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Land of The Servile and Home of The Woke
Rational conservative thinking is under attack from all directions. The mainstream media, web-based social media, schools at all levels, pandering corporations, and the dictatorial Biden administration are all working to eradicate conservative voices from the national debate. At the rate things are going, this coordinated and blatant censorship will continue until conservatives are completely silenced. It is not just in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four that any and all dissenting voices have been suppressed. It has happened many times throughout history and, as could easily have been forecast, it is happening again today in America. Unless something significant is done soon, the land of the free and the home of the brave will soon become the land of the servile and the home of the woke.
A sensible and effective response, but one not yet coordinated in any widespread manner, is to fight back, taking a page out of the ‘cancel culture’ playbook employed by the left. We must boycott those with extreme arrogance and ignorance and whose agenda supersedes their awareness that half or more of their profits come directly from those who they are attacking. Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter, to name the most blatant of offenders, are wielding the power we have given them to silence us, rewrite history, and impact elections. The level of control and power of these companies cannot be underestimated, as we have seen in the blatant and coordinated censoring of conservative voices, free-speech social media outlets, and even the President of the United States during the 2020 election.
A recent example is Amazon’s decision to remove the book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by conservative scholar Ryan Anderson from the Amazon website, Kindle, and Audible platforms.
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in which they wrote:
“Over the past 72 hours, Amazon has been unable to provide a sufficient explanation as to how Anderson’s book, which reached the top of two of Amazon’s best-seller lists before it was even released in 2018, supposedly violated a vague, undefined ‘offensive content’ standard.”
Bezos’ response may be seen here, but it remains difficult to disagree with the Senators’ contention that:
“By removing this book from its marketplaces and services, Amazon has unabashedly wielded its outsized market share to silence an important voice merely for the crime of violating woke groupthink.
It is also useful to consider Mr. Anderson’s Twitter response to the banning of his book:
“Amazon appears to have never read my book but relied on hit pieces. As I pointed out before: “Please quote the passage where I ‘call them mentally ill.’ You can’t quote the passage because it doesn’t exist.”
Another example is YouTube’s canceling of all ads on Rebel News’s channel, a leading conservative media outlet in Canada. This ban even applied to advertisers who specifically requested that their ads be placed on the Rebel News channel. Even worse, YouTube banned Rebel News’ 1.45 million YouTube subscribers from voluntarily paying the network via ‘live stream super chats.’ Rebel News founder Ezra Levant said in a video,
“This is going to cost us about four hundred thousand dollars a year… If we stop criticizing the [COVID-19] lockdown, they say we can reapply in 30 days and possibly get our ads back. But we would have to stop saying what we say. We have to say what they want us to say.”
“I think YouTube is ramping up. I think their next step will be to suspend our channel altogether, just to delete us…. I do have a plan. You can see it at afteryoutube.com.”
The power of social media companies is due to our now habitual use of their products and services. They present the content that we watch on television; they control the content we see when searching the Internet; they control the posts we see from our friends and family on social media and “independently fact check” opposing views.
They control the products we see and don’t see; they scan our emails, our calendars, our telephone images, our purchase history, our financial information, and our social media posts and profit greatly every step of the way by selling this information through advertising and selling of our private information. We are the product they are selling, and we unwillingly and sometimes unknowingly funding the very companies who are coordinating an attack on conservative beliefs every day.
With the ongoing censorship, widespread coordination of conservative movements is getting more difficult every day. It will be nearly impossible at this pace when, without reason, they can shut us down, censor through canceling contracts for web services, or shut down social media accounts or remove programming from their television platforms, as may soon happen with Rebel News.
A Summer Without Amazon
We must create a connected network of conservative influencers who are able to reach the majority of conservatives who can quickly influence change by withdrawing their support of the censorship consortium and completely detaching from their influence. We must boycott corporations like Amazon, replace Google accounts with email accounts where our every word and digital possession isn’t scanned, replace Google search with an unbiased and non-tracking portal, stop giving Facebook ad views and the ability to censor opposing opinions, and stop giving Amazon further profits and immunity to censor conservative products, programming and shutting down conservative outlets who are purchasing their web services.
A summer of boycotting these companies will create change, and they will quickly see the repercussions of alienating and silencing half of the country by losing half of their revenue. We must stop rolling over, or these outrageous acts of censorship will only become routine until any balance of thought and values are gone to American history.
At my (Jay Lehr’s) house, an Amazon truck rolls up our driveway a few times a week because the ease of ordering our needs over the Internet overrides our distaste for the very company bringing our goods. Virtually everything we buy on the Internet is available at our local brick-and-mortar stores. During the months of July and August, we pledge to order nothing at all on Amazon. If enough of us make this pledge, Amazon should learn that we are a force to be reckoned with rather than folks who can be treated with disdain.
We know that a vigorous response to censorship can yield positive results. Consider the case of Amazon banning (twice) Rebel News founder Ezra Levant’s book, “China Virus: How Justin Trudeau’s Pro-Communist Ideology Is Putting Canadians in Danger.” Mr. Levant stood up to Amazon, and the book is now being sold by Amazon again. We must replicate Mr. Levant’s bold stance across America before it’s too late!
Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government and many foreign countries. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering, he received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.
Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. He has 40 years experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer, and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament.