Democrats Playing With Censorship Is Like A Child Playing With Firecrackers
A bit of advice: If you pull out a weapon to beat your enemy with, a weapon you are unfamiliar with that feels awkward in your hands, don’t be surprised if your enemy takes if from you and beats your ass with it.
Another piece of advice: If you’re starting a fight with the people to the right of you, don’t start clubbing people on your left, too. It puts you in a very exposed position.
This is advice the Democratic Party would do well to heed. The weapon in this case is censorship, and they are using it to bash those both on their right and their left. They may think they have control over the weapon, but I can’t help feeling they have a surprise in store.
Of course, the Democrats aren’t actually wielding the weapon themselves, they’ve called upon thugs (AKA the intelligence agencies and NATO-related think tanks) to deliver the beatings. Thugs already inclined to do what the Democrats are asking them to do.
What the hell are the Democrats thinking? That’s like making a deal with the mafia in order to get rid of some local street punk (AKA Donald Trump). It’s like being a black man calling the police to settle an argument with his white neighbor. In the South. In the 50’s. Do they really think the people providing arms to ISIS and Al Qaeda are on their side? Do they think the United Arab Emirates, a million dollar donor to the Atlantic Council (the ones who get to decide who gets censored) cares about women’s rights? Do they think Burisma, the Ukranian energy company that hired Hunter Biden and another major contributor to the Atlantic Council, is interested in open and honest government? Do they think BP and Chevron (also major Atlantic Council donors) are interested in protecting legitimate climate change science? Do they think the CIA is interested in protecting transgendered people from being bullied online? Democrats have unsheathed a weapon that is too heavy for them to control. And they just haven’t gotten it through their thick skulls yet.
But the time will come when their thick skulls will be bludgeoned by the same weapon they foolishly imagined would protect them. And though I and many others on the left will speak up in their defense when that day comes, we will by that time have no platform upon which we can voice our support for those who are being censored. On that day they will learn in earnest the lesson Martin Niemöller sought to teach the world not all that long ago.
But for the moment voices are daily being suppressed while many who once wore F*CK CENSORSHIP T-shirts embrace and excuse it. As long as they can still listen to NWA, they still feel like they’re standing for something. Because only censorship can save us from being corrupted by the sight of Bernie Sanders in a speedo. Only censorship can save us from a hillbilly uprising. Only censorship can save us from the anti-vaxxers and the anti-maskers. Only censorship can save us from bad-faith actors and those who just don’t know enough to not argue with the benevolent individuals who sit above us and whose goal it is to make life better for all of us.
I remember a decade ago — how very long ago it does seem and how very different a world — when the most immediate concern for a Wisconsinite such as myself was our Republican Governor who was dismantling the political environment as we knew it. At one point, a certain section of the University of Wisconsin’s “The Wisconsin Idea” was omitted, the Walker administration would say accidentally. The words read “In all lines of academic investigation it is of the utmost importance that the investigator should be absolutely free to follow the indications of truth wherever they may lead. Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere we believe the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.” A decade ago I feared that idea’s greatest threat was from the right.
Funny how we could tolerate nearly 60 years of JFK conspiracy theories and 20 years of 9/11 theories, only to come undone over some anti-vaxxers, some puppy pictures on Facebook, and some accusations of a rigged election. You’ll recall that JFK conspiracy theorists were not merely claiming that the election was rigged but that a president was murdered. And yet nobody attempted to silence them. What is different now? Perhaps it is that the lies have become too big and too many to be propped up in any other way than by shutting down open communication.
Or maybe censorship and unelected government agencies are just what our democracy needs.