Cheap Seats 2022 By Rich Trzupek
The Bird is the Word - 11/30
By Rich Trzupek
While I technically have a Twitter account (I think), I haven’t used it in eons and have no immediate plans to do so in the future. Pretty sure that any opinion expressed by a conservative boomer will be eviscerated by a horde of millennials in very short order on that platform.
But it is grand that Elon has opened that door by purchasing Twitter. And, it’s equally amusing how the left crapped their collective pants when Musk assumed command of what has been masquerading as a free forum within the marketplace of ideas. Pundits at lib outlets like CNN and MSNBC tore out not only their own hair, but the follicles of anyone within reaching distance, when Elon announced that he was backing off on censorship.
Some on the left have – at least up to now – hailed Musk as a hero for his investment in electric cars that are intended to fight the supposed problem of climate change. Personally, I’m not anti-Tesla so much as I am pro the freedom and prosperity associated with gas- and diesel-fired internal combustion engines. But whatever. If Tesla can compete in a truly free market, more power (pun intended, if not noticed) to them.
Many, whether left or right, have praised Musk as a visionary for starting up and developing SpaceX into the exploration technology powerhouse it has become. Please add my vote to the count.
But, when Elon went after Twitter, many a previous admirer of the Musk-man decided that he was either deluded, demonic or both. Consider this brief summary of the way the deal went down:
MUSK: Hey, I’d like to buy you.
TWITTER: For how much?
MUSK: For far more than you are actually worth.
TWITTER: Sounds good to us.
MUSK: Actually, having reviewed your books, I don’t think buying you makes a lot of sense. Have a nice day.
TWITTER: Hey butt-head! You said you were going to buy Twitter. How dare you not buy Twitter!
MUSK: OK, fine. I’ll buy Twitter.
LIB ESTABLISHMENT: OMG, Musk bought Twitter!! We’re all doomed! DOOMED I tell you!
Flashing ever so briefly back, prior to circa 2016 libs were pretty consistently against censorship and pro freedom of flow of information without restriction. Phrases like “the marketplace of ideas” and “the voice of the people” trace their origins back to classic liberals like Gladstone and Jefferson – liberals whose ideas would eventually influence and inspire later generations of conservatives like Churchill and Reagan.
So what happened? How did the liberal mindset snap? How did the left effectively dismiss the ideals that liberal heroes like Supreme Court Justices Hugo Black and William Douglas championed: That there was nothing so important, nor so sacred, than the guarantee of freedom of expression established by the First Amendment?
Rolling into 2016, the liberal establishment in the United States could, and did, feel very comfortable. Theirs was clearly the voice of the future, for decades to come. The WWII generation was just about gone and that portion of their Boomer progeny who clung to the right-wing values many of them promoted were soon to follow.
Individuals with left to far-left points-of-view dominated – indeed still dominate – traditional journalism outlets, institutions of higher learning, the Democrat party, urban government, social-service providers and much of social media. There was at least one exception, one that appeared pretty tiny at first. A somewhat obnoxious (what else did you expect of a New Yorker?) real estate tycoon from the Big Apple decided to run for president and to use Twitter as one of the vehicles to make that happen.
Against all odds this obnoxious, gloriously patriotic and definitively non-racist newcomer managed to get himself elected to the highest office in the land. The amount of crapping in liberal pants that occurred when that election was decided created a stink bomb that ranks among the top 10 in EPA Superfund sites.
If the leftist establishment were capable of sober self-reflection, they might have looked upon the result of the election of 2016 and concluded that perhaps controlling virtually all of traditional journalism outlets, including institutions of higher learning, the Democrat party, urban government, social service providers and much of social media does not necessarily reflect the mood and carefully-considered opinion of the rest of their fellow citizens.
Instead, the leftist establishment focused on the one popular media outlet that Orange-man was able to use to his advantage in 2016: Twitter. The fact he was able to do so is not a measure of Twitter’s influence, it’s a reflection of the boring, ultimately indistinguishable coverage offered by all the media information and education outlets under leftist control.
Flash forward to 2022. The modern left is so completely freaked out about the implications and supposed “dangers” of open communication and a free exchange in the market of ideas that Twitter has not only gagged a president of the United States under the pretext of supposedly leading the most ineffectual supposed rebellion in the history of the world, but also gagged the Babylon Bee, which is pretty much the equivalent of telling your 10 year old he’s no longer allowed to tell fart jokes. Elon reinstates both and the left’s reaction is – as always – to cry that disaster is sure to follow. Rrrrright…
The insecurity on the left is amazing and unprecedented. “Paranoia” is hardly a sufficient term to characterize the mind-set of so many of our brothers and sisters, or sisters and brothers, on the left. They demand universal, unquestioned support for every cause they champion and appear to be unable to endure unless they receive it.