Politics is an arena full of disagreements. Typically those disagreements come down to a difference in opinion.
But on Wednesday, I was struck at how incredibly tone-deaf the Democrat leader of the Iowa Senate is.
Sen. Zach Wahls argued that conservatives are not being banned on Facebook or Twitter and that conservative speech is not being censored.
Literally. These were his words:
“Conservatives are not being banned on Twitter,” Wahls said. “Conservatives are not being banned on Facebook. We heard the Senator from Woodbury (Sen. Jim Carlin) run through a litany of conservative positions. Not a single person is being banned from any of those platforms for advocating any of those positions, not one.
“What they’re being banned for is for advocating things like violence insurrection against the United States, hate speech, inciting violence. These platforms are trying to ensure that they are not being abused online to cause harm in real life. There is not a problem of conservative speech being censored. That is not a real problem.”
For the record, Sen. Carlin noted his Christianity — which is something that has gotten people in trouble on Facebook. He noted that the best situation for a child is to grow up with a mom and a dad — again a “controversial statement” that may violate Facebook’s community standards.
But I have seen Facebook punish conservatives for posting things that are 100 percent true. Facebook, though, will slap a disclaimer on the post about it lacking context.
I’ve seen conservative media pages enjoy huge weeks, only to turn around the next week and have significantly lower reach. I’ve seen articles with certain words in the headline or pictures of certain people accompanying articles receive shockingly low reach.
I’ve seen it because I’ve experienced it.
Facts are sometimes pesky, stubborn things. But there’s one thing I have learned facts will not do — lie.
To be able to say that censorship of conservative speech is “not a real problem” is mind-blowing.
One has to ignore a ton of anecdotal evidence to reach that conclusion. Or they just have to refuse to hear and examine that evidence.
Does Sen. Wahls believe conservatives are just making it up? That we’re all exaggerating? That we’re all a bunch of liars?
Or does he believe that all of us who are sounding the alarm on this censorship are really just a bunch of folks attempting to incite a “violent insurrection” or advocating for violence or spreading hate speech?
Is that what he thinks of us?
Wahls said that the Big Tech censorship bill is about “making a political point.”
He’s allowed to say that because — wait for it — of his liberal privilege.
I haven’t seen or heard of many liberal Iowans or liberal Americans complain about being censored by social media. I haven’t seen or heard many stories from liberal Iowans about spending time in Facebook jail.
But I hear stories daily about conservatives experiencing a stifling of their free speech.
Wahls may enjoy his liberal privilege now when social media giants are all nice and cozy with left-wing liberal ideals.
But that may not always be the case.
The shoe may indeed one day find the other foot.
And when that day comes, it may be too late for Wahls to be part of the solution tomorrow because he’s too busy keeping his head in the sand today.