The Left’s Excuse for Ending Free Speech

The left says that Donald Trump incited the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2020. At a rally that day he said “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” The assault on the Capitol started at about the time Trump started speaking, and security lines were breached well before he finished. The media made a false claim that a Capitol Police officer was killed that day; the only one that died that day of intentional violence was an unarmed civilian shot by police.

As a result, the social media accounts of many people, including Donald Trump, have been shut down; this was encouraged by the government (short Wall Street Journal article; thorough, excellent, Greenwald article). The free-speech social network, Parler, has also been shut down (by their host, Amazon, other service providers, and the app stores). On the day this happened, Parler’s app was the number one app downloaded. The main places the protesters organized were not Parler, but Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

We had a summer of riots, with dozens of people killed and billions of dollars of damage at the hands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa. The leftist politicians and media were apologetic for that. Social media have allowed bad actors to continue to use their platforms (e.g. some Twitter examples; the Ayatollah still has an account there after wishing death on Trump and Israel).

Now, however, the left has their excuse to silence unapproved speech. I’ve been troubled by the trend towards silencing opposing speech for a long time: first, it was media bias (the best books on it) and political correctness; more recently, it’s been the cancel culture. Now, finally, a massive silencing of the minority by the majority seems to have been accomplished and accepted. For many of us, there will be no more peacefully and patriotically making our voices heard.