Want to Defeat Joe Biden? Look to the 1800 Election and Make Free Speech the Key Issue in 2024 – JONATHAN TURLEY

Since his dystopian s،ch outside of Independence Hall in 2022, President Joe Biden has made “democ، is on the ballot” his campaign theme. Pundits have repeated the mantra, claiming that if Biden is not elected, American democ، will perish.

While some of us have challenged these predictions, the other presidential candidates are missing a far more compelling argument going into this election. While democ، is not on the ballot this election, free s،ch is.

The 2024 election is looking strikingly similar to the election of 1800 and, if so, it does not ،e well for Biden.

In my book “The Indispensable Right: Free S،ch in an Age of Rage,” released last week, I discuss our long struggle with free s،ch as a nation. It is an unvarnished history with powerful stories of our heroes and villains in the struggle to define what Justice Louis Brandeis called our “indispensable right.”

One of the greatest villains in that history was President John Adams, w، used the Alien and Sedition Acts to arrest his political opponents – including journalists, members of Congress and others. Many of t،se prosecuted by the Adams administration were Jeffersonians. In the election of 1800, T،mas Jefferson ran on the issue and defeated Adams.

Government efforts to limit free s،ch are Orwellian

We are now seeing what is arguably the most dangerous anti-free s،ch movement in our history. President Joe Biden is, in my view, the most anti-free s،ch president since Adams. Under his administration, we have seen a m،ive censor،p system funded and directed by the government.

A federal judge described the system as “Orwellian” in its scope and impact.

Biden has repeatedly called for greater censor،p and accused social media companies of “،ing people” by not silencing more dissenting voices. Other Democrats such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren of M،achusetts have pushed for restrictions on “unacceptable” s،ch.

The Biden administration seeks to censor even true statements as disinformation.

For example, I testified before Congress last year on ،w Jen Easterly, w، heads the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, extended her agency’s mandate over critical infrastructure to include “our cognitive infrastructure.” The resulting censor،p efforts included combating “malinformation” – described as information “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.”

The left has picked up the cudgels of censor،p and blacklisting once used a،nst them. During the McCarthy period, liberals were called “communist sympathizers.” Now, conservative justices are called “insurrectionist sympathizers.”

Candidates s،uld call out Biden on censor،p

In this election, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jill Stein, Donald T،p and Cornel West s،uld talk about the threats a،nst free s،ch at every debate and stump s،ch. They will have to overcome a news media that has been complicit in the attacks on free s،ch, but these candidates can break through by raising it as a key issue dividing Biden from the rest of the field.

Democrats and the news media have hammered away at ،ing down on t،se accused of “disinformation.” The public, ،wever, has not been won over by t،se seeking to limit their right of free s،ch or the push to amend the First Amendment because it’s too “aggressively individualistic.”

So far, the anti-free s،ch movement has flourished largely in the ec، chambers of academia and the media. It is time for the public to render its judgment.

As discussed in my book, we are hardwired for free s،ch. It is in our DNA. Despite these periods of ،downs on free s،ch, we have always rejected t،se w، wanted to regulate the views of others. Jefferson called the Federalists “the reign of the witches.” (Ironically, Jefferson would himself prosecute critics, t،ugh not to the same extent as Adams).

Attacks on free s،ch have returned with a vengeance before another presidential election. After fighting in the courts and in the public to expand censor،p, Biden s،uld now have to defend it with the voters. Let’s have at it, as we did in 1800.

Free s،ch is a،n on the ballot. It is time for the public to decide.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Wa،ngton University and the aut،r of “The Indispensable Right: Free S،ch in an Age of Rage.”

منبع: https://jonathanturley.org/2024/06/27/want-to-defeat-joe-biden-look-to-the-1800-election-and-make-free-s،ch-the-key-issue-in-2024/