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Wasn't Trump the Free Speech Guy?

I hate to do anything that is going to stop or suppress free speech.

-Donald Trump

Freedom of speech is not just a talking point politicians can use to get elected; it’s a nonpartisan human right that should absolutely be enjoyed by everyone. The GOP cannot be the party of free speech if the way they want to take out their opponents is to silence them.

A new report was released to the public that was disheartening news for the principles of free speech. Former President Donald Trump was arranging an agreement with the social media platform Parler that would have included banning “anyone who spoke negatively about him.” The company was willing to offer up a generous portion of their revenue, but drew the line at silencing the then-President’s critics.

Parler was born out of the principles of free speech. The platform itself is a reactionary response to the online censorship the left enjoys on big tech platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. While Parler is far from the ideal free speech platform, their refusal to ban critics of Trump at least illustrates their loyalty to the cause.

Parler was removed from online in January, 2021 after Amazon Web Services claimed their content was too violent and racist. The platform was subsequently removed from both the Apple App Store and Google’s Play Store. Parler came back online in February and returned to Apple’s App Store in May after agreeing to moderate violent and racist content more closely.

Freedom of speech is under attack in the country. While many of the attacks have been from the left, actions taken by the GOP do not illustrate a respect for the dying principles. We mustn’t silence our opponents. You don’t censor bad ideas; you combat them with better ones. They have awful ideas that equate to government-sponsored theft. In order for the marketplace of ideas to function efficiently, we cannot advocate for silencing views, regardless of how damaging they are and will continue to be to society if left unchecked.

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