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  • Writer's picturescottforbes

(Non?) Freedom of Speech

Everything good that’s ever happened in our country is because we’ve had freedom of speech. Would Thomas Paine have been able to publish his famous pamphlet “Common Sense” during the Revolutionary War that inspired Americans to continue the fight on towards Trenton and defeat the Hessian forces? Would Abraham Lincoln have been been able to make his historic Gettysburg address, "Four Score and Seven Years Ago...?" Would Martin Luther King have been able to deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in which he called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism? Would women have been able protest for the right to vote and lay the foundation for The 19th Amendment? Achieving all of these milestones required a lengthy and difficult struggle and never would have happened without freedom of speech.

What’s happening since January 6th, with the banning of many thousands of conservatives on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, deleting apps like Parler on the Apple Store, and de-platforming conservative websites, is nothing short of the unfettered digital extermination of freedom of speech. Think about this for a second. If Joe Biden actually legitimately won 80 million votes and is really the most popular American President of all time—why would anyone need to censor the voices of political opponents and the views of half the country? It feels more like a desperation tactic, than one seeded in confidence. Yet, I'm sure those perpetrating these actions do know the truth, but don’t care, as long as those having differing opinions or ideologies are silenced and punished. This is totalitarianism--centralizing the narrative and forcing dictatorial subservience of the masses. All of us should be collectively outraged. Yet some are actually celebrating such moves, which is telling and should be alarming to those who understand history and are rationally paying attention.

There should be no gray area, no middle-ground, and no exceptions allowed, when it comes to freedom of speech. You either support it fully or you don't. Those perpetrating, encouraging, and cheering on such actions, whether they understand it or not, are actually co-conspirators in the silencing of free speech. Nothing good has ever come from such a thing, if our past and that of other nations, first- to third-world, tell us anything. Trust me when I say that history always remembers--and not fondly--those who perpetrate the silencing of others as well as those who naively participate and celebrate. If we could receive advice from those who survived the Nazis and its Brown Shirts, Stalin or Mao, the USSR, communist China, or any other dictatorial regime, they would certainly caution all of us to not turn a blind eye.


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