“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”—Every third grader
I try my best not to complain about the curveballs of life that come my way, but I wish people understood the tremendous burden that comes with being a clairvoyant genius who sees the future. You see, Twitter banned my account yesterday. They did not suspend it. They banned it.
I had almost 80,000 followers and those poor people are now left aimlessly wandering the social media landscape in search of a greatness they’ll never find again. Now, I don’t really care because I’m just going to start a new account and it will be even better than my last one (if that’s possible). This isn’t about me. This is about what kind of country we have become and what kind of country we want to be.
We have become a nation of sensitive losers who care about words. We care about how things “make us feel.” The exception these days is the man who just wants to put his talent and his thoughts in the marketplace of ideas and see if people will buy it.
That man is rare today, but it was not always so. The American man used to be one who threw his family in a covered wagon and headed West into the wilderness. The American man used to be one who found out the Japanese had attacked men he didn’t know in a state he’d never visited so he ran down to the recruiting office to enlist in the Marines. That American man still exists, but he’s an endangered species.
The American spirit of free speech has been replaced by people who want uncomfortable speech censored. Nowhere is this more apparent than the social media world.
As I have said before, social media is not a small thing. It is no longer three nerds with pocket protectors huddled in their dorm rooms dreaming about a day when a woman acknowledges their existence. Social media has surpassed the telephone. It is the means of networking and communicating with others: 2.5 billion people use Facebook and Twitter.
That is not a fringe thing that is going away. It has now become the way humans interact with each other. It is completely run by Silicon Valley leftists who know the power they hold. And they are using that power.
But power is a funny thing. Power, no matter how ominous it may seem at the time, is always finite. It doesn’t last forever. If there is one thing history has taught us, it’s that silencing voices will always be a temporary solution.
Censorship is a horrible thing, but it has one fatal flaw: It doesn’t work. Voices break out. They cannot be contained. Twitter banning me from their platform only hurts them in the long run. They’ll continue to marginalize themselves, and I will continue to grow.
I enjoy talking politics, and I enjoy entertaining people. I don’t need Twitter to do it. I’ve a got a successful radio show. I’m blessed to have a network of friends who share and promote each other’s ideas.
But the bigger questions are: Where does it end? How do we accommodate dissent? Is silencing the voices we don’t like likely to lead to a better society? What happens to the voices that are silenced? Are we doing ourselves a favor by forcing conformity to doctrines that are antithetical to the core values of many Americans?
We’ll figure out the answers to these questions. We’ll solve these problems. We’ll learn to disagree agreeably, and to give voice to those with whom we vehemently disagree. Twitter won’t. But America is better than Twitter. Always has been.