Why Big Tech Censored Our Podcast Touching on 2020 Election Irregularities | Opinion

Amid congressional Democrats' push—via the dishonestly named "For the People Act"—to make universal and permanent the extraordinary election integrity-threatening measures of the 2020 election, while hypocritically unseating Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-2) after her duly certified November victory, their Big Tech adjuncts continue censoring speech that runs afoul of that election's Official Narrative.

My colleagues at the Claremont Institute's The American Mind publication found this out when they tried to publish a podcast on YouTube that my company helped script and produce—only for the Google-owned video platform to remove it outright.

Ironically, or perhaps not, the mini-audio documentary, titled "The Ruling Class Strikes Back," chronicled the myriad ways in which our political establishment—and its sundry allies in Big Tech, woke capital, the corporate media and across the other commanding heights of society—worked relentlessly during the 2020 election to marginalize, silence and rout dissenters from their progressive orthodoxy.

Their tactics, of course, included suppressing news, information and opinion frowned upon by the Ruling Class.

Such illiberal efforts are only accelerating and expanding in 2021—supercharged using the pretext of the Capitol Riot—manifesting in the Wokeification of the military, muzzling of contrarian media figures and the impending execution of a war on "domestic violent extremism" that could sweep up half the country.

What was so wrong about the American Mind podcast?

One portion of it scrutinized the dubious aspects of the 2020 election—that is, the podcast touched on what is now a quintessential third rail.

In a generic email to us, YouTube reminded that it is "a safe space for all." By questioning aspects of the 2020 election, the podcast allegedly violated that space. Without pointing to precisely how it did so, the social media platform added: "Content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors or glitches changed the outcome of the U.S. 2020 presidential election is not allowed on YouTube."

Never mind that the podcast made no such claims.

What it did do was question the legitimacy of the lawfare that preceded the election, highlight the curious events that transpired both during and after election night, and chronicle the statistical anomalies and robust evidence pointing to the fact that the election merited rigorous scrutiny.

The bottom line of the argument, adapted in part from a piece I had written, was this: "Every single...battleground state[] might have broken Joe Biden's way in a normal election in which Americans cast their votes in-person, with proper identification," but on account of what logic, recent history and the mass of documented evidence all told us about throwing the caution of normalcy to the wind, "the foregoing has cast a shadow over our elections."

That the podcast was not trying to re-litigate the 2020 presidential election, but instead merely put it in context of a series of major related events—including the first impeachment effort, the COVID-19 crisis and the 1619 Riots—was of no concern to YouTube. Any such skepticism is now banned.

In other words, "[c]ore political speech, the 'primary object of First Amendment protection,'" as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas noted in the landmark 2010 Citizens United case, is afforded no such protection by the purported non-publisher.

Google apps on smartphone
Google apps on smartphone Chesnot/Getty Images

The Official Narrative is that the first mass mail-in election ballot in history was uniquely above board. Even before the Capitol Riot, one could not freely tweet out sworn allegations of vote fraud from a court filing. Now, Big Tech would likely argue you are inciting people to violence if you dare cast doubt on the soundness of the election; you are "Jim Eagle" should you advocate for legislation that would dare limit unprecedented 2020 election practices.

Let us momentarily set aside the danger of chilling and criminalizing speech under the liberal "incitement to violence" standard normalized by the second impeachment effort against President Donald Trump; or the fact that the notion the January 6 breach of the Capitol constituted an armed insurrection has completely fallen apart; or the fact that black turnout rates have been increasing across the country, including in those states implementing voter-ID requirements; or the fact that eroding voting standards has the effect of disenfranchising voters to the extent their legitimate votes are diluted by fraudulently cast ones.

Big Tech undermines confidence in our elections by censoring criticism of them. Sound elections can withstand scrutiny. If you wanted to make people suspicious of the veracity of the election process, you would be hard-pressed to find a better way to do it than to censor speech about it.

It undermines confidence in our entire republican system, more broadly, when Big Tech plays judge, jury and executioner on acceptable arguments across all manner of contentious and critical issues—and even more so when they do so in cahoots with, or at minimum under pressure from, the Washington, D.C. establishment.

Healthy and free societies not only tolerate robust debate, but demand it. The alternative is an authoritarian nation where we suppress discourse and dissenters are alienated, pushed underground and inflamed. When disputes cannot be resolved in words, tragically, the odds increase that people may resort to actions. This is how civil societies devolve into banana republics.

Our Ruling Class would seem to be comfortable with this trajectory. It first seeks a monopoly on the narrative so that it can then obtain a monopoly on power. That is what all of the hysteria over "combating disinformation" from the peddlers of Russiagate and endless bombshells-turned-duds over the last four-plus years is really about.

The Ruling Class seeks to set the terms of the increasingly limited debates we are allowed to have; it controls the platforms through which the narrow array of its approved arguments are promulgated; it determines who gets canceled and who is spared.

Our Ruling Class cannot tolerate dissent because it cannot tolerate challenges to its power and privilege.

That is why it hated President Donald Trump, and that is why it must relentlessly target the tens of millions of Americans who symbolically rejected the Ruling Class's reign by supporting him.

Ironically, the Ruling Class's claim to power would be stronger if it ceased its hostility toward the roughly half of the country it deems Deplorable and at least gave the appearance of caring about and responding to its concerns.

That it does not, and instead lashes out in angst, indicates its inherent weakness and short-sightedness.

Why would our Ruling Class want to raise its own children in the kind of joyless, volatile, sclerotic country it now seems intent on crafting?

Ben Weingarten is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, fellow at the Claremont Institute and senior contributor to The Federalist. He is the author of American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party (Bombardier, 2020). Ben is the founder and CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and production company. Subscribe to his newsletter at bit.ly/bhwnews, and follow him on Twitter: @bhweingarten.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

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