Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.
The government wants to give the illusion of freedom, but only until a certain point. If you peer too far down the rabbit hole, prepare to pay the price of “knowing too much.” This was clear when President Obama tried to arrest Edward Snowden, and even more so when President Trump’s CIA-chief Mike Pompeo discussed assassinating Julian Assange. A host of other brave whistleblowers have been severely punished for exposing the heinous crimes our government has committed against millions of people.
All too often, Americans are punished for simply broadcasting what they know. While the United States loves to point its finger at other countries and comment about their abuses of power, it’s long past time for it to take a look in the mirror.
If we are only free up until a certain level, are we even free at all? As late comedian George Carlin eloquently put it, “Rights aren’t rights if someone can take them away. They’re privileges. That’s all we’ve ever had in this country, is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter. Sooner or later, the people in this country are gonna realize the government … doesn’t care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety… It’s interested in its own power. That’s the only thing. Keeping it and expanding it wherever possible.”
As his prophetic words have been fulfilled, people worldwide are recognizing that their governments do not have their best interests at heart. In the past, it seemed as if the Fourth Estate worked for the citizens of this country and not as another branch of government. We’ve continued to let governments break the law under the pretense of safety, which has led to the regression in freedom we currently have.
If people so much as question the narrative fed to them by the media, the government will make sure they’re put back in line. We are unintentional victims of a corrupt unlawful government. Those who make that declaration and boldly offer solutions to make ourselves ungovernable are shunned as a small minority.
Look at the most recent example of billionaire Elon Musk purchasing Twitter. He promised to reveal the algorithms that dictate what we see each day, but that has to wait to be seen. However, as Musk dripped out more tweets over the last couple of days, many supposed “liberals” advocating for free speech clutched their pearls at the thought of him being able to say whatever he wants. They fear that very same right for everyone else. As with anything that the government can’t outright control, they attempt to smear and censor it.
Soon after, The Open Markets Institute, a left-leaning non-profit organization, declared that Musk’s acquisition of Twitter violated the law and that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had an obligation to block it.
The FCC responded by calling the supposition “absurd” and stated that they did not have the authority to do what the OPI was asking.
Then, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is creating a “Disinformation Governance Board.” Its aim is to allegedly combat misinformation ahead of the 2022 midterms, but it sounds more like a propaganda machine for the government.
We are only as free as our right to speak and freely exchange thoughts and views. The marketplace of ideas and the ability to flowingly share them is our birthright. Imagine if the founding fathers were immediately condemned and censored for their opinions? Is this the America that we want to live in?
Freedom is a double-edged sword. It’s natural for citizens to seek solutions and look toward the government as a leader that will provide them with peace of mind, safety, and certainty during a crisis. However, we must be careful not to let the government limit or destroy our liberties in the process. We have to start exercising our commitment to freedom of speech across political aisles no matter who is telling it. We never know when our turn will be at the chopping block, so it is best to leave that forum open.
It does not matter how many “fact checks” and explainer think pieces the media writes, no one person should be the arbiter of truth. Everyone should be allowed their own perspectives. If we are not able to speak up and advocate for ourselves, then freedom in any sense of the word is non-existent.
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