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Best-selling author Michael Knowles offered some words of wisdom for Elon Musk, liberals and “squishes” on the right when it comes to censorship and free speech during his presentation at Turning Point USA’s America Fest 2022.

Knowles opened with a joke about the event being held in Maricopa County, saying he was worried until finding out the people who run the airport are not the same people as those who run the county’s elections.

“Could you imagine,” he asked. “We’d all still be waiting in line right now. It would be horrible. The better news was cops locked up the cross-dressing nuclear energy guy last week, so we didn’t even have to worry about our luggage getting stolen.”

He said he wanted to thank Musk, but not just thank him for buying Twitter or allowing conservatives to return to the social media network, but to thank him for banning liberals a week earlier.

“I loved it,” he said. “I want to see a lot more of it. And I know we’re not supposed to say that. You know what we’re supposed to say. The libs and the squishes want us to say that what Elon did was a ‘terrible attack on free speech.’ They want us to say ‘we may not agree with how the libs dox us, but we will defend to the death their right to do it.’ That’s what they want.

“I don’t think so. I don’t believe any of that. Those jerks doxxed Elon. They put his whole family at risk and I am glad the censored them.”

His only problem with the ordeal was Elon lifted the suspensions so rapidly. And he did so per the results of a Twitter poll. Musk has made it a habit to use the Latin phrase “vox populi, vox dei,” which means the voice of the people is the voice of God.

“That’s a very cute expression, but it’s not true,” Knowles said. “It’s not true. The voice of the people, the voice of the mob very rarely reflects the perfect will of God. Look at what the mob did to Socrates. Did that turn out very well? We’re approaching Christmas right now. Do we forget what the mob did to Jesus?”

The phrase originated as a warning from a deacon to an emperor.

“Those people should not be listened to who keep saying that the voice of the people is the voice of God since the riotness of the crowd is always very close to madness,” Knowles said the warning was. “Unfortunately in recent years, really since the 14th century and especially since the turn of the 18th century, people have repeated that phrase not to mock it but to affirm it as though it were true.”

Many people today still believe the voice of the people is the voice of God, but Knowles noted the “wise men” who built our civilization and country disagreed.

“They understood that the mob should not in fact be given whatever it happens to be shouting for at any given moment,” he said. “That is why our founding fathers and the framers of our Constitution gave us a constitutional republic rather than a democracy. That’s why the framers warned their fellow countrymen so passionately about the dangers of democracy and mob rule. They understood that in order for the people to enjoy the blessings of liberty, their power must be checked by law and the other institutions of our government. This emphasis on the importance of limits is especially true when we are talking about free speech.”

The First Amendment was adopted to protect free speech, but none of the framers believed it protected every “grunt and belch and sound” that might come out of someone’s mouth.

“The founders and the framers were not free speech absolutists by any stretch of the imagination,” Knowles said. “From the earliest days of our nation, all sorts of speech was illegal and out of bounds.”

Threats, fraud, fighting words, obscenity and blasphemy were outlawed. In fact, Knowles said until about 10 years ago many states had laws against blasphemy and some still do.

“And we were better off for it,” he said.

John Locke, the father of liberalism, declared free speech did not cover atheists who he argued had no right to be included in society.

“A little harsh from the father of liberalism, but that’s what he said,” Knowles said.

Free speech is not possible without limits, Knowles argued. If threatening speech is legal, it will not allow others to speak as freely as they would because they would censor themselves out of intimidation. If fraud were protected speech, speech would become meaningless because people could no longer trust language to convey truth. If obscenity were protected speech — and it has never been in U.S. history — it would be degraded into the base grunting of animals as people lost their will and reason over to lust and as communities lost their political right to set standards.

“Sometimes you will hear the squishes, they’ll call the real conservatives hypocrites for defending just and prudent limits on speech,” Knowles said.

They’ll caution against conservatives wielding the political power, the “teensie, wincy, incy bit of political power” they ever get at times in this country, if it is wielded to fight back against the threats, the fraud and the obscenity that the Left peddles constantly, then we’d be no different than the Left.

“That’s what they tell us,” Knowles said. “If we shut down drag queen story hour at the local elementary school, why that’s no different from shutting down church on Sunday. Either way, they tell us, we’d be wielding the power of the state to enforce certain standards.

“Yeah. That’s called politics. That is called self-government. That is what the founding fathers bled to allow. Just do that. That is what every sensible citizen understood politics as being until about five minutes ago when the Right got duped into thinking that political power is based in itself and decided to surrender it all to the libs who you may have noticed have no problem whatsoever using and abusing that political power to destroy our country.”

Knowles said he cannot help anyone who cannot tell the difference between drag queen story hour and church.

“You are not capable of self-government if you cannot tell the difference,” he said. “If you cannot know that some things are better than other things, if you cannot confidently say for instance that to bake a pie for a widow is better than kicking a baby in the head…I don’t know, if you cannot say that there is nothing that is better than any other thing, if you cannot state for certain that some things are objectively true and settled and not really up for debate, then you are not capable of self-government. It is amazing how many self-styled, mainstream conservatives do not get this anymore.”

Knowles said certain things can be settled.

“They must be settled if our society is going to do anything at all,” he said. “We do not need to tolerate drag queen story hour. We don’t. We do not need to tolerate Leftists bullying and intimidating and doxxing us. We do not need to tolerate the lies and the fraud constantly being peddled by the liberal establishment. We do not need to tolerate it and we should not tolerate it. We should not.

“There is nothing hypocritically about encouraging good things and discouraging bad things. That is called common sense. That is called protecting our community. That is called politics and it is long past time that conservatives started doing that again.”


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