Musk’s critics: Sinking ever farther into the depths of stupid.
Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such a procession of goofiness, ignorance, lying and stupidity as that being paraded on the occasion of Elon Musk purchase of Twitter.
Even days after the purchase agreement was announced, the parade of left-wing, Democratic and progressive imbeciles haven’t let up, condemning Musk for the mere expectation of doing what the same idiots who control Twitter and other social media have done for years.
Here’s just a sampling:
- Poynter’s Tom Jones: Musk will use Twitter to spread the right-wing “politics, even those that dipped into conspiracy theories and propaganda, under the banner of ‘free speech.’”
- Neil Steinberg in the Chicago Sun-Tiimes: Musk will turn Twitter into “the kind of fact-free, consequence-free shooting gallery where Trump can spin the nation into fits with his daily, if not hourly, fabulations…. Meantime, what can patriotic, decent Americans do? Those of us who are not quite ready to submit to becoming the chanting subjects bowing before totalitarian visions of self-appointed strongmen?
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Twitter: “[H]is deal is dangerous for our democracy. Billionaires like Elon Musk play by a different set of rules than everyone else, accumulating power for their own gain. We need a wealth tax and strong rules to hold Big Tech accountable.”
- The View’s Sunny Hostin: “[I]t seems to me that this is about free speech of straight white men, so let them have it.”
- MSNBC’s Joy Reid: “They want to come in and be able to punch people in the face and walk around and laugh about it and then not have anyone to stop them.”
- Angelo Carusone, president and CEO of Media Matters for America warned that it amounts to “effectively opening the floodgates of hate”
- Matt Pierce in the Los Angeles Times: “Elon Musk’s paradoxical vision of running Twitter: Less democracy, more freedom”
And lots more. I have tried through the years to avoid name-calling. But the extraordinarily nasty and harebrained nature of the response has been so extreme as to deserve a return volley of mud-slinging. They’re certainly no worse than the evil, racist and the other right-off-the-bat insults hurled by the left.
Free speech a threat to democracy? Now, that’s novel.
Spreading lies and misinformation? Who has done a better job of issuing exaggerations and misinformation than Blue States and incompetent “public health scientists” for the past two years?
How have the critics managed to ignore the science that affirms children are less likely to get and pass on Covid? Or the nonsense that children must be masked, seemingly for ever? How to ignore the science that demonstrates that children suffer from excessive masking?
Racist? Why are the racists with their concocted “truth” about “systemic racism” allowed to freely spread their exaggerations and propaganda on social media?
Critics claim that Musk’s promise of a social platform that allows free speech is a lie. As if the social media controlled by the far-left have been oh-so-tolerant of opposite views. The censorship of the New York Post’s revelations about Hunter Biden’s laptop, a gag on what the New York Times and Washington Post took 18 months later acknowledged to be correct. Never mind that the pivotal censorship came just a few weeks before the 2020 presidential election.
The cancellation of author J.K. Rowling for warning that the campaign for transgender rights will endanger women’s rights. Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham; Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk and others for their conservative views.
And so much more.
We’ll be instructed that these people were kicked off because their views were wrong. Judged to be so by partisans who have other views. Who fail to understand that disagreements over public policy, politics and even science are not worthy of calling into session an ecumenical council to expose apostates and call for auto de fe to punish the heretics.
No, free speech is not an absolute right. Just like gun ownership and abortion are not absolute rights. A civilized society can regulate certain dangerous speech, but the anti-free speech maniacs who have been exposed by the wild anti-Musk rhetoric are more interested in controlling disagreeable speech (to them).
I’ll leave you with some quotes from John Stuart Mill, the political philosopher most renowned as a liberal defenders of free speech:
The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think…
Related: Here’s an intelligent, balanced discussion of Mill’s arguments in light to today’s (post-Trump) arguments for censoring right-wing “disinformation. Well worth reading. “Mill’s Argument for Free Speech: A Guide”To subscribe to The Barbershop, type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.