- The Washington Times
Friday, April 22, 2022

OPINION:

Barack Obama has resurfaced on the speaking stage to campaign against free speech and in favor of government controlled speech. He doesn’t frame it that way, of course. Like most bureaucrats of the globalist groupthink movement, he disguises his true intents with softer sounder phrases that are packaged as concern for the people.

Obama: Disinformation is killing people,” Axios said in a headline above a story about the past president’s recent speech at Stanford University.


“Just like every industry with an impact on our society,” Obama said, “these [social media] platforms need to be subject to some oversight.

Conservatives may agree.

Conservatives who’ve suffered at the hands of anti-conservative social media leftists who’ve been busily booting conservative speech from the various platforms for years now may in particular be tempted to agree.

But careful. Beware. Just as Satan’s most successful lies are those that contain 99% truths, so, too, Obama’s call for controls on social media companies.

When Obama calls “disinformation” dangerous, what he’s really calling for are crackdowns on free speech — government controls on the First Amendment. He doesn’t care so much for opening doors for all to express opinions — liberal and conservative alike — as he cares for moving the goal posts of the Constitution just a little bit farther down the field toward Marxism. He isn’t so much concerned with the idea of Russia meddling in America’s elections as he is with finding ways to exploit that tired and old, but tried and true, leftist narrative to tear down the fabric of American Exceptionalism — which is the idea that individual rights come from God, not government.

He’s not just a snake oil salesman, pretending to sell a good-for-the-country service. He’s a snakey, serpenty tool of the devil, trying to crumble the Constitution by pushing into the national consciousness the message that yes, free speech is good, but that some speech is bad and in need of control. And who best to control than the government? 

The woke youth of America have been doing enough of this dirty, devilish work themselves, slapping conservative speech with a label of violence, even as they use violent means to drive out conservative speakers from college campuses.

We don’t need Obama resurfacing to bring the idea home.

It’s one thing for conservatives to discuss ways to legislatively curb social media companies from running roughshod over users’ free speech rights, by debating, for instance, Section 230 shields and whether it’s time to remove those benefits, or discussing, for example, ways to bring political speech under an umbrella of Civil Rights Act protections.

But it’s an entirely different matter when Obama wades into the speech control debate, calls out the dangers of “disinformation,” and slyly, cleverly, and with a forked tongue lays the groundwork for government to, in essence, amend the First Amendment.

Either America has freedom of speech, or America does not have freedom of speech.

Either Americans have God-given rights to speak as they wish,  or Americans don’t have God-given rights to speak as they wish.

Founding Fathers didn’t give a Constitution that protected only that speech the government deemed acceptable. There’s no carve-out in the First Amendment for “disinformation” or conspiracy theories or name-calling or political views. Like it or not, that’s protected speech.

Like it or not, freedom can be offensive and uncomfortable. 

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.


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