Everyone believes they know the truth. It doesn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican, religious or atheist, rich or poor, male or female, young or old, white or Black, a scientist, a farmer or a philosopher - we all believe we know the truth and that other groups have either a skewed or completely false view of reality.
However, if we’re honest we might admit that we have an incomplete picture. If we are humble enough to admit it, we can see that our views are biased and only partially true and that other views may also be at least partially true. And regardless of whether we can admit that, most of us at least recognize that others have a right to express their views, even if they are wrong.
But now that’s all changing.
Recent events have brought about one of the scariest moments this country has seen in a long time. And the worst part is it’s happening right under our noses and even condoned by many as necessary.
Powerful groups who believe they are the exclusive holders of the truth have now made it their mission to stomp out the expression of any ideas they disagree with. Mostly it’s for political reasons such as gaining power and control. Others just believe they are doing what is right and see it as their mission and right to squash any dissenting ideas.
So far, the biggest offenders have been Big Tech and social media. Where once we had communist governments controlling business and media, now we have powerful businesses trying to control the government.
Sure, they all have excuses for their actions, but they’re flimsy at best, since they only seem to apply to a select group. It’s extremely obvious that they not only believe they are all-powerful, but that they are trying to silence any ideas that they don’t agree with.
But they are only shooting themselves in the foot.
The truth is that half of this country is made up of conservatives, which means roughly half of these companies' customers are also conservatives. Right now, they are giving half their customers the finger while at the same time naively believing that because they have a monopoly, the customers will have to stay with them.
But they don’t and they won’t. They may have power at the moment, but that’s not guaranteed and can and will change as new companies and platforms are developed. As alternatives inevitably develop, people will move to social media and technology platforms that treat their customers fairly without ulterior motives.
When you think about it, it’s really kind of strange to have social media trying to police what is true. Most rational people know (or should know) that rarely is there anything on social media that is true. It’s pretty much all opinions and other worthless stuff. Despite the fact that it can sometimes be useful, we’d probably all be a lot better off without it.
It’s also laughable to have people in government talking about truth and jumping on the bandwagon pulled by Big Tech. In their hatred of the other side and fear of losing power, they have forgotten that politics is not about truth: it’s about rhetoric and showmanship and hyperbole. If there was a way to determine truth in politics, and only truthful statements were allowed, every one of them on both sides would be disqualified.
Once again, they’re shooting themselves in the foot. Unfortunately, they’re also hurting everyone else. They work for us and many of us are not happy with them. However, every single person in America should be outraged by their ridiculous and unconstitutional calls for limiting freedom of speech for political gain.
This country is in a perilous position. We are divided and angry and afraid. Rightly or wrongly, people want to speak out. When you take away that right or treat them like children who need to be educated and controlled, things will inevitably only get worse.
“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.