When the news of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter came through, Republicans treated the announcement like it was Christmas Day. Finally, someone was willing to take a stand to elevate the chorus of their repressed voices – even though they have multiple platforms to voice them unchecked, like Fox News, Parlor, and Truth Social.
Musk said the following at a TED conference a day after submitting his bid to buy the social platform, “If in doubt, let the speech exist,” he said. “If it’s a gray area, I would say, let the tweet exist. But obviously, in the case where there’s perhaps a lot of controversy, you would not necessarily want to promote that tweet.”
Isn’t it ironic that speech should be allowed “to exist on a social media platform,’’ when all over the country, Republican state legislators are banning race and slavery discussions in schools, books referring to LBGTQ and non-binary identifying people, and talk of what they deem “divisive concepts.”
Republicans are ok with fighting tooth and nail over the First Amendment until it’s time to discuss the continued shortcomings of American history and how it’s affected marginalized people. Instead, they would enjoy their rosy outlook of the red, white, and blue and not have to look back at the atrocities committed to learning from them. Twitter is only a tiny symptom of that–while the platform has its own troubles in dealing with harassment, it’s been a place where movements like the George Floyd protests and Egypt’s 2011 Revolution have grown.
Republicans see that power and, like everything else, want to dilute it as much as possible–seemingly making things out to be an even playing field to lessen the intended impact of the platform. Then, behind the big curtain, the party is hoarding said power through the means of state laws.
The First Amendment limits government regulation of private speech–that doesn’t pertain to a private company and rules and standards. Republicans don’t want to live in a world where their words have consequences. They want to change social media into a free-for-all and whitewash structure like a school curriculum.
Which party has been echoing the lie that the 2020 presidential election has been stolen and sending texts to overthrow the government with no consequences? It can’t be the one that isn’t allowed to speak freely–republicans have somehow romanticized the notion that they are oppressed while silencing the voices of others. Republicans love rights so much that they are fighting to go back to a time when they only enjoyed having them.