by Richard Land
The phenomenon of “cancel culture” is a real and growing threat to free speech in America. This rapidly rising threat has caught many Americans off guard.
Since the rise of the nation-state, almost all the serious threats to freedom of speech have come from government or government sponsored agencies. However, this current threat is not from the government – at least not yet.
Cancel culture is the illegitimate spawn of the Twitter digital mob. The internet is the malignant, metastasizing slime out of which this Godzilla-like monster has emerged.
We have all witnessed these politically correct thought police trolling the internet waiting to smear anyone who engages in political or religious speech not deemed sufficiently “woke” by these modern-day fascists. Tweet or say the “wrong” thing, and they descend like vultures, trying, and often succeeding, in getting you fired from your job, or your being harassed, along with your family, in your own neighborhood.
The key to their power to thwart speech is precisely the power to cost the offending persons their jobs and their standing in the community, something which until the invention of the internet and social media only the government generally had the power to do.
A national survey found that significant numbers of Americans are afraid to say what they believe. That fear cuts across the political spectrum: Democrats (52 percent), Independent (59 percent), and Republicans (77 percent). The only group that feels relatively free to express their political views in contemporary America are “staunch liberals” (58 percent).
Freedom of speech has been a bedrock value of America from the beginning in 1776. This essential freedom is in peril in this November’s election—perhaps as never before in our history.
Why? Currently these anti-democratic censors are seeking to suppress speech by the power of the mob to “cancel” your speech and cost you your job unless you refrain from speech, they find unacceptable.
Imagine if these would-be commissars of speech and thought add government power to their weapons of suppression? Just imagine the nightmare of the vast powers of the U.S. Justice Department deployed in the suppression of speech not considered politically correct or sufficiently “woke.”
This could very well happen if Joe Biden, who has been taken over by radical liberals in the progressive wing of the Democrat Party, is elected President this November.
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Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary, Executive Editor of the Christian Post, and a member of the Evangelicals for Trump.
Photo “Protest” by Descrier CC2.0.