The final debate between Texas Senate candidates Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke garnered headlines for the attacks the two politicians levied against each other—especially O’Rourke’s use of President Trump’s moniker “lyin’ Ted.” However, the most interesting exchange occurred during a discussion of the government’s role in protecting election integrity.
O’Rourke (and the moderators) wanted to frame the issue as being about alleged Russian interference in the election. O’Rourke supported government intervention in online content in order to prevent foreign manipulation—a thin cover to justify censorship of his political opposition. Cruz took a different route. The question, as Cruz noted, isn’t how the government can team with tech giants to censor content, but how the government can prevent meddling from the tech companies themselves. The election interference isn’t coming from Russian trolls spreading misinformation—it’s coming from Twitter, Facebook, Google, and others censoring views that diverge from far-left orthodoxy. Cruz even suggested using anti-trust laws to break up the companies if they continue to show political bias:
More Republicans need to follow Cruz on this issue. The Democrats are siding with the tech companies—the only complaint they have is that not enough is being done censor right-wing views. That is the purpose of the fabricated Russian hacking narrative. They want an environment where anyone with a right-wing view can simply be called a foreign agent, and removed from social media. Unfortunately, they are getting close to this reality.
The view of the dissident right is that big tech companies should be forced to uphold the First Amendment. Because the internet is the new public space and these companies have a monopoly over it, censoring legal speech is akin to the government not allowing a citizen to speak in public. This issue is becoming more and more salient as the far-left globohomo tech oligarchs continue to strangle their political opposition, and it is something that a Republican-controlled Congress needs to act on if it wants to maintain power. Cruz clearly understands this.