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By Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
“1984” had its Ministry of Truth, the Soviets had their Gulag. Today’s Russians, like their kindred spirits among the American left, may be less overt in policing speech but don’t let a less visible barbarity fool anyone into believing that the goal is any less of an assault on free speech.
Current Russian law punishes speech or public engagement that questions Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or even protests that call it a war. As University of Massachusetts Amherst Associate Professor Lauren McCarthy puts it, “public activities aimed at discrediting the use of Russia’s military,” become “a criminal offense if committed twice in a year.”
Russian law also criminalizes “spreading ‘false information’ about the Russian military.” What qualifies as misinformation? Apparently, calling Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine by its more common name – war — qualifies as a crime.
In order to have a police force large enough to spy on an entire nation, Russia has ominously created “anonymous denunciation websites.” The Venetian Doges, who encouraged citizens to rat out other citizens by dropping anonymous notes in the mouth of the lion (Called: bocche dei leone) would be jealous of today’s technology.
In America, we have not yet granted government the police power to criminalize misinformation, but not for trying. The American Left believes that the public should be protected from anyone who questions COVID-19 orthodoxy.
If a scientist, or an elected official, questions evidence for forcing booster vaccines on teenagers, the speech police want those questions forbidden.
Read the full Op-Ed over at Fox News:
For now, Biden’s Ministry of Truth is dead but free speech advocates on the right and the left need to zealously guard and defend a right so precious that it’s not an overstatement to claim that our free society depends on it. https://t.co/akkS8BzITX
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 31, 2022