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Good news, we do not get it so often. It’s April 25, 2022. Elon Musk bought Twitter today. This means that Twitter will in future be privately owned. Elon Musk will determine what is allowed on the platform.
Now, why is this important? Not because it highlights the sudden arrival of oligarchy that you hear now. It’s too late for that; oligarchy is here already. All major technology companies are already controlled by billionaires. This has been the case for a long time, so it’s nothing new. The reason why today’s sale of Twitter is big news, the reason why it could turn out to be a focal point in our history, is that Elon Musk does not agree with the rest of the billionaires in the tech industry. Unlike the leaders of Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Elon Musk believes in free speech. He believes that everyone should be allowed to speak, even people who disagree with him.
“I hope even my worst critics stay on Twitter,” Musk wrote today on his new platform, “because that’s what free speech means.” It sounds like a completely American feeling, but in this atmosphere it is a revolutionary attitude. Of the five companies that control the flow of virtually all information consumed by the citizens of this country, Twitter is by far the smallest in the group, but it does not matter. A platform that becomes rogue is enough to break the monopoly. This means that you now have real opportunities to express yourself.
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If you disagree with the administration’s latest directive in the future, you will say it out loud to an audience. So they are up there every day from the podium, the biggest megaphone in the world, ordering you to hate this or that group, and lecturing you on who is good and who is evil, as if you are a child and not right to decide for yourself these things, the basic things, but before today you had no right to express your disagreement in public. If you had an opposite opinion or even more dangerous than that, if you had conflicting facts undermining their history, the technology companies would shut you down right away. It happened to us. It happened to many people, most of whom you have never heard of. Never hearing about those people was the whole point of shutting them down. But it’s over.
After today, you will be able to post your disagreement somewhere where other people may have a reasonable chance of seeing it. In other words, you will have a chance to change the minds of others just as the White House does every day. So you just became a little more powerful. The people who were already in charge just got a little less powerful. It’s so simple, and it’s so deep.
Of course, that may change. It is possible that Elon Musk at some point decides that he does not really want dissenting views on Twitter. It could happen. Elon Musk can do what he wants, just as Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg can do what they want and often do. This is the price for the rest of us of living under a political system that is so dysfunctional that it can not even guarantee the fundamental freedoms it promises its own citizens, and freedom of speech is the first on the list. Why? Because democracy depends on freedom of speech, and the irony is that if you want to save democracy, you are forced to look outside the democratic system to do so.
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At this point, you have no choice but to put your hopes in the good intentions of an eccentric billionaire. There is no other option because no one else comes to the rescue. So in the case of Elon Musk, we’ll see how it ends, but so far, Musk’s purchase of Twitter is the biggest political development since Donald Trump’s election in 2016. It’s certainly the most threatening challenge for the corrupt and incompetent this country’s leadership. Now, it may not be obvious to everyone yet, but those in charge certainly understand it. The scene inside Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when the Musk deal was announced was akin to the scene when Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election.
It is the collective grief of people who believed that they would have the full responsibility, who completely believed that they would be able to rule without borders. These people learned that in fact other people are also going to speak and that cognition is crushing them. It’s the one thing they dread, and it tells you all about why these people should never be near power. People who want a monopoly on speech and thought hate Elon Musk, not because he is a racist. He’s not, but because they can not control him. They hate him because he keeps saying things like this:
HOST: But why make that offer?
ELON MUSK: Well, I think it’s very important that there is an inclusive arena for free speech. My strong, intuitive sense is that it is extremely important for the future of civilization to have a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive.
HOST: But you have described yourself …
ELON MUSK: I do not care at all about finances.
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So freedom of speech is extremely important to civilization. Are you triggered by it? It is often difficult to know who is on which side, so much lies. Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? Well, here is a very clear, simple and flawless test. Who are the tyrants? They are all bothered by the idea that other people may get to talk. It’s an infallible test. It is 100% accurate. Do you want to allow people who disagree with you to speak? If you did not want to, you were a tyrant, and tonight the tyrants mourn.
