In the last week, Antiwar.com editorial director Scott Horton, former State Department employee and author Peter Van Buren, and Dan McAdams, the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, had their Twitter accounts suspended. The hammer came down on them just one day after Alex Jones and InfoWars were banned and had all of their content removed from Facebook, YouTube, Apple’s iTunes, and Spotify.
If, as Twitter claims, McInnes and his associates were taken down due to signaling support for right-wing “extremism,” why then is DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison still on the platform? Ellison has signaled support for left-wing extremism by tweeting a picture of himself holding “the book that strike (sic) fear in the heart of @realDonaldTrump.” The book in question was Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.
Of Censorship and Civil War
The fact is, there is one set of rules for the Left and a different set of rules the rest of America that sits to the right of our tech overlords. It should be no surprise that, as the Left promised, censorship is being weaponized against the Right. Yes, they told us this was coming.
“The Republican Party for the past 40 years has mastered using dog whistles to gin up racial divides to get their white voters to the polls,” writes and Ruy Teixeira and Peter Leyden, the former managing editor of Wired and the founder and CEO of Reinvent, a media startup in San Francisco. “Trump just disposes of niceties and flatly encourages white nationalists, bans Muslims, walls off Mexicans, and calls out ‘shithole’ countries.”
That article by Leyden and Teixeira, titled “The Great Lesson of California in America’s New Civil War,” first started making the rounds earlier this year. It summarizes how many pioneers of social media perceive the majority of Americans, who still reject their perverse worldview. “Great read,” wrote Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a tweet with a link to Leyden and Teixiera’s article.
“One side or the other must win. . . . This is a civil war that can be won without firing a shot [emphasis mine],” Leyden and Teixiera contend. That is not a metaphor. They assert: “[this] is a fundamental conflict between two worldviews that must be resolved in short order.” Have no illusions about his language of war here.
Leyden, Teixeira, and Dorsey are all members of the emergent digital elite, endeavoring to recreate the world in their image through the black mirrors of our ubiquitous devices. Leyden and Teixeira make it clear they believe no “bipartisan way forward” exists. Only one side can survive, thus “civil war” must be waged over ideology—a sentiment with which Twitter’s CEO apparently agrees and one which, increasingly, his company has acted upon.
Emboldened by Big Tech
The convergence of social networks, search engines, and news means that the culture war will move into the digital theater at full-throttle. Facebook has expanded its definition of “hate speech” to “provide some protections for immigration status.” Thus, the Left has transmuted illegal alien into “undocumented American,” yet now the mere mention of unlawful presence in the United States may soon qualify as hate speech. Google has demonstrated that it enforces a corporate culture that is patently authoritarian-Left, while Facebook and Twitter staffers have admitted to systematically suppressing viewpoints from the Right. The so-called fact checkers that enable social networks and search engines to suppress the Right, on the pretense of “fake news,” are disproportionately biased to the Left. Through this infernal matrimony, the Left has coronated itself as the font of Truth from which tech giants draw justification for silencing the Right.
When Leyden and Teixeira say the war “can be won without firing a shot,” what they mean is censorship. They’re calling for a ramped-up campaign of ideological cleansing. Social networks and search engines have the power to make things, people, and, most importantly, ideas, disappear. What’s worse, Democratic Party leadership has been emboldened by Big Tech.
“These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it,” wrote Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Twitter after the InfoWars purge. Just hours later, Democrat New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that America “would be a more unified country without [Fox News].” Understand, if they cannot convert you or get you to bend your knee, the Left wants you and your ideas gone.
In the twilight of his life, John Adams would say that the American Revolution began long before the first shot was fired. It was in the hearts and minds of the people that the revolution began, and these were won through argumentation, through discourse. The United States is unique in this sense—our nation was born through rhetoric and dialectic, reason was the breath that gave it life. The Founders had to give compelling reasons for their cause, and so they did.
Herein lies the exigency behind leftist censorship tactics: Their view of the world is fundamentally unreasonable. The moment it is exposed to light, it turns to ash. The Left cannot defend what they claim to be true, so they must bury the opposition in silence.
We are on the precipice of something terrible in the era of digital censorship, and we have yet to develop a retaliatory strategy. The good news, however, is that the Left is fomenting a seething rejection of its ideology by flaunting its bias before the masses. This is pushing more Democrats and independents, disgusted by the Left’s Gestapo tactics, into the camp of the Right. We would do well to harness this anger. But the question is: How will we fight back? To find an answer, time is not on our side.
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