Spoiler: There isn’t one.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), the U.S. Senate’s most passionate libertarian, was suspended from YouTube for expressing his strong opposition to Wuhan virus mandates and calling for widespread citizen resistance. This is res ipsa loquitur: Big Tech is using its corporate power to support government policies and prevent dissent. The argument that YouTube (that is, Google) is a private entity and not bound by the First Amendment is disingenuous, just as similar arguments defending Facebook, Twitter and other social media banning President Trump as well as posts that offer opinions and positions they don’t want the public to see. When corporations use their massive power and influence to suppress speech and control the flow of information, they pose an existential threat to democracy. When they exercise this power to advance the political agenda of a specific group, individual or party, that threat is worse. When they are censoring and distorting on behalf of the government, the threat is dire.
Paul released a rebuttal and condemnation of YouTube’s indefensible action, and it was also taken down by Our Video Masters. You can view it here, on Rumble. If I could embed it, I would.
Let me turn the floor over to Professor Turley, not as an appeal to authority, but because there is no reason for me to write in different words what he has said persuasively already:
“This is part of our political debate. People have a free speech right to oppose the mandates and question the science cited by the government. In this case, a corporation is preventing a major political figure from being able to use its platform to engage others on this subject. It is picking and choosing who can speak and what they can say. It has a right to do so as a private company but it is wrong to do so. It is a denial of free speech and we need to address the corporate control over political speech in the United States. I have previously and repeatedly said that I believe people should be vaccinated. I and my family are vaccinated. However, I will not accept arguments that my public health concerns should negate the free speech rights of others, including Sen. Paul. I also do not accept that these corporations should hold such a strangle hold over public debate.The rise of corporate censors has combined with a heavily pro-Biden media to create the fear of a de facto state media that controls information due to a shared ideology rather than state coercion. That concern has been magnified by demands from Democratic leaders for increased censorship, including censoring political speech, and now word that the Biden Administration has routinely been flagging material to be censored by Facebook.”
Bingo. If you scroll down the nearly 200 comments to Turley’s, you don’t have to go far to find Turley readers, many of them bravely named “Anonymous,” who argue against the professor’s position by arguing that Paul is “wrong.” This is the same approach used by my increasingly totalitarian-tilting Facebook friends, a depressing number of them lawyers, to rationalize the biased mainstream media distortion of facts and manipulation of news during the Trump administration (as well as before and after.) It doesn’t matter if the senator is wrong. Rand Paul, like his father, is wrong about a lot of issues, but he is a U.S. Senator, and a free populace must be able to hear what he wants to say. The same applies to Donald Trump, the “Squad,” Andrew Cuomo, and my neighbor who doesn’t have the sense to come out of the rain.
Two cheers are due, I guess, to the mainstream media for coverage, though spotty and misleading, of YouTube’s disgraceful move. At least the Washington Post and New York Times covered it, though not with the prominence such a story deserves, and I have yet to see or read a ringing editorial by any of these First Amendment-protected entities condemning Google and YouTube, because, you see, these papers support the censorship. It’s just an extension of their own attacks on democracy. The Post, Times, and most of the other outlets flag their support by headlines like the AP’s “YouTube Suspends Rand Paul After Misleading Video on Masks.” His speech isn’t about masks, and they damn well know it. Turley’s headline is accurate and fair: “YouTube Censors Sen. Rand Paul for Speaking Against Mandates.”
Americans have to be willing to fight for their freedom speech. No, by “fight” I’m not calling for an insurrection any more than Donald Trump was.
But it might have to come to that.