My Point of View: Attempts to suppress free speech in society are appalling

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, January 19, 2021

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My Point of View by Brad Kramer

One of the most important aspects of our free society is the First Amendment. The ability to communicate freely, share information, build upon new ideas, criticize government and ideas, and communicate unfettered is one of the most important ideas our Founding Fathers passed onto their new nation. There are obvious limitations, but the fact that you and I can publicly criticize Walz or Trump, Republicans or Democrats, or any other government or corporate entity, is one of the keys to the survival of our freedoms.

Brad Kramer

The attempts to suppress free speech at unprecedented levels in our modern society is appalling. The Bill of Rights, which includes the First Amendment, applies to limiting government interference with our rights, but not ordinarily regulating individuals or businesses. Businesses have the right to regulate free speech in their business or platforms, with some limitations. Because a business can do something, doesn’t mean they should.

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Social media outlets have banned numerous conservatives and libertarians, many of whom have never advocated for violence and hate. Whether or not you agree with President Trump, we’ve seen others like Ron Paul get banned. Former Congressman Paul has never advocated violence or hate. Conservative political satire personalities like JP Sears and John Burk, and conservative news outlets, such as Prager U, have seen their content suppressed or blocked. Fact checkers frequently have an obvious strong-left bias. If you use Google to search on political topics, the searches get skewed in favor of the left. There is little doubt that the tremendous resources and support that big-tech companies, like Google and Facebook, lend towards liberal causes, while suppressing conservatives, heavily influences elections, how people perceive politics and shutting down the sharing of ideas.

Social media outlets have an obligation to their customers to strike a balance between protecting viewers from violent or indecent content and facilitating the sharing of ideas. After many conservatives started to leave the traditional social media sites for sites like Parler and MeWe, stock in Twitter and Facebook plummeted. Amazon, Google and Apple then stopped hosting Parler on servers, leading the site to crash and Google Play no longer allows users to download Parler. While social media has many downsides, it allows for the free exchange of ideas between people and groups, allows family and friends from around the world to easily share their life’s milestones with each other, and facilitates communication.

Media outlets no longer accurately report the news, but rather push a political bias. There are few outlets that present unbiased reporting. Fox’s spin is just as bad as CNN. Even the Associated Press articles that run in local media are heavily biased. Watch the headlines on similar stories about two politicians in opposing parties, and it’s almost always the conservative politician that’s shown in a negative light.

Media is extremely powerful. The suppressing of differing viewpoints is often the first indication that one side cannot advance their cause on the merits of their ideas and therefore they suppress the opposing viewpoint. When you drive an audience from a neutral news or social media site by suppressing those views, one party goes to a different venue, while the original venue goes further in their political direction, creating more and more polarized audiences in ever-increasing echo chambers. When conservatives and liberals only interact with others in their own party, their views become more radicalized and their ability to seek out rational ideas from the other side is diminished. By driving this wedge between conservatives and liberals, our media outlets are ensuring our country becomes more and more polarized, which brings violence and hate from both sides, as we’ve seen this past year. No country can survive such a radical divide. Human nature has remained consistent, regardless of time and location, as we’ve seen from the recent events. Republican and Democrat are not just labels, but a lens of how we view the world, and in current society, represent two ideals that cannot be reconciled. America will either embrace the liberties she was founded on as the people demand limited government and draining of the swamp, or we will move towards socialism and the ever-increasing statism, suppression and corruption that socialism inevitably brings.

Mark my words that suppression of conservative ideas and speech will only lead to blaring echo chambers on either side, escalating violence and tension within our communities. And now that we’re seeing words like “cleanse” and “reeducate” in politics by both sides, we need to seriously reevaluate the direction our country is going. Those words, once put into practice, never end well for any population. Big-tech companies like Google and Facebook are today’s robber barons, using their nearly unlimited resources to achieve their goals. Suppression of speech, whether by government, individuals or corporations, is the opposite of what this great nation was founded on.

Brad Kramer is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.