Saturday, January 16, 2021

Has the American Ideal Taken Its Last Breath?

I started looking for a new social-media home back in September, because I saw the writing on the wall at the Big Tech companies. I ended up settling at Minds, because it seemed like a more grown-up place with thoughtful conversations, and at VK, because, being based in Russia, it's somewhat immune from whatever purges happen in the USA.

But it feels like there's no escape from the censors now. Parler was the test balloon and the scapegoat, but now Google and Apple have started chipping away at Minds the same way they did with Parler, and they're working hard on ending Wimkin, another Facebook free-speech alternative.

American Thinker, a site for conservative commentary that’s been around for a long time, had to wipe out its comments section or face going offline.

A woman looking to build a free-speech platform had her GoFundMe campaign canceled, and PR Newswire banned her press release complaining about it — and the tragic irony is that this woman is the daughter of Cambodian immigrants whose parents came here to escape the brutal dictatorship of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

We're living in a nightmare. There's no end to the woke puritans' witch hunt, and no one can stop them. Big Tech is accountable to no one. And the Woke Left, which controls all our major institutions, is firmly on Big Tech's side.

It's a very sad time for anyone old enough to have been on the internet back in its Wild West days, when it held unlimited promise and you could talk about pretty much anything to pretty much anyone. Then the corporations moved in and took over, no one stopped them from growing into gigantic monopolies, and now they're so powerful that they can ban the president of the United States.

No one is safe in this environment. Cancel culture was just the prelude to a Chinese-style social-credit system. Now you can be debanked, lose access to credit, be silenced online, lose your livelihood, lose your house — all for wrongthink, and all with the click of a mouse. Who needs gulags when you hold that much power over the entire world?

Social media has long been my outlet to the world. I've met lots of people with lots of interesting ideas and perspectives. But how can a sane person go on, not knowing where the censors will strike next? They’ll never stop. The net will be cast wider and wider. "Tolerant" "liberals" will continue to silence and demonize their enemies, while conservatives seem incapable of saying anything about any of it but "I condemn the Capitol protest" and "private companies can do whatever they want," as if they think concessionary language will win them some kind of reprieve from the Left.

Meanwhile, the poor Trump diehards still cling to their belief that somehow a last-second miracle will happen and their guy will serve another four years. It's like watching one of those religious cults who go to the mountaintop, certain of the date and time of the rapture, only to go home shattered and disillusioned when nothing happens.

I don't want to sound mean toward the Trumpers. I never liked Trump, but I know the people who support him, and I understand their pain. It didn't start with Trump. It started when greedy corporations sent their manufacturing jobs overseas, Democrats abandoned the working class for corporate favoritism and woke identity politics, and conservatives lost the culture wars. Trump was their last gasp, their only hope. But he was never the right person for the job. Time and again, he's given ammo to those with Trump Derangement Syndrome and made things worse for everyone.

At the very least, Trump was a bulwark. But now the Left will control every major institution in America, and they don't want reconciliation. They want silence and punishment. They want revenge. In league with their corporate cronies, they've already shown that they'll stop at nothing to purge those they disagree with.

More censorship is coming. Minds was one of my favorite places on the internet, but I think its time is short in the current hysterical political climate. I hope I’m wrong, but I think no one will be spared.

I took it as a sign the other day when I saw two different articles talking about how social media distorts our view of the real world and how people are looking for something to fill their spiritual void. I could relate. My remaining faith was annihilated over the past year. Others seem to have turned to politics to fill the void. But as much as I talk about politics, I actually hate politics. It's just that politics is inescapable, as we've seen over the past year and as we're seeing now. And it's just going to get worse after Jan. 20. We face a future of censorship, cancel culture gone wild, health passports for a virus with a 99%-plus survival rate, and the inability to even talk about simple things like election outcomes. Everything that doesn't fit the narrative will be banned as dangerous misinformation, and anyone on the political right can eventually expect to be de-personed.

Anyone left will be relentlessly propagandized and gaslighted into accepting the official narrative... because in this Orwellian world, truth is disinformation, and disinformation is truth. Big Tech is assaulting free speech, but Trump is the fascist. You get the idea.

I’m afraid we've lost the fight. The America so many of us grew up with, the one that at least clung to some thread of constitutional liberty in the pre-9/11 days, appears to have collapsed. And I don’t think there’s any getting it back. Supporting our nation’s founding ideals now marks you as a domestic terrorist, while the masses cheer on the same censorship that will eventually come back to bite them.

I think we've crossed the point of no return. Americans would do well to hunker down and prepare for the worst.

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