Monday, January 15, 2018

Pearls of expression.

When Paul Nehlen wrote about “bad faith” interpretations of the speech of others I immediately thought how aptly he had captured the essence of what passes for public “debate” in these times. “Privilege,” “hate speech” or “Nazi” anyone? Ad hominem attacks abound, as does the determination to talk over and interrupt others. Cable news shout fests drive me crazy as does leftist evasion of which Fran Porretto has written. Anything to distort the truth. And with AntiFa violence as a near-inevitable official backdrop to any conservative event or speaker.
One of the many reasons that [public media] censorship has gotten out of control is that people have developed a tendency to intentionally engage in bad-faith “interpretations” of what is said—often in contravention of all logic and common sense—in order to pretend that they’ve just been the victim of an explicit threat.

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It is widely known that censorship on major social media platforms disproportionately affects the right-wing, and it would take real cheek for anyone who has been around these platforms for a while not to stipulate to such an obvious fact. But regardless, I think that misses the more important point, which is that censorship of lawful speech should not be occurring at all, to any side, in the new de facto public square. It is just as disruptive, just as upsetting, and just as abusive when it happens to someone on the left-wing — and make no mistake, it happens plenty. These are megacorporate monopolies that benefit from anticompetitive forces such as “network effects” (which are at their apex in the social media context) to give them an absolute lock over the primary channels of public communication. This has led to widespread abuses of power, the arbitrary and capricious silencing of millions of Americans, and an unprecedented chilling of expression and infantilization of the public that is dangerously incompatible with American free speech values.[1]

Mr. Nehlen ran against Paul Ryan in the last election and I hope he does again. His legislative proposal is well thought out and it particularly addresses the underhanded practices of the leftist social media giants. They cause great damage to people by de-monetizing the content they produce and otherwise censoring or limiting their message with no more justification than the oracular “terms of service violation.”

[1] "Paul Nehlen: What Wouldn’t Post About My Proposed #ShallNotCensor Legislation." By Paul Nehlen,, 1/11/18.

Hat tip: The Unz Review .

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