Criticism is now “fake news” and to be prevented at any cost by those in power.
This is how free speech died in Germany in the thirties. Read Mein Kampf. Hitler talks extensively about the Jewish media (fake news). Eventually Germans lost a lot of trust in the traditional media in Germany. A few years later, he dissolved their version of Congress. He didn’t have most people’s support, but he had unquestioning support of the right wing and military.
I am, as you know, a guy on the right myself. I believe in armed militias and citizens, small government, free markets… But all of that starts with free speech. Attack free speech as fake news enough and soon people start supporting limits on fake news…. Which is really just limits on free speech.
I am reading John Stuart mills now… Great philosopher on freedom and he says the most important freedom is that of thought and speech. He points out that the greatest philosopher in history of any generation, Socrates, was executed for using free speech. And do you remember what your favorite person was executed for? The Sanhedrin rightly accused him of what they honestly thought was Blasphemy. Jesus was hung on the cross for using his free speech to say what they saw was biblical fake news.
Mills argues (rightly) that all speech must be protected, even speech we despise. That is the most core and fundamental principle for a free society. Unfortunately my team has turned out to be the bad guys. The right wing has organized a massive attack on free speech and free press. In my opinion, it’s no longer really the right wing… Even before the Coronavirus the government and national debt had expanded massively under Republican presidents. Trump has been attacking states rights including cutting federal support for states that didn’t vote for him. Traditionally, conservatives have favored a limited mission specific military. Recently we have been growing the military just to grow it even outside of any threat. Do you know how freedom was lost in Rome? The Roman army got too big and realized its own power and started to take massive amounts of the government budget. Eventually the military supported dictators.