The purpose of our First Amendment is to permit the free and protected right to express open thoughts and discourse, no matter how contentious or objectionable that discourse may be. At some point in recent history, hyper-progressive Americans have shunned the idea of free speech in favor of what they have self-determined to be fair speech.
The US Constitution, however, does not use the word fair. And for a very good reason. It’s too subjective and vulnerable to personal bias. The Constitution explicitly states that the Congress shall make no law that abridges the freedom of speech. The Founding Fathers knew this and were emphatic about not subjugating what “free speech” would mean.
In fact, our Founding Fathers were adamant about the importance of that unobstructed freedom. Arguably one of the most profound and infamous quotes to that point came from President George Washington, who said, “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
From the standpoint of all things intellectually and factually honest, half of the country has willfully taken that forewarning with absolute disregard. Your feelings do not trump freedom. They never have and they never will, if we are to remain a free people.
At a time where society is more engaged in sociopolitical discourse more than ever before, largely through the convenience mediums of social media, we are witnessing the dismantling of free speech in real time. Nowhere is this more abhorrently obvious than with Twitter and Facebook, who’ve monopolized (and monetized) the subjugation of free speech according to their own inconsistently-enforced rules. Rules that they have weaponized against conservatives more than anyone else, but certainly against all forms of free speech.
There is one avenue that remains true to the intentions of our Founding Fathers. A rapidly growing platform that refuses to buckle to the weight of vocal enslavement perpetuated by the irresponsible and intellectually-clumsy giants, also known as Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey. John Matze, the founder of Parler, continues to enhance and amenitize the one true free speech social media platform. John summed up the importance of this with one powerful statement in a recent parlay, “Free speech is not pretty, debate is not efficient, and people can be horrible. Especially online. But we must protect the free debate for all people in order to ensure the safety and stability of democracy.”
John’s statement is clear, it is concise, and it is wholly true. As a veteran I’ve found myself even having to remind my fellow vets at times that we served to preserve our rights for everyone, even and especially if we object to the way they use them. Voltaire (a favorite philosopher of mine), who lived at the time of our American Revolution, said: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” We need to reflect on the context and importance of that value, a value we swore an oath to uphold. And for those who haven’t sworn an oath to it, they need to have greater respect for the enormity of rights they’ve been entitled to by birth here.
The entire point of our Constitution is to provide a backbone for the framework of our liberties while enabling the right to our differences, no matter how convicted we are to our way of thinking or how offended we may otherwise be at the way of someone else’s thinking.
Parler has been prematurely and errantly tagged as “Conservative Twitter” by the other platforms and certain progressive mainstream media outlets, but it is neither Conservative nor is it Twitter. And thank god for that. Yes, an overwhelming majority of users may have conservative leanings. That is largely a product of two things. First, the aversion of many on the left to join. It seems most hardline Democrats are intimidated by fair and honest debate. The second reason is that so many conservatives (I am one) have been outright banned by the fascist practices of the moderators at Facebook and Twitter.
What you’ll find on Parler is more and more people who are willing and truthfully hopeful of having constructive dialogue with opposing points of view, where that discussion is logical and follows an orderly approach.
Add to the list of things that are refreshing about the Parler atmosphere is the number of people who are not afraid to callout “Fake News” among their own side. This is something that both sides need to do a better job of, or we only continue to perpetuate bad information and an unforgiving social divide.
Conscientious and intellectually-honest conservatives (who truly embrace logical dialogue) prolifically correct those of similar viewpoints who are spreading inaccurate information on Parler more than on any other platform. This is not so much a slam against well-intended conservatives on other platforms as it is simply a product of the political dogma that is caused by the overtly oppressive behavior of those other platforms. It’s a defense mechanism as opposed to a constructive one in those instances. It’s that measure of constructive dialogue that sets Parler outside of the constrictive big-tech bubble.
I could easily provide a lengthy list of the benefits Parler offers over their currently larger competitors, but I would prefer that more users of all sociopolitical beliefs utilize the platform to see for themselves how engaging it can be. (And it’s not just for politics, either. It’s an all-encompassing social platform).
I will offer one more plug, though. John and his team at Parler consistently update their users on the platform’s developments. Their transparency is remarkable, even going as far as to involve users directly in soliciting constructive feedback toward the evolution of their amazing free speech tool.
Our Founding Fathers and ancestral Americans established, fought, and died for individual rights to protect our liberties, not our feelings. Law professor Alan Dershowitz said: “Freedom of speech means freedom for those who you despise, and freedom to express the most despicable views. It also means that the government cannot pick and choose which expressions to authorize and which to prevent.”
Amendment One, to our United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
For those wishing to truly exercise (and be willing to listen to) the First Amendment, you may download Parler for iPhone or Android. Don’t be surprised if you notice John himself regularly interacting and engaging with Parler users directly, one-on-one. When was the last time you saw Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey do that? If ever?