The Establishment’s Assault on Free Speech Arrives Ahead of Schedule

The alliance between the liberal establishment and Big Tech has been entrenched for so long that it’s difficult to discern where one ends and the other begins. It became obvious in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory that this amorphous yet coordinated power structure would stop at nothing to ensure that no one like him could ever win again

The perpetuation of Russiagate, the blacklisting of Alex Jones, and the dragging of Mark Zuckerberg into Congress to try and browbeat him into even further submission, illustrate this strategy. The political party and its media allies, which have spent the past five years parroting each others’ talking points about what a grave threat Trump poses to our constitutional norms, were simultaneously and systematically undermining the First Amendment using every tool at their disposal, from media propaganda, to cultural signaling, to congressional hearings about the need for outlets like Facebook and Twitter to crack down harder upon “misinformation” and “hate speech.”

Given all of this, it makes sense to assume that the incoming Biden Administration would kick these efforts into overdrive in an attempt to revert the public discourse back to its pre-internet era, where only well-established and well-funded outlets could widely disseminate news and opinion. The events of January 6, however, have accelerated this mission into, if you will, “warp speed.”

In the days following the “Stop the Steal” rally which evolved, or rather devolved, into an angry mob of Trump supporters storming the Capitol, vandalizing federal property, and delaying the certification of the Electoral College vote, we’ve already seen radical action taken by tech platforms against those they deem suspicious and threatening. This includes the president himself, who is now permanently suspended from both Facebook and Twitter. But there’s more.

Brandon Straka, architect of the #WalkAway campaign aimed at convincing people to leave the Democratic Party, tweeted last week that Facebook had erased all of his content, including hundreds of thousands of his followers’ testimonial videos, and banned him and his entire team from their platform. Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell have also been banned from Twitter in recent days, as have numerous accounts linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Additionally, employers are now beginning to terminate their employees upon discovery of their mere presence at the rally, whether or not they participated in any of the day’s unlawful activity. All of the thousands of protestors who showed up are cavalierly being branded as seditionists, insurrectionists, traitors, and domestic terrorists—even those who didn’t break any laws—by the mainstream media as well as by President-elect Biden

Whatever one’s opinions are about the events of January 6, it’s unquestionable at this point that the response from the liberal establishment has been a show of force intended to communicate that, moving forward, they will be much quicker to crack down on unsanctioned speech and outside-the-mainstream opinion. The incoming president, giants of social media and Big Tech, and traditional media behemoths have all been on this same page. We’re already witnessing the swiftness with which they can and will exercise their power to suppress free expression. Perhaps most disturbingly, the private sector as a whole is hearing their warnings loud and clear, and responding accordingly, going as far as to terminate their workers’ employment for their mere attendance at the rally.

The goal of all of this goes beyond preventing further chaotic and violent events like those of January 6. It is to shut down the free exchange of ideas so that circumstances leading to such an event never again arise—an exercise that is inherently anti-constitutional, as freedom of speech is predicated upon the underlying belief that words and actions are and must remain separable. After four years of an outsider like Donald Trump in the White House, we are about to inaugurate the epitome of a Washington institutionalist. Along with Biden’s presidency will come an ongoing effort by the establishment to rebuild the Bastille in such a way that it’s never breached again, from the Right or from the Left, by any political figure or movement coming without their pre-approval.

This looming hegemony, whose mothership is the White House and the Capitol, but whose satellites extend far beyond that, is the single greatest threat to freedom of speech this country has faced since the McCarthy era. The perfect storm of a unified Democratic government, an unaccountable and out-of-control tech oligarchy, and a compliant, woke-obsessed corporate sector that will sell out everything and everyone for a good quarterly earnings report, is about to descend upon on all of us with crushing might and mercilessness.

No one is safe—inside or outside the Capitol.

 

About Keaton Weiss

Keaton Weiss is a freelance political writer and host of the Due Dissidence podcast. He can be reached at duedissidence@gmail.com.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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