Minnesota joins effort to allow government-fueled censorship

This is a guest post from Caleb Larson, a member of American Experiment’s Young Leaders Council.

Democrats like Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon loudly proclaim their support of democracy, but their actions reveal a desire to enforce single-party rule through speech controls and election interference. Look no further than the recent brief filed by multiple secretaries of state, including Simon, insisting that the Supreme Court overturn the Fifth Circuit’s reasoned decision that prevents the federal government from contacting Big Tech in an effort to censor speech on their platforms. Minnesota has unfortunately hitched its wagon to this obviously anti-democratic effort to snuff out legitimate speech. However, with 2024 being an election year, Minnesotans will have a chance to rebuff this anti-American sentiment by choosing leaders who respect free speech, online debate, and limited government.

At times, the habitual referencing of George Orwell’s works to critique the current American predicament can seem trite and predictable. Rather than a lack of alternative reference material for analogy making, the apparent overuse of these fictionalized works is due to their unnerving ability to describe in precise detail the unfolding reality. Doublespeak, a term originating from Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” is a language tactic that uses a reversal of the meaning of words to endorse a particular view. There could not be a more perfect example of the concept than the claim made in the brief that preventing the federal government from encouraging Big Tech to censor opinions amounts to “[impoverishing], rather than [protecting], robust debate on matters of vital public importance.” According to Simon and company, robust debate can only be achieved when fewer people are allowed to voice fewer opinions.

The absurdity of the brief makes sense when its architects are revealed. One of the signers, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (a Democrat), recently endorsed the highly partisan and controversial Colorado Supreme Court decision that seeks to kick Donald Trump off the state’s primary ballot. Leading the charge is New York Attorney General Letitia James, who in a clear violation of the assumption of innocence, openly campaigned on investigating Trump before a single crime was even identified. Like a good apparatchik, James will show you the crime once you give her the man.

The Supreme Court seems poised to uphold the Fifth Circuit’s decision and strike down the Colorado Supreme Court decision, but the tenuous state of American democracy should not rely upon piecemeal decisions by a court at constant threat of expansion with justices considering personal threats of violence and intimidation in their decision making. The federal government should not be able to escape scrutiny for running the most widespread censorship project that the country has ever seen. Journalist Matt Taibbi recently spoke at American Experiment’s Fall Briefing about the extent of this scheme, outlining just how necessary it was for the Fifth Circuit to intervene and stop the madness of transparent government censorship. It should not be the case that the word democracy should be invoked like some sort of sacred catechism by those actively undermining it by removing popular candidates from ballots and laundering censorship tasks through ideologically aligned Big Tech companies.

Simply claiming things should not be is not enough or only pointing out the injustices and doublespeak of their leaders. Citizens of these wayward states must rise, make their voices heard, and vote for candidates who have a vision for America that includes the freedom to speak up even when the government opposes their ideas. Minnesotans have a chance this year to send a clear message that efforts to deprive them of their rights will not be tolerated. If free speech and free elections are to be preserved, they must be secured by those who benefit from them the most.