Last week I was reading some alt-right pundit who was beside himself with joy over what he claimed was Elon Musk’s ‘restoration’ of free speech on Twitter by giving a new account to Donald Trump. And in general, Elon Musk is now being promoted by the alt-right as a defender of the Constitution versus the attempt by the woke crowd to censor and prevent good, loyal, God-fearing, and patriotic Americans from saying whatever they want to say.
The idea that who says what on Twitter has anything at all to do with the 1st Amendment is a total load of crap. And yet people fall for such nonsense because of how the concept of ‘free speech’ is misused, particularly these days by the alt-right.
Actually, what we really should be looking at is not ‘free speech,’ so much as ‘free expression,’ because with the internet, so much for what involves the movement of information from one person to another involves pictures rather than words.
In that regard, I’m reminded of what I believe was the best statement ever to come out of the mouth of a member of the Supreme Court. It was said by Associate Justice Potter Stewart who, in an early SCOTUS debate about how to define pornography, said, “I may not know how to define pornography, but I know it when I see it.”
Which is more or less what I think about comments made by Trump and the other members of his gang on Truth Social, ditto what Elon Musk outs out there on Twitter. These guys aren’t in the slightest bit interested in advancing anything having to do with free speech at all. They are interested in promoting a certain political agenda which, as far as I am concerned, is nothing more than a way to spread hateful and malicious beliefs about anyone who doesn’t agree with their views on what needs to be done to make America and the world a better place.
What this whole issue of speech gets down to is how we define ‘public’ versus ‘private’ space. A public space is any location which owned by a public (i.e., government) agency, be the agency a village, a town, a city, a county, a state, or the government of all 50 states.
The governing agency can set certain rules for how people must behave in a public space, but the only speech which can be regulated is if someone says something that could create a…