The following editorial is the opinion of the author, a current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
Most presidents, once they leave office, fade off into oblivion and don’t feel the need to weigh in on every single facet of life. Oh there are some exceptions, such as when Bill Clinton drags is decrepit tired ass to a speech so shill for more money for his “foundation.”
Such is not the case, however, for a narcissist like Barack Obama. In a perfect world, Obama would fade into irrelevance and just go away. Unfortunately, this self-aggrandizing egomaniac keeps showing up, like a hemorrhoid that won’t go away.
Obama, who a couple of weeks ago showed up at the White House to “support” his former vice president Joe Biden instead “showed up” the inept shell of a man who occupies the Oval Office.
For most clear-thinking Americans, it is obvious that it is Obama…not Biden…who is still running the show. That is obvious based on the amount of Obama retreads who occupy key positions in the administration and throughout the government apparatus.
Time was when leftists…more specifically liberals…were believers in free speech. Throughout the 60s and 70s we saw them exercise that right on college campuses throughout the country, many times in opposition to the Vietnam War, or other causes which they felt passionately about, be it civil rights, women’s rights and so on.
What we have now seen especially over the past two years is a complete flip by leftists where it concerns free speech. That is especially true in the realm of social media, where any speech that doesn’t fit the preferred narrative is deemed to be “disinformation” and therefore a “threat to democracy.”
This past week, Obama was giving a talk at Stanford University where he was speaking about the bid by Elon Musk to buy Twitter and turn it into a true free speech platform.
So important was free speech to the Founding Fathers that the first amendment to our founding document, the United States Constitution, has free speech as the most important of our fundamental rights. Someone should maybe pass that on to former law professor Obama.
In speaking to Musk’s bid to buy Twitter, Obama railed against the possibility that by removing the chains of censorship off the platform, the so-called “disinformation” that would proliferate would indeed be a threat to democracy.
“Each of us, whether we work at a tech company or consume social media, whether we are a parent, a legislator, an advertiser on one of these platforms, now’s the time to pick a side,” Obama told the Stanford audience. “We have a choice right now. Do we allow our democracy to wither or do we make it better?”
“Better?” By better of course Obama means to stifle conservative speech, or speech in fact that is based on reality. For over two years, the American people were lectured to “follow the science” where it concerns COVID-19.
Yet when clearly sane people insist that based on “science” there are only two genders, not 57 varieties like Heinz sauces, that is considered “misinformation” that must be censored.
When people raise claims that yes, in some states there were some nefarious things occurring concerning our 2020 elections, many of which have been factually proven, once again that is misinformation that must be quashed.
Yet even as Obama made the push for making our democracy “better,” what he really means is making it tilted as completely as possible to the left, eliminating any discourse from the political right. That isn’t democracy…that’s tyranny. Still Obama made the claim that where it concerns speech, he is a free speech “absolutist.”
“Freedom of speech is at the heart of every democratic society,” Obama claimed, while saying he is “pretty close to a First Amendment absolutist.”
“I believe that in most instances the answer to bad speech is good speech. I believe that the free, robust, sometimes antagonistic exchange of ideas produces better outcomes and a healthier society,” Obama said.
Despite all of that hyperbole, Obama then let the cat out of the bag, saying that where it concerns Twitter, Facebook, and other social media companies, “regulation [censorship] has to be part of the answer.” He further claimed that current “content moderation” “doesn’t go far enough” in clamping down on what he called “clearly dangerous content.”
So, we suppose it depends on what your definition of “dangerous” content is. Because as we have seen, Twitter banned former President Trump from the platform, while it still allows Vladimir Putin and the Ayatollah in Iran full use of it.
Antifa and Black Lives Matter are free to spread their hate and (in the case of BLM) anti-white hatred, yet sitting members of Congress are blacklisted. You see, it’s all a matter of “perspective.”
One of the most egregious uses of Twitter to ban speech that didn’t fit the preferred narrative was the outright ban of any mention of Hunter Biden’s laptop in the lead up to the 2020 election because the powers that be knew that might have a negative effect on the outcome of the election. That was in fact proven after the truth about the laptop was finally revealed.
Any questions about the efficacy of the vaccines used to “prevent” COVID were likewise deleted. The list goes on and on. That however isn’t enough for the former narcissist in chief.
“The bigger issue is what these platforms promote,” Obama said. “Algorithms have evolved to the point where nobody on the outside of these companies can accurately predict what they’ll do, unless they’re really sophisticated and spend a lot of time tracking it. And sometimes, even the people who build them aren’t sure.”
“That’s a problem,” he continued.
Obama insisted that the government must regulate social media platforms to keep us “safe.” Let’s refer back once again to the First Amendment, which specifically restricts exactly what Obama is pushing.
“In a democracy, we can rightly expect companies to subject the design of their products and services to some level of scrutiny. At minimum, they should have to share that information with researchers and regulators who are charged with keeping the rest of us safe.”
The problem is, who exactly decides what is so-called “disinformation?” Remember, yesterday’s “conspiracy theory” is today’s reality. Remember when people claimed the coronavirus was released from a lab in Wuhan, China, after it was insisted for a period of time that the virus came from a “wet market?” Anyone who claimed the lab leak was immediately censored by social media.
Remember when people claimed the Russia hoax was a misinformation campaign and not true collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin? Now we’ve learned it was all part of a scheme between the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign to smear Donald Trump. People who have been vindicated were throttled by Twitter and Facebook for what we now know is the truth.
Obama conveniently ignored the fact that Democratic voters and the mainstream media cheerleaders for the Democratic Party actually agree with what he’s saying about the need to censor so-called disinformation and misinformation on the internet, when much of what was initially called either or has included legitimate news and political opinion.
What Obama, most Democrats, and the mainstream media want is not content moderation. For example, it is fair to have age limits for social media accounts, zero tolerance for violence or threats of violence, not allowing terrorists to organize on social media (see Antifa).
However that is not what Obama is calling for. He and other leftists are clearly calling for outright suppression or censorship of views with which they disagree.
As liberal journalist Glenn Greenwald, an old-school level-headed one tweeted:
“In the last 2 weeks, both Obama and Hillary surveyed the extreme censorship regime imposed on the internet in the name of Russiagate, COVID, 1/6 and now Ukraine and decreed: it is urgent there be even more of this.
They are echoing overwhelming Dem support for online censorship.”
In the last 2 weeks, both Obama and Hillary surveyed the extreme censorship regime imposed on the internet in the name of Russiagate, COVID, 1/6 and now Ukraine and decreed: it is urgent there be even more of this.
They are echoing overwhelming Dem support for online censorship: pic.twitter.com/sLw3fb12K3
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 23, 2022
One area where the true hypocrisy of the left and the social media companies concerns the 2020 election versus the 2016 election. While former President Trump and others claim the 2020 election was stolen, they are offering an opinion, just as Hillary Clinton claims (still) that Russia stole the 2016 election. The difference? Clinton’s positions are still allowed on social media, while Trump’s are not.
Liberals like to use the argument that free speech has its limitations, such as “you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater.” The fact of the matter is, yes you can yell “fire” in a theater…if the theater is actually on fire.
Free speech is the hallmark of our Republic and has been part of the American experiment since our country was founded. Imagine if you will if social media had been a thing back in the 1700s and the right to differing opinion wasn’t allowed or was censored. There is a reason free speech is the First Amendment.
For without it, the United States is…China. Or Russia. Of course, an American Marxist like Obama is probably fine with that.
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