By Oregon Senator, Dennis Linthicum

August 17, 2022

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which came into existence post 9/11, will spend $52 billion ($52,000,000,000) annually on President Biden’s newly created “Disinformation Governance Board.” George Orwell, in his insightful and dystopian novel, 1984, used a more satirical name for the disinformation board in his story, calling it a, “Ministry of Truth.”

Elon Musk’s successful acquisition of Twitter has spawned a new series of political firestorms and Biden’s disinformation and propaganda board is ready to plow $52 Billion into the effort to over criminalize, needlessly surveil and censor every stray thought that occurs on the web.

The hyper-inflated and outlandish dust-up between the online universe of woke-censors verses Elon Musk is telling. Media is parroting leftist talking points, especially the government’s, as they focus on protecting their own turf, gaining clicks and pretending to have empathy for truth-seekers.

Remember, Musk used to be the darling of the clean-energy zealots and pot-smoking elites who roam throughout California, Oregon, and the rest of the US. But, just as Trump used to be a celebrity favorite, Musk, too, has fallen from grace. His only failing is a willingness to allow conservative voices a share in the Twittersphere.

The elites fear uncensored discussions which might bring to light things like the FBI and CIA collusion using the Steele Dossier and the Hunter Biden laptop story. I haven’t heard Musk venture so far as to claim that the election was stolen or that during COVID-19 the CDC engaged in willful misconduct and criminal fraud. However, the left isn’t standing by to be exposed and are diligently working to keep details hidden.

Given the left’s single-minded totalitarian obsession, Biden’s disinformation bullies have enormous latitude and resources to silence questions as they arise. We have seen this before with proof that there was a concerted effort by NIAID Director Anthony Fauci and NIH Director Francis Collins to run a smear campaign against the Great Barrington Declaration.

The good news is that more people are becoming aware of the importance of free speech. The bedrock of our Republican form of self-governance is like a lava flow from a single source – free speech. Our beautiful history is made from the basics of freedom of conscience, free thought, free speech and freedom to join and assemble as one pleases, without government interference. The result is free and open debate and decision making organized through a free electoral process.

Today’s free speech quagmire stems from misunderstanding the true meaning of tolerance. Tolerance is not a choice between cheer-leading or cancelling. Tolerance leans more in the direction of forbearance. It is more than mere accommodation, and includes self-control and self-restraint, such as resistance to our impulsive yearnings to cancel, score points or to “get even.”

These patterns of censorship are similar throughout history. In one colonial example, a British loyalist, Thomas Hutchinson of Boston, tried jailing his opponents. Hutchinson was a merchant, politician, judge, chief justice of the Superior Court, and lieutenant governor for colonial Massachusetts.

Colonial patriots took issue with Hutchinson’s support for the “passive, fawning, corrupt, and venal” acts of Parliament and King George III. Most of these pesky harangues came from colonial newspapers like the radical Boston Gazette.

The Gazette lit the fires of discontent and then other Bostonians followed suit. They expressed their own opinions and threw additional condemnations upon Hutchinson for his backing of the King and Parliament. Sidewalk broadsides also appeared in high-traffic areas of the city stimulating public awareness and conversation, much like today’s Twitter and Instagram.

In August 1767 Hutchinson decided to convene a grand jury in order to silence his detractors. He was confident of his legal standing because he was a local colonial official seeking justice after having been, “treated in the most abusive Manner, and vilified beyond all Bounds.”

History tells us that Hutchinson lost all three of his attempts to silence and jail the editors at the Gazette. What would have happened had he been victorious? Would history have taken a different path had he been successful in his censorship attempts?
The next layer in this story occurs, six years later, when Benjamin Franklin acquired a series of letters between Hutchinson and Lieutenant Governor Andrew Oliver regarding colonial malcontents. These letters exposed the true nature of the man, and his low opinion of the colonials’ hopes for self-governance. Newspapers responded and exposed the “low artifices and ministerial lies” which had lulled New Englanders, “into a state of supineness.”

Like Hillary Clinton’s eMail cache or Hunter Biden’s laptop shenanigans, these letters were eventually made public by the Sons of Liberty and published in local newspapers, starting with the Boston Gazette.

Where would we be today, if Hutchinson’s censorship efforts had succeeded? Would the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional Bill of Rights exist? Would the founding generation have been allowed to pen, “We the people,” as the first three words of our constitution?

What if the King’s elites had successfully stopped those who, “attend at taverns, where they talk politicks, get drunk, damn the King, Ministers and Taxes; and vow they will follow any measures proposed to them by their demagogues, however repugnant to religion, reason and common sense.”

These words echo today’s rhetoric. There is nothing new under the sun. The only question becomes, whose religion, reason, or common sense will be protected? And whose will be maligned?

Most Americans claim to believe in the ideas of free-speech, freedom of conscience and the freedom to worship the God of their choice, “because it’s guaranteed in the 1st Amendment.”

The 1st Amendment is not the “guarantee” but rather a codification of this right. It is part of our human endowment, our natural, undeniable and inviolable right of conscience.

The phrase which starts our US Constitution, “We the people,” asserts that all people have these undeniable rights. Power is inherent within the hearts, minds and souls of the people. In fact, the citizen is the permanent ruler. The citizen is the umpire. The citizen blows the whistle and calls strikes, fouls and out-of-bounds.

This understanding means that people are competent enough to choose temporary representatives for elected positions. The claim also ensures that the citizen always retains their place as the “permanent rulers.” This is why administrations come and go and regimes change. They are only temporary and are installed into office for a limited time and purpose.

These provisional administrations occupy the Governor’s Mansion, or the White House, only with the peoples’ permission. They reside there as any guest would occupy an Airbnb rental. The citizen must still clean the toilets, vacuum the carpets, and clear out the trash left by any hooligans who slept on the couch.

In closing, free speech, a free press and the free expression of ideas shows itself most powerfully, not on Twitter, Facebook, or Google but at the polling place. This is why ensuring the voice of the citizen through Election Integrity must be our highest universal goal.

© 2022 Dennis Linthicum – All Rights Reserved

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