Republicans and conservatives are whining about being 'silenced,' but these complaints are completely detached from reality. — Michael Gordon, Business Insider Opinion Columnist
Republicans and conservatives are whining about being 'silenced,' but these complaints are completely detached from reality. — Michael Gordon, Business Insider Opinion Columnist
Republicans and conservatives are whining about being 'silenced,' but these complaints are completely detached from reality
  • Conservatives have complained about being "silenced" in the wake of Trump's boot from Twitter and the Parler ban.
  • But Fox News, the highest rated news channel, is conservative and GOP officials and conservative pundits have a variety of outlets to air their grievances.
  • Instead of complaining about being "silenced," conservatives should address the reasons why their rhetoric is seen as toxic: the violence and far-right elements of their party.
They also love to whimper about Silicon Valley being the "thought police" for conservative ideas. But Twitter let President Donald Trump violate the platform's policies day after day, year after year, until the violent riots on January 6.

So it's clear that all of the conservative claims of being "silenced," are not good faith arguments for free speech but rather a way to stoke anger, gain attention, and raise money.

As soon as Twitter announced that it was permanently banning Trump due to his incitement of the Capitol riots and possibly more, the majority of America – which is pro-unity, anti-bully – breathed a sigh of relief.


But among right wingers, the decision triggered a wave of teeth gnashing. Their focus was not on the carnage at the Capitol – but on the fact that Trump's middle finger had been removed by Silicon Valley. Pundits and GOP lawmakers were sobbing as they said that it was California vs the conservatives, that their free speech was being violated, that the crackdown on QAnon and spam accounts cost them followers.

But the issue is not left vs right. It's right vs wrong. After years violating Twitter policy and posting dangerous rhetoric, Trump was finally stopped because the danger became too clear: Americans died because of his words. It's not conservative principles that caused social media to take a stand. It's violence, sedition, incitement.

So unless the Republican party claims to be synonymous with the riot on the Hill, then there is a huge bright line between conservative speech that should be debated and violent action that should be destroyed.

Parler is not shut down because it's right wing. It's shut down because it became the place to plan more violent attacks. This is not about free speech. Twitter and its ilk remain platforms for vigorous – and then some – debate.

If Republicans really don't want to be banned from social media, they need to stop associating with the alt-right, the fringe, the militia extremists. Those groups are the energy of the Republican party, but they're focused on mob violence, not conservative principles.

... Conservatives will continue to cry about these issues because it's a successful ploy to keep their audience engaged and enraged in our profitable culture of division. But let's not let them fool us any more. We've paid that price already.