Not too long ago, if you read about a letter signed by over 100 legal scholars opining on the impeachment of the president, you would give significant credence to such a missive. No more.
If you grew up in America decades ago you were raised with a sense of reverence for those who headed the nation’s major institutions, from academia, to medical and legal institutions, to the military, and to hard-working independent journalists who stood for truth and justice. When leaders within these prestigious paragons of virtue spoke, we listened. For the most part, we believed what they said, because we thought their motives were pure and their knowledge was superior. Their words provided a sense of comfort and direction.
But over the past year we have witnessed prominent members of these institutions set forth ridiculous, hypocritical, unfounded, partisan, ideologically driven statements on the woke issue of the day.
The aforementioned statement issued by 100 legal scholars claimed that any defense presented by former President Trump’s impeachment defense that centered on the issue of free speech was to be discounted and should be deemed frivolous.
This statement was so outlandish that even long-time liberal attorney and Harvard professor of ethics and constitutional law, Alan Dershowitz, admonished the signatories for their abandonment of the very principles our nation was founded upon.
In fact, the First Amendment argument is the very reason that Trump could not be held responsible for the rogue action of the people at his rally, who took the law into their own hands. There was absolutely no language tied to Trump whereby he told individuals to storm and seize the Capitol.
To the contrary, he stated that the protesters should gather in front of the Capitol “peacefully and patriotically.” It would be malpractice for any attorney NOT to argue the free speech defense in this case. Yet partisan leftist lawyers banded together to gaslight the American public into believing that the First Amendment applies to liberal officials who utter outrageously provocative pablum, but not to President Trump.
There was once a time in this nation where no lawyer worth his salt would put his name to such a statement for fear of being labeled an unprofessional partisan hack, but in today’s world of virtue signaling, all bets are off. Such a cavalier dismissal of an individual’s First Amendment rights gives Americans pause in accepting anything that emanates from this group.
By the time this letter was issued, Americans had already been jaded by the story perpetrated by 50 so-called national security experts who claimed the New York Post expose on Hunter Biden’s incriminating laptop detailing his shady China deals was a fabricated Russian disinformation hoax. When five former CIA directors including John Brennan and Leon Panetta put their name to such partisanship, who is left for us to believe?
But while appointed government officials often swim in the political pond, at least we have our trusted doctors, who we thought kept politics at bay, and have only the public’s health in mind. Yet even that sacred bond was shattered when 1,000 doctors signed a baseless wokish letter suggesting that leftist protests organized by Black Lives Matter should not be discouraged to quell the spread of coronavirus, but right-leaning protests, that opposed illogical draconian lockdowns, should be. So much for following the science.
However, the most disappointing of all the trust breakdowns was the abandonment of the press itself of the fight to preserve freedom of expression. If any entity would be at the forefront to push back against efforts to silence dissenting thought, it would be the Fourth Estate, whose very existence depends on the free flow of ideas. And yet, it has been members of the media who have been the most voracious advocates for suppressing speech that doesn’t conform to the liberal orthodoxy that permeates most press rooms today.
How can we believe anything a news outlet prints after it spent years publishing unsubstantiated Russian dossier gossip as fact? How can we believe a press that edits the words “peacefully and patriotically” from the president’s remarks on Capitol Hill prior to the January 6 riot? Or, that for four years edited out the president’s condemnation of Nazis and white supremacists in his claim that there were good people on both sides of the Charlottesville statue debate?
Thankfully, there are still a few independent, pure of heart journalist such as Glenn Greenwald who has lashed out at his fellow reporters for colluding with tech giants to “disappear” the perspectives of individuals who believe that fraud was existent in the 2020 election or that the coronavirus emanated from a Chinese lab as opposed to a food market.
It’s this twisting of the truth by our once vaunted institutions that demands that even more perspectives than ever be available for us to weed through and decipher. Since the truth cannot be assumed to flow through the mediums we once trusted, we must have access to all conflicting points of view so we can determine for ourselves where the truth actually lies.