The Perpetual War on Free Speech

The Founding Fathers made the Constitution palatable by including a Bill of Rights. Without the First 10 Amendments, the Constitution is just what its early critics, including Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, said it was; a dangerous consolidation of power far less representative of liberty than the Articles of Confederation.

The First Amendment was always a huge concern with statists of every era. Those who thirst for power, and will compromise themselves in order to attain it, have never looked favorably upon those critical of them. John Adams, the second president of the United States, passed the Alien and Sedition Acts for just this reason. He bristled at criticism. Fortunately, Thomas Jefferson succeeded him in office and scrapped this tyrannical concept. But the notion reared itself again in 1860, with the election of Abraham Lincoln. Adams was a civil libertarian compared to Lincoln. “Honest” Abe didn’t pass any new Alien and Sedition Acts; he just shut down over two hundred newspapers that opposed any of his unconstitutional actions.

Woodrow Wilson revived these odious acts during World War I. Eugene Debs and others were imprisoned for opposing the pointless shedding of blood, and America’s participation in it. The Supreme Court, in perhaps its worst ruling ever, upheld Wilson’s right to jail antiwar protesters. Great “liberal” justice Oliver Wendell Holmes coined the phrase “yelling fire in a crowded theater” to justify such heinous oppression, placing an ugly asterisk on free speech. Apparently no concerned American asked at the time, just how protesting a war could be construed as yelling fire in a crowded theater. This expression gained great renown across the land, and is forever on the lips of those who seek to censor dissent.

Franklin Roosevelt built upon the actions of Wilson, who was inspired by the maniacal despot Lincoln. One of the countless unconstitutional agencies created under the New Deal, the Federal Communications Commission was in effect a national Alien and Sedition Act for the radio stations, and would go on to control content in Hollywood and on every television network. It banned selling advertising that discussed “controversial issues.” Vulgarity and “extremist” opinions were strictly forbidden. FDR pushed several inquisitions in Congress, most notably the one chaired by then Senator Hugo Black. You know, the former KKK member who went on to become a “liberal” Supreme Court justice and arbitrarily awarded the 1948 Senate election to “Landslide” Lyndon Johnson, who was the first to court the dead vote.

The Black Committee and other inquiries attempted to severely curtail the ability of journalists to criticize the New Deal. FDR himself is documented to have personally tried to ruin the careers of his political opponents. And all of this was years before the Pearl Harbor false flag. Once America entered the war, FDR went after draft evaders, and memorably incarcerated American citizens in concentration camps. Not just Japanese Americans, but German and Italian Americans, too. The Roosevelt administration also stole billions in personal property from these poor souls. Much as Lincoln had locked up any northern antiwar voices without any due process, FDR imprisoned those opposed to his war. In 1945, his successor Harry Truman had antiwar poet Ezra Pound arrested, and he spent a decade in a mental institution.

We must consider today’s “Woke” authoritarianism in its historical context. The precedents are all there. Cancel culture was born when Lincoln “canceled” his critics in the press, and threw thousands of uncharged citizens into makeshift prisons. Wilson followed this precedent, but FDR expanded it into a totalitarian art form. His administration “canceled” its critics in a variety of ways. FDR used J. Edgar Hoover to target some of them. His administration confiscated millions of telegrams to and from Roosevelt opponents. Long before Richard Nixon’s laughable efforts to use the IRS to monitor his critics, FDR had the fledgling agency audit almost everyone who opposed him. Indeed, FDR led a veritable crusade against free speech.

The Social Justice Warriors might look different. Tattooed. Pink or purple hair. Transitioned into countless new “genders.” Utterly addicted to name-calling. But they are the logical descendants of those who supported the Alien and Sedition Acts. Who threw citizens into jail that objected to our involvement in faraway wars. Who wanted to use the IRS, and the FBI, to “cancel” critics of the political elite. Not enough tried to stop this onerous censorship in 1860. Or 1918. Or 1939. And too few are trying to stop it now. The January 6 political prisoners are a testament to that, subjected to the cruel and unjust punishment explicitly prohibited by the Constitution, which was inflicted on northern “Copperheads” during the Civil War, and anarchists and “Reds” during World War I, and “Nazi sympathizers” during World War II.

The crazed adherents of Identity Politics are hardly the first to want to silence their critics. Get them fired from their job, and rendered unemployable. And increasingly, prosecuted for their Thought Crimes. Those opposing Lincoln’s mad war and suppression of civil liberties were the Thought Criminals of their time, long before Orwell gave a name to them. Everyone reading this little missive is a modern day Thought Criminal. There are millions of us. Is there room in their overcrowded prisons for all of us? As Lord Acton, the great lover of liberty who was friends with Robert E. Lee, not Ulysses S. Grant, reminded us; power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Those in power in America 2.0 are absolutely corrupt.

How many of us truly believe in free speech? Almost everyone has a big “but,” to quote the late Pee Wee Herman. Sure, I’m for free speech but…not for “Holocaust denial.” Disbelievers in the Apollo moon landings. Or their even more extreme bedfellows, the flat earthers. Those who think mass shootings were a hoax, or “fake news.” White people outraged by the Great Replacement. Just referring to the Great Replacement can get you canceled, unless you’re supporting such a thing. Which all of our horrific leaders do. Try mentioning how the average American woman today weighs what the average American man did sixty years ago, and see what happens. There are a lot of caveats to the mainstream ideal of “free speech.”

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