Why does he think the truth always resides in the middle? It doesn’t. Copernicus and Galileo were not middle of the road thinkers. Jefferson and Madison were considered radicals, and would have been blocked according to Musk’s vision. The current Twitter censors are favoring the left over the right. It seems that Musk wants to replace that by favoring the middle over the right and left. His role at Twitter should not be to make certain people happy and others unhappy. That’s what they are currently doing at Twitter.
But Musk can’t help himself. Like everyone else, when accruing that much power, he cannot help but to use it not for the greater good or our country’s well-being, but for himself. When handed power, no one is immune to corruption. And that more than anything else is the reason why freedom of speech is so very important because when the political class has been corrupted, and the media class has been corrupted, the citizens are ultimately the final check on the entire political system, and their voices must be heard – all of them. Freedom of speech is necessary to protect American democracy, and therefore can never be abridged.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.