THE HILL: DAVID BOSSIE: Why the FEC and the left want to control social media: To silence dissent
The left controls much of the mainstream media in our country; the left controls most of Hollywood; the left controls most of academia, and most of the vast federal bureaucracy. And, like any other power-hungry monstrosity, their lust for control is insatiable and will never extend far enough.
Now, leftists want to control the internet by any means necessary and crush one of the last bastions of freedom in America.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is considering a major expansion in its regulation of internet communications; like so many attempts before it, this assault on political social-media influencers infringes on protected First Amendment free speech rights.
The latest effort to pressure the FEC to over-regulate has one central goal: to make it harder for everyday Americans to have their voices heard in the political arena. This folly runs parallel to a terrible decision in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., that rejected a restrained approach to regulating communications on the internet. Ironically, the case involves Hillary for America and David Brock’s Correct the Record, including their internet communications during the 2016 election.
Those pushing the left’s unconstitutional agenda this time give themselves phony “anti-propaganda” titles but belong to the same crowd that nodded its approval when the federal government told the Supreme Court it had the power to ban books during oral arguments for Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Through it all, the First Amendment to the Constitution remains crystal clear: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech” — something the left can’t stand.
However, Big Government advocates never rest; if they can’t chill political speech through legislation, they’ll try to do it through a new regulatory scheme brought to you by their allies in the faceless unelected bureaucracy.
Our Founding Fathers envisioned a free, open society that encouraged robust political debate without fear of government reprisal. The patriots who fought and died to make our constitutional republic a reality understood that tyrannies will always seek to shut down debate they don’t like and set up guardrails to prevent that from playing out in their own fledging country.
Well, here we are. The executive branch is growing exponentially in its reach, by the day, and in far too many instances exists simply to infringe on our liberties. As President Reagan prophetically stated, “man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” Reagan was right and the left knows it; but they aren’t interested in liberty — only in power over the people in their quest to fundamentally transform our country into something unrecognizable.
The United States was founded on anonymous speech — something the left likes to forget because they seek total control, just like King George. So, they see no problem with forcing overly burdensome disclosure laws on the less powerful whenever it’s to their advantage. This time it’s to police how social-media influencers are utilized by political campaigns. But if anyone suggests that The New York Times — which, in my opinion, is just an arm of the Democratic National Committee at this point — should have to live by the same rules, the left blows a gasket. This is just another case of “regulation for thee, but not for me.”
In these uncertain times when censorship is the order of the day, we must stay vigilant. The internet regulation matter before the FEC and the stunning revelations that the federal government is working with social media companies to ban factual stories from the public eye are interrelated. Simply stated, the left wants to label any speech they don’t agree with as misinformation, to ensure they retain power.
The dangerous encroachment on free speech in America must be confronted and those colluding behind the scenes to gut our rights must be exposed and defeated.
David Bossie is president of Citizens United, a conservative advocacy group, and was a plaintiff in Citizens United V. Federal Election Commission in 2009. He was deputy campaign manager of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Follow him on Twitter @David_Bossie and @Citizens_United.