Be careful what you say in Washington State. A new bill just voted out of committee would create a commission on Domestic Violent Extremism, that includes data collection on private citizens. In other words, Big Brother will be watching