Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, just made national headlines for suggesting that social media giants like Facebook and YouTube shouldn’t stop at Alex Jones and Infowars, but rather go forward and censor, censor, censor until all signs of objectionable speech are removed from the Internet.
Here’s a guy who doesn’t belong in political office.
Look at this, the oath of office every U.S. senator, by constitutional requirement, must take: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Now look at what Murphy just tweeted about the booting of Jones and Infowars from several social media sites — an act that no matter how you slice it falls under the label of censorship of political speech.
“Infowars,” Murphy tweeted, “is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart. These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it.”
Right. Let’s start with Murphy’s Twitter account — yes?
But the bigger message is this: Politicians, by their very job descriptions, are required to uphold the tenets of the Constitution. And while the First Amendment speaks of curbs on Congress, and says nothing of corporations and private entities, Murphy — as a publicly paid member of this political body — is walking a pretty thin line by calling for more censorship.
He may not be introducing a bill to legislatively curb free speech. But he’s basically calling on companies to do the same.
Murphy is singling out the political speech of an American citizen as too objectionable to bear, and he’s using his congressional platform to call for companies to crack down on such speech.
That’s not just counter to the spirit of freedom that runs through America.
It’s highly offensive to those who pay Murphy’s salary — to the citizens, the taxpayers, the very people who live in a country where God, not government, dictates rights. It’s a slap in the face of the oath he once uttered.
Who appointed Murphy gate-guard for national discourse?
Murphy is everything that’s wrong with our political class. He takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and then turns around and violates the very spirit of what he’s pledged to protect — which, by logical extension, would include Alex Jones and Jones’ Infowars’ sites.
More Jones; fewer Murphys. That’s the answer to keeping free speech — free political speech — alive and well in this country.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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