Big Brother is Watching and Regulating by Tom Reynolds
The Russian government, otherwise known as Vladimir Putin, has been shutting down opposition viewpoints. TV stations have been shuttered and social media shut down. Criticizing the government is against the law and it can get you fifteen years in prison. (Or 24 hours watching videos of Kamala Harris’ and Joe Biden’s speeches, whichever is considered the harsher punishment.)
It could never happen here, could it? (Censorship…not watching Biden and Harris speak.)
It did and still does.
John Adams was a great believer in the rights that were later enshrined in the Bill of Rights. But when he was president, the Sedition Acts were passed, which made it illegal to criticize the government. Adams’ defenders try to minimize his participation, but his Attorney General put people in prison because of it. And if you don’t believe it was political, the Act expired on the last day of Adams’ presidency. (Proving that given power, even the well intentioned can be corrupted.)
When Woodrow Wilson was president, the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 sent people to prison for criticizing the government. In addition, newspapers were denied mailing privileges, the major source of wide spread circulation in that era. Most worrisome is that the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of these acts!
Unlike Adams, Wilson was never well intentioned. His stance should not come as a surprise, since he was not a fan of the US Constitution. He did not care for those pesky ideas about separation of powers, which interfered with his progressive ideals of the USA becoming an administrative state run by experts and not run by “We the People”. (Hmm….where have we seen that lately?)
Franklin Roosevelt considered Huey Long one of the two most dangerous men in America. (The other most dangerous person was General Douglas MacArthur.) Those two were possible opponents in a future presidential election. Roosevelt also went after a former Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon, and had the IRS investigating both Long and Mellon. Long was assassinated before anything could come of it and Mellon was tried and acquitted on tax fraud charges. While neither Mellon nor Long qualified for sainthood, their main fault, in Roosevelt’s eyes, was the sin of opposing him and his policies and possibly denying him another presidential term.
Currently, Joe Biden, through his Press Secretary Jan Psaki, revealed that the US government was actively coordinating with Facebook to flag the posts of United States citizens for being “problematic” and containing COVID-19 “misinformation.” Psaki said, “In terms of actions that we have taken or we’re working to take…we’ve increased disinformation research and tracking”. “Problematic”, “disinformation” and “misinformation” can best be described as anything that disagrees with the Biden administration.
Judicial Watch revealed that State of California pressured social media companies (Twitter, Facebook, Google/YouTube) to censor posts about the 2020 election. For instance, a California state agency successfully pressured YouTube to censor a Judicial Watch video concerning “vote by mail” and also a Judicial Watch lawsuit settlement about California voter rolls clean up.
Government is the most powerful body in the nation – and in the case of the U.S.A., in the world. Only the government can legally imprison you or take your life, in accordance with laws the government makes and enforces. Anyone subject to direct government inspection in order to operate a business or organization knows the power of “Big Brother”; inspectors and regulators can shut you down. No one wants an IRS audit, even if you have done nothing wrong. Conform to the government’s party line or die.
Standing in the way of big government is the US Constitution. Big government and those who promote big government are not happy with that limitation, so they look for ways to skirt around the Constitution. Adams and Wilson used laws to shut down opposition but Biden has figured out that the Constitution only limits the government and private parties are generally free to do things that the government cannot. Private parties simply need a nudge from big government in order to do things the government cannot legally do.
“…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”, does not apply to private property. Feel free to declare your property a gun free zone – or not. But what if the local zoning board makes it apparent that, if you want a building permit, your property must be a gun free zone?
“Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” does not apply to TV and radio; TV and radio can “abridge” - or not “abridge” - all they want. But the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates and licenses TV and radio stations and has discretion in issuing or denying licenses. An FCC dominated by Biden appointed commissioners could find reasons to deny licenses to those that do not conform to Biden’s ideology.
Trust the science. But science is based on the free exchange of ideas and the freedom to challenge any ideas. As pointed out earlier, the Biden administration is strong-arming private social media organizations to label those who disagree with “government approved science” as disinformation and then to censor it. (If science is based on the free exchange of ideas and that free exchange is prohibited, is what remains science?)
Our founders understood the dangers of an all-powerful central government but also understood the need for that same central government to exist. They put direct limits on government, such as the Bill of Rights, and structural limits, such as the separation of powers. The Left will use laws as a way to increase and stabilize their power, whenever they can. Which is why we need a truly independent Judicial System that rules in accordance with the Constitution, as written.
Through another branch of government, the Left has found a way to threaten our rights protected by the Constitution. Donald Trump named it the “Swamp”, when he should have called it the “Sewer”. It consists of the administrative experts that Woodrow Wilson so loved. It’s career bureaucrats who ignore executives that do not agree with the Sewer’s beliefs and it rules like the kings of old, by divine right rather than the Constitution. Using too many laws giving them too much power, the Sewer can destroy those they target. Things like the FCC and the Department of Education can force ideas and values on private citizens, using the powers to regulate and budget.
Ronald Reagan said the most dangerous words were “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”. More government is not the answer and it forms a real threat to our rights. If “We the People” do not take back control of our government in November, we may well be forfeiting our rights. The Left never stops undermining the Constitution, either directly or indirectly.