Republican State Sen. Jim Carlin spoke in favor of the Big Tech censorship bill on Wednesday. Carlin opened his remarks by telling a story about a woman who was a Mexican dentist and came to America illegally.
She had lived in a medium-sized community and had a successful practice, Carlin said.
“But she had the misfortune of setting up practice in a town run by the cartel – by a drug cartel,” he said. “And she noticed that some of the people in the community started to disappear. And then people started being murdered. And one day she sat down and she figured out the connection between all of those people who had disappeared or been murdered – they were the most educated people in the community who talked and openly spoke about what they thought of the cartel.
“The cartel saw intelligence and free speech as a threat to their tyranny and they dealt with it. So today, I believe we’re having a conversation about tyranny.”
Carlin then criticized Big Tech executives who are censoring Americans.
“There’s a handful of people in this country that are more powerful than any leader of the free world,” he said. “Two of them silenced the President of the United States. Another controls the planet’s largest search engine with the power to decide what we can find in the world’s largest library.
“No man, no woman, no monopoly should have that kind of power in the world’s largest democracy. If this past election proved anything, it proved something that should chill the spine of anybody who believes in the Bill of Rights. This handful of people had the wherewithal to silence whoever they pleased. To stifle the free exchange of ideas.”
Those executives have dominion over what individuals are allowed to see, hear and read.
“They have the power to tell us what we’re allowed to think,” Carlin said. “No tech CEO in Silicon Valley should have that kind of power.”
Carlin said it is one thing America shares in common with China.
“In China, the government does that kind of thing,” he said. “Here we let private monopolies do it. Big tech profits from control. They profit from the suppression of free speech. They, like the cartels, fear free speech. They fear it because it’s a threat to control. It’s a threat to their manipulation to get people to do what they want them to do.”
When people are free to speak, they realize they’re not alone. And then they lose the fear of speaking up. That starts a unifying movement and gives oxygen to opposing viewpoints of those Big Tech CEOs.
“If you can silence dissent, you have the power to define somebody without their consent,” Carlin said. “I’m a Christian conservative. I’ve had enumerable prayers answered that tell me there is a God in Heaven who looks down on the affairs of men and there is right and wrong. I believe in traditional family values. I don’t hate anybody, but I believe the best thing for a child is a mom and a dad. I love America. I believe America has been the greatest liberator in the world’s history.”
Carlin said a lot of people would disagree with him and would not want him to have an opportunity to say those things. But when someone has their speech silenced, they become less than a person. And typically a disparaging accusation follows.
“Unfortunately, on the Left – the far Left – those accusations are weaponized to silence and coerce people so that they don’t give free expression into who we are,” Carlin said. “Historically, the theft of free speech through censorship does not have a good track record on human rights. You would think by now we would’ve learned from history where we’re going with this.”
Kids today, Carlin said, are addicted to media. And due to that addiction, there is potential for abuse.
“If you don’t think so, ask the people of China, North Korea, Russia, Iran – ask the people of Hong Kong who just saw their freedom vanish,” he said. “If those people could talk, but they can’t, they would tell us that they live in a tyrannized prison.”
China keeps track not just of speech, he added, but also the facial expressions individuals show on the street as they walk to work.
“I don’t want us to be on a road to being another surveillance state,” Carlin said.
How this issue is treated today may very well determine how free our children and grandchildren are tomorrow.
“Our children and our grandchildren are going to have to live with our decisions,” Carlin said. “They’re going to have to pay the price if we don’t take the responsibility. It’s their freedom on the line. It’s their self-determination on the line.
“Are your children going to be free? Are your grandchildren going to be free in 20 years? I have real doubts about that. And what Sen. (Jake) Chapman did here is, he confronted part of that path and I’m very thankful for that. We live with verbal attacks. They may well have to live with far worse. They may have to live with violence or imprisonment.
“Reagan said freedom’s never more than one generation away from extinction. Gosh, if there was eer a generation where that was true, wouldn’t it be today? More than any other single cause that we have in our deliberations in here, none is more important than preserving freedom for the next generation and generations to come. We have to stand up with them here and now.
“How real is that threat? They silenced the President of the United States. What do you think they’re going to do to children in the future? We have to confront this here and now. Big tech is a real threat to the freedom and future of what America stands for and our way of life as Americans.”