A week ago Barack Obama let loose his inner fascist and gave an hour-long speech at Stanford University that deserved more attention than it got.
“I’m pretty close to a First Amendment absolutist,” Obama told his audience and then spent the rest of the hour proving he is anything but. In fact, the Obama that emerges in this speech is one scary dude.
The one sentence that most alarmed me began thusly, “The way I’m going to evaluate any proposal touching on social media and the internet is whether it strengthens or weakens the prospects for a healthy, inclusive democracy.”
“The way I’m going to evaluate?” Obama failed to explain in what capacity he gets to evaluate anything. Does he expect to head the FCC or get appointed to the Supreme Court? Does he plan to engineer a Michelle Obama presidential bid? If any of these happens, God help us all.
The thrust of his speech was that “regulation has to be part of the answer” in combating online “disinformation.” As Obama made much too clear he and his pals get to determine what is and is not disinformation.
The former president makes almost no attempt to hide his biases. A sentence that reads, “People like Putin and Steve Bannon, for that matter, understand it’s not necessary for people to believe this information in order to weaken democratic institutions” does not inspire a whole lot of confidence in the deplorable half of America.
Nor does a sentence that reads, “There are still brand name newspapers and magazines, not to mention network news broadcasts, NPR [and] other outlets that have adapted to the new digital environment while maintaining the highest standards of journalistic integrity.”
Those “highest standards” included sustaining for three years the fiction that Donald Trump conspired with the Russians to steal the 2016 election and salvaging Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, such as it was, by suppressing all news of Hunter Biden’s laptop under the pretext it was Russian disinformation.
On the question of COVID, Obama insists, “People are dying because of misinformation.” He cites the refusal of 1 in 5 Americans to avoid “safe, effective vaccines” as proof of the same.
Obama neglected to mention that more than a year into the COVID mania Gallup asked 35,000 Americans, “What are the chances someone with COVID must be hospitalized?” 41% of Democrats said more than 50%; another 28% of Democrats said 20 to 50%.
The correct answer was 1-5%.
What this means is that, thanks to the information spread by those Obama allies “maintaining the highest standards of journalistic integrity,” 69% of Democrats massively overestimated the risks of COVID. This disinformation ruined millions of lives, especially among the young.
One idea Obama supports is for school districts to teach “our kids to become critical thinkers who know how to evaluate sources and separate opinion from fact.” To this end, Obama asks, “Does this person who’s typing in his mother’s basement in his underwear seem a credible authority on climate change?”
I suspect he is at least as credible as a man who purchased two new multi-million dollar beachfront properties despite his expressed worry about “caravans of lost souls wandering a cracked earth in search of arable land, regular Katrina-sized catastrophes across every continent, island nations swallowed up by the sea.”
The source of Obama’s greatest worry, of course, is the 2020 election. He repeatedly chastised Republicans, Trump most notably, for “saying an election was stolen without a shred of evidence.” The stolen-election gambit, argued Obama, allowed Republicans to “target black and brown communities” with “voter suppression” schemes.
Bottom line: Obama and the Democrats are worried. Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, John Durham’s continued probe of the Russia collusion plot, the impending release of Dinesh D’Souza’s vote fraud exposé, “2000 Mules,” and the likely flipping of the House in November, threaten their control of the narrative.
It may be time for a new George Floyd.
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