Updated: Dec 9, 2022
Are UFOs real? Does climate change exist? Was the 2020 Presidential election stolen? Was the 2016 Presidential election stolen? Was the 2000 Presidential election stolen? Was the riot at the Capital an insurrection? Were the BLM riots “peaceful protests”? Is inflation transitory? Do masks prevent the spread of Covid-19? Are Covid-19 vaccines safe and effective? Did Covid-19 come from a lab or a wet market? Is the Earth flat or round? Does God exist? Were we created by a superior being or did we create ourselves?
There are many different opinions and answers to all of these questions. I have a personal belief on every single one of them, and I don’t care that other people have different beliefs on these questions as I do. Why are so many people so scared that other people may espouse a belief that they disagree with that they believe they should not be allowed to express them? Are they that insecure about their own beliefs that they don’t want anyone else to say anything that is contrary to what they believe? Is that how thinly grounded their beliefs are? What are they so afraid of? We are living in the age of censorship. People actually tell other people, ‘You can’t say that.’ Why? Why can’t someone say something, whatever it is? People actually lobby social media companies to remove someone’s speech from their platform, and the companies actually do it.
So, when Elon Musk took over Twitter last month and promised to change their content moderation, people on the left were apoplectic. They were concerned that Twitter would become a dangerous place. In the years prior to Musk taking over, the left never showed any concern that Twitter failed to take down child pornography on their platform, profited off of sex-trafficking of young boys, allowed terrorists and brutal dictators to espouse their hate views on Twitter. They only became concerned about the safety of Twitter when it appeared that Musk was no longer going to censor conservative points of view because people who want a secure border, believe there are only two genders, claim that Covid came from a lab and ask questions about the integrity of an election are far more dangerous than child pornographers, pedophiles, terrorists and dictators.
When Donald Trump was kicked off of Twitter in January 2021, many on the left argued that Twitter is a private company, and they can kick anyone they want off their platform. Mary Anne Franks, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law tweeted, “[The first amendment] doesn’t give anyone the right to a particular platform, publisher or audience; in fact, it protects the right of private entities to choose what they want to say or hear.” But that argument quickly changed when Elon Musk bought Twitter.
Senator Elizabeth Warren no longer sees Twitter as a private company. "I think that one human being should not decide how millions of people communicate with each other, and it doesn't make any difference who that human being is. One human being should not be able to go into a dark room by himself and decide, 'Oh, that person gets heard from, that person doesn't.' That's not how it should work." But that was exactly what was happening before Musk took over – a small group of partisans determining how millions of people communicate with each other, deciding who gets heard and who doesn’t. They quickly changed their position on social media censorship now that Elon Musk is running the show and not their acolytes.
MSNBC correspondent, Ari Melber, said, “if you own all of Twitter or Facebook or what have you, you don’t have to explain yourself. You don’t have to be transparent. You could secretly ban one parties candidate or all of its candidates, all of its nominees, or you could just secretly turn down the reach of their stuff and turn off the reach of something else, and the rest of us might not even find out about it until after the election.” This is exactly what was done to Republicans for the last 6 years. Republican candidates were banned. Conservative voices were shadow banned. Conservative messages were turned down while liberal messages were amplified. And very few Democrats spoke out against it. They defend the first amendment and freedom of speech when it serves their purposes, and quickly deny others freedom of speech when it doesn't serve their purposes.
If Elon Musk starts banning Democrat politicians on Twitter, I will speak out just as loudly as I did when Twitter banned Donald Trump. If Musk starts shadow banning liberal voices, I will speak out against that as well. All I want is a level playing field. I do not want the game rigged to our advantage. If Republicans cheat to win an election, I will speak out as loudly as I did when I believed that Democrats cheated to win an election. This is not about a party. This is not about a candidate. This is about the United States of America. We will not have a country if politicians are allowed to cheat in elections. We will not have a country if certain political parties are being censored on social media.
Why are so many people afraid of other people’s speech? Why are so many people afraid of opinions that are different from their own? Are we not discerning? Are we unable to hear multiple viewpoints on a subject, and decide for ourselves which one is true or valid? Censorship leads more people to believe things that are not true because they lose their ability to discern, to decide what is right and what is wrong. That is when people start blindly believing everything that is told to them because they are living under the delusion that the information coming to them is unquestionably true because it has been sanitized of misinformation which is the exact mindset that the censorship crowd wants the public to be in so they can feed the public their version of the truth and it will be accepted without question.
Nobody knows what the truth is. We, as humans, have such a hard time discovering the truth because we are so blinded by our own biases. We see things from our own singular point of view and have a difficult time seeing the world from someone else’s perspective. We easily discount another’s point of view because we are so beholden to our own, and that is what creates the hypocrisy that so often governs our lives. We are all hypocrites. We are all controlled by our biases. The best way to combat that is to admit that we are hypocrites and to admit we have biases. It’s easy to see the hypocrisy of others; it is easy to point out the biases of others; it is very hard to point out our own hypocrisy and our own biases. And that is the reason why it is vital to have every voice expressed, every point of view shown. The more opinions, the more points of view, break down our biases, expose our hypocrisy. That’s why it is so vital to defend everyone’s right to express their beliefs, even when we disagree with them.
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.