In an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Wednesday, California Democrat Rep. Ted Lieu appeared to make a surprisingly bold argument in favor of government censorship many free speech and First Amendment advocates found chilling.
Speaking about the availability of content he viewed as “conspiracy theories”(in other words, inconvenient to progressives and liberals) in Google search results, Lieu said that “I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech. The First Amendment prevents me from doing so.”
Many supporters of free speech were shocked that an American member of the House of Representatives would speak of the cherished First Amendment in terms that make it sound like a burden or an obstacle to the policy preferences of a California Member of Congress.
View the segment in which Lieu expressed his preference for some sort of censorship policy:
While the concept of deplatforming or otherwise silencing political opponents (usually exercised through the corporate censorhip of Silicon Valley tech companies)is lately seeming to become a hallmark of the contemporary progressive movement, Lieu’s open skepticism towards the First Amendment could represent a totally new instinct to legally criminalize certain forms of political speech among Democrats.
Some other leading progressives have taken increasingly critical perspectives towards the American conception of free speech, but Lieu could be the first Member of Congress to sympathize with a instinct for censorship.
However, with cultural progressives possessing a stranglehold on Silicon Valley tech monopolies, it may not even be necessary for governmental institutions to enact anti-constitutional polices in order to purge right-of-center, conservative and nationalist thought from online public spheres. Leaked internal briefings from Google revealed that figures within the company desired to use the behemoth tech giant’s massive influence to move the internet closer to a “European tradition” which favors “dignity over liberty and civility over freedom,” as opposed to an American tradition which places free expression as sacrosanct.
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