The silencing of opposing voices

The silencing of opposing voices, by Bayou Renaissance Man.

The progressive, far-left-wing faction in US politics is aggressively pursuing so-called “deplatforming”: denying their opponents any outlet or medium or channel from or through which to make their views known. It’s more than censorship. It’s a blatant attempt to ensure that an entire viewpoint or perspective never reaches those who might be persuaded by it.

Fortunately, its ideological proponents make no secret of their motivation — and thereby expose their own intolerance. …

Donald Trump, first as candidate and now as president, is such a significant news story that responsible journalists must report on him. But this does not mean that he should be allowed to set the terms of the debate. [Agreed — but neither should anyone else.]

Research shows that repeatedly hearing assertions increases the likelihood of belief — even when the assertions are explicitly identified as false. Consequently, when journalists repeat Trump’s repeated lies, they are actually increasing the probability that people will believe them.

Even when journalistic responsibility requires reporting Trump’s views, this does not entail giving all of his spokespeople an audience. [So, you can say whatever you like, provided you do so in a howling wilderness where no other human being can hear you?]

There are many on the left who follow this specious reasoning. It’s at the root of campaigns to deny conservatives a platform on Twitter, Facebook, etc. — all while largely ignoring actively evil contributors like terrorists, pedophiles and others. It’s as much a lie as justifying violence against political opponents.