Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell's nightmarish vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff's attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell's prescience of modern life—the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language—and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.
Freedom of Speech is Settling In for a Long, Bleak Winter
Now that Democrats have secured, by fair means or foul, the White House and both chambers of Congress, they’re calling on social media platforms to silence conservative thought.
The public square is no longer a soap box placed in a park — it’s gone digital. And for all intents and purposes, Facebook and Twitter have a monopoly of who may set their personal soapbox on their platform, as well as tell them what they may or may not say.
Shortly after the brief takeover and violence on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat blocked the president of the United States — Donald Trump — as though he were personally responsible for the mayhem.
This wasn’t the first time Trump was silenced by social media. In August Twitter temporarily blocked his campaign account for posting a video of the president stating during an interview that children are "virtually immune" from getting COVID-19.
All told, Twitter has censored the president and his campaign 625 tines, according to the Media Research Center.
In addition, Twitter and Facebook repeatedly fact-checked tweets in which the president accurately claimed that universal mail-in ballots were a recipe for fraud. And Democrats are fine with it.
Lawyer and former first lady Michelle Obama called on Big Tech to permanently ban President Trump from their platforms and put policies in place “to prevent their technology from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection,” and capped it by calling him “infantile and unpatriotic.”
She received her law degree from Harvard University. Apparently Harvard deleted constitutional law from its curriculum.
Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York reported that it wasn’t just the president — social media was also silencing his supporters, including Dan Bongino “for posting [a] Trump video message after [the] Capitol riot.”
He explained that these actions by Big Tech are worse that ridiculous because “people are perfectly capable of forming their own opinions on Trump's claim to have won the election. Trying to memory-hole it is not only Big Brother-ish, it deprives [the] public of useful information.”
Lawyer and Human Events co-publisher Will Chamberlain observed Thursday, “We’re not talking enough about Facebook banning the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES from its platform.”
He added, “The left is completely comfortable with billionaire Mark Zuckerberg exercising sovereignty over the leader of our country. I’m not.”
Judicial Watch founder Tom Fitton gave the reason for Big Tech’s actions when he said, “The Left wants to outlaw its opposition.”
Sure, there are other social media platforms, but Facebook and Twitter have, for all intents and purposes, a monopoly on social media.
Facebook has 2.7 billion active international users; Twitter has 262 million international users. Platforms like Parler and MeWe — which make it a point to permit the free exchange of ideas — can’t begin to compete.
Putting it in historical terms, what if Alexander Graham Bell had decided he would only sell his invention to like-minded customers — those with whom he agreed? Late 19th century Americans would have rioted in the streets, and for good reason.
Twitter has blocked conservative actor James Woods, like Bongino, another Trump supporter, repeatedly for “violating” the platform’s standards. But they found another way to go after him Thursday: Twitter reduced his audience size.
“Twitter, the ‘public forum’ for free speech, has deleted 15,000 followers from my account in the last few hours,” he tweeted.
He added, “There is no point engaging in a national conversation on a ‘forum’ that is in actual fact a propaganda organ. God bless America.”
President Ronald Reagan, the great communicator, had this to say about freedom:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
Twitter condescended to unblock the president’s Twitter account in time for him to post a video in which he denounced “the heinous attack” that took place Wednesday evening on Capitol Hill.
He closed with a statement used by many American statesmen: “Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.”
But just prior to that he offered a glimmer of hope to his supporters: “Our incredible journey is only just beginning.”
Think of Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Terminator” — “I’ll be back.”
And when he does he’ll make speech free again — guaranteed.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range.