by Judson Phillips
Free speech is dead in this country.
It isn’t just the First Amendment. That only applies to government action to restrict speech. All forms of free speech are dead or dying.
If you want an example, look no further than Nashville.
Sean Feucht, a Christian musician led a protest called, “Let us worship,” at the Nashville Courthouse in downtown. The crowd estimate was between nine and ten thousand. This event was not approved by the city and immediately officials began their pearl clutching. The city announced an investigation was underway. People in the crowd were not “socially distancing” and many were not wearing masks.
Meanwhile, in July, despite the COVID lockdown being in place in Davidson County, Mayor and wannabe dictator John Cooper, encouraged people to show up for a Black Lives Matter protest. There was no social distancing at that event, nor were there a lot of masks. But that doesn’t matter. According to Nashville’s government, the BLM protest was an approved idea. Let us worship was not.
There was no “investigation” of the rally, other than the investigation of the criminal rioting that damaged downtown Nashville.
Nashville is not the only place to see this type of crack down on unapproved speech. In blue states, protests have been disallowed, churches and synagogues shut down and people arrested for exercising their First Amendment rights.
It isn’t just blue states that are killing free speech. Big tech is probably the worst offender. Almost every major conservative can tell stories about Facebook, Twitter or another tech giant deplatforming them. Recently, the Nashville Tea Party and its founder Ben Cunningham, found themselves deplatformed by Linkedin. No reason was given.
President Trump has complained loudly about being harassed and treated unfairly by big tech.
The animosity the left has towards any dissenting idea has even been given its own name. It is called, “The cancel culture.” Colleges, media and big tech are doing their best to ensure that conservative ideas do not see the light of day and no one is allowed to hear them.
It has become almost impossible for a conservative speaker to speak at any University. Left wing students disrupt the speech, sometimes going as far as pulling fire alarms, rioting and in a few cases, even assaulting the speaker.
This is a far cry from the 1960’s, when liberals were the champions of free speech. The liberals of the 1960’s and 1970’s defended free speech, even when they vehemently disagreed with it.
Today’s liberals are the enforcers of liberal orthodoxy. They decide what will and will not be heard.
Liberals oppose one of the bedrocks of American liberty. It isn’t just freedom of speech. It is the free market of ideas. The free market of ideas is one of the things that made America great. The free market of ideas is like any other free market. The best ideas succeed because people like them and the bad ideas die.
Liberals don’t like competition. As Andrew Breitbart once said, “Their ideas suck and so do they!”
With cities like Nashville and states like California and New York shutting down opinions and political protests that they do not like, how far away are we from a government that effectively ignores the First Amendment? With the competition of ideas being being blocked by big tech, and viewpoint censorship now becoming rampant, how long before we go to a society that punishes “thought crimes?” How long before those who do not accept the prevailing ideology find themselves completely deplatformed and unable to use any technological services?
This is a scary future and if the left has its way, it will be our future.
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Judson Phillips is a long time conservative pundit and founder of Tea Party Nation.
Background Photo “Let Us Worship” by Sean Feucht.