In Congress, Democrats made one last attempt to use their power to intimidate Elon Musk into resigning. Connecticut Congresswoman Katherine Clark wrote this “If they can afford to buy Twitter, they can afford to pay their fair share of taxes. Retweet if you’re ready to support Joe Biden’s billionaire minimum income tax.” But it’s funny, did not the National Review write a lot of pieces the other day, saying it was wrong of Ron DeSantis to use his power in Florida to punish a company? I wonder if they are just as angry about this.
Suddenly, Democrats are calling for any higher taxes on the big corporations that fund their campaigns. Why? Because here is someone who may not be funding their campaigns. Congressman Bonnie Watson Coleman wrote this: “If you can buy a larger social media platform, you can pay your fair share of taxes. Taxes. The rich.”
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Haven’t heard it from the left in a while. Why are they so angry? Because their monopoly on speech and information, the ability to control what you think has been broken. So once again, they resort to coercion to make you shut up. This is not an attack on Elon Musk. They will not tax him to poverty. He is the richest man in the world. This is an attack on you and your right to speak freely, to express your conscience in public. But for once, it does not work and the media is furious. They are deeply threatened by a free internet and therefore they are panicking.
JOY REID, MSNBC: Elon Musk is the new power of the social media giant, and he skims the runways for the return of the trolls.
JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC: This is happening in the background of Elon Musk, who says, “Basically, I want to buy Twitter so I can open it up and turn it into Gab and leave Donald Trump back.” So there are real consequences of allowing someone to run these internet sites and say what they want.
ANAND GIRIDHARADAS, PUBLISHER, THE.INK: And Elon Musk is the fox who gets into the chicken coop, and it’s a shame that Twitter, which has a commitment of trust, I mean, has to protect people who actually use it, the millions of people who actually use it. Did they ask a single woman, a single woman? Was a single woman consulted? Was a single colored person just using Twitter who made the mistake of using Twitter and need it for their job?
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So Elon Musk is a threat to the weak, say the most privileged and powerful people in our society. Really? Do they really stand up for the weak? No, the weak are the people who are not allowed to say what they really mean. It is the weak, and what you have just seen are the strong, demanding the silence of the weak. Everyone has sort of figured it out, except the people who demand it. They are so up in their ass that you’ve just heard them say that Twitter is a trusted duty to ignore its shareholders, block trading and continue Twitter’s decline in the market. It does not even make any sense, and because it does not, you can be sure that you saw in the meltdown, and of course, the same charge is at the bottom of the meltdown. “He’s a racist.” Wait for the New York Times piece that tells you, “Elon Musk is a racist.”
Shaun King, the fake black activist on Twitter, wrote this: “In his mess. Elon Musk, who wants to buy Twitter, is not about left to right. It is about white power. The man was brought up in apartheid by a white nationalist. He’s sorry that Twitter will not allow white nationalists to target, harass people. That is his definition of freedom of speech. ” So you have a fake black guy attacking Elon Musk because of his parents, right?
Musk has not responded point by point to all of this, and again, there is something a little pathetic if you are interested in democracy and put their hopes in one guy, but again, what are our options at this point? So far, Elon Musk has said all the right things.
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In a statement this afternoon announcing his purchase of Twitter, he said: “Freedom of expression is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital city square where issues crucial to the future of humanity are discussed. I also want to make Twitter better than ever by improving the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeat spambots and authenticate all people. Twitter has enormous potential. I look forward to working with the company and the users of community viewers to unlock it. ”
If this is even half true, then how is it not an improvement over what we have at the moment, where people are arbitrarily banned depending on the whims of the responsible politicians, where the powerful crush the week to retain their power? If you think the status quo is better than that, then you’re a tyrant.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary for the April 25, 2022 issue of “Tucker Carlson Tonight”.