- The Washington Times
Thursday, April 28, 2022

OPINION:

Thomas Jefferson had his Great Clock. Elon Musk has his Tesla.

Jefferson’s seven-day clock mounted inside the Entrance Hall of Monticello — complete with a Chinese gong — was the electric vehicle of his day. The cutting-edge technology enabled him to dictate the daily and weekly routines of his beloved plantation.* It still keeps time today.


Mr. Musk’s silent car is so widely popular and revolutionary today that already it outshines the memory of its namesake, famed inventor Nikola Tesla, who put the “AC” in AC/DC. Without Nikola Tesla, the world would not know “Back in Black,” “Thunderstruck” and “You Shook Me All Night Long.”

President John F. Kennedy once famously captured the brilliant vision of Jefferson at a dinner inside the White House honoring Nobel Prize winners.

“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House — with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. Someone once said that Thomas Jefferson was a gentleman of 32 who could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse and dance the minuet.”

The same might one day be said about Mr. Musk, though it sure would be fun to watch him break a horse or dance a minuet.

In this political era of maximum lunacy, it has been a pure delight to watch politicians and the press in full panic mode over threats by Mr. Musk to restore free speech to the Internet platform known as Twitter.

It is interesting to note that the only people in America today who are openly opposed to free speech — on Twitter or anywhere else — are members of the press and politicians. In other words, the very people who are supposed to be the fiercest guardians of free speech.

Oh, and also universities — the very institutions that were supposed to teach the future press and politicians about the sanctity of free speech. Instead, universities teach about “safe spaces” and “violent speech.”

Is it any wonder that the press and politicians today poisoned by those universities now break out in hives over the “free speech absolutists,” as they call them?

What is a “free speech absolutist,” anyway? Such radicals were once known simply as “Americans.”

It is also interesting how much Mr. Musk and Jefferson — both “free speech absolutists” — share a devotion to science. That is a testament to both men’s honest curiosity about the world around them and fearless pursuit of the unknown — a bravery that does not exist among sad weaklings who believe there are “safe spaces” in life or fear the “violence” of speech.

Science — like free speech — advances only through honest pursuit among fearless men. Men like Jefferson and Mr. Musk.

And neither would be considered some kind of right-wing nut job. Mr. Musk is a true liberal who once belonged neatly in the Democrat Party — back before it went full Gestapo.

Jefferson was every bit the radical in his own day as he would be if he were alive today.

After all, the guy rewrote the Holy Bible — which went over about as well among American Bible-thumpers back then as it would among American Bible-thumpers today.

Jefferson was into religion mostly for the freedom. If he had undertaken to rewrite the Ten Commandments, all one through ten would have read simply: “Thou shalt have free will.”

Anyway, as long as there was a God, Mr. Jefferson would not have to answer to an earthly king or tyrannical government.

But then he never met President Biden or this current crop of Democrats at the so-called Department of Homeland Security. These creeps are endlessly creative when it comes to “homeland security” — so long as it does not involve securing the borders of our homeland.

They have just come up with their latest government gambit to combat Mr. Musk and free speech on Twitter: the “Disinformation Governance Board,” overlorded by the Department of Homeland Security, the second most heavily armed federal department behind the Department of Defense.

George Orwell’s mind just blew. Jefferson is rolling in his grave. And now it is up to Mr. Musk to save America from the free speech Gestapo.

*Slavery was bad.

• Charles Hurt is the opinion editor for The Washington Times.


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