America’s founding principle is limited government that derives its powers “from the consent of the governed”. [Declaration of Independence]
Government shall not abridge “freedom of speech”. [Bill of Rights]
For centuries, these principles have been highly honored and vigorously defended by people across the political spectrum in America. In 1977, the Supreme Court emphasized this in the case of National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, 432 U.S. 43 (1977). Nazis are allowed to march in uniform, waving flags, displaying swastikas, through the streets of a Jewish community in America.
However, government became less interested in these principles. And the people expressed concern: Vietnam War protests, Occupy Wall Street, election of President Trump, illegally entering the nation’s Capitol, and football stadiums filled with “Let’s Go Brandon”.
And government became even less interested in these principles. Government created laws that prohibit the use of words that government doesn’t like (such as “man”, “woman”, and “marijuana”). Government formed an FBI task force to spy on parents who exercise free speech against school boards. Government encouraged Big Tech to abridge the speech of people who say things government does not like (such as objecting to sex eduction for first-graders).
And as the people expressed even more concern, government brought past President Obama to the bully pulpit. He preached in favor of Big Tech abridging speech. He preached that government was not abridging free speech because (technically) it was Big Tech that was abridging speech.
And, along came billionaire Elon Musk who figured: Okay, so I’ll buy Twitter and abridge speech as I see fit. And then all Hell broke loose. What? A government outsider is going to do exactly what government and past President Obama preach? Well! That’s totally unacceptable!
Government and its allies are in a frenzy. They’re feverishly working on a message to explain why only they have the right to abridge speech. So far, they haven’t come up with a message, so they’re relying on their standard message: Elon Musk is a racist!
On April 27, 2022, President Joe Biden stepped in. He announced his creation of a “Disinformation Governance Board” within the Department of Homeland Security.
Freedom of speech is a big deal. It’s been a big deal for over two centuries. It will survive. It always survives. All it takes is for government to go far enough, to wake up enough people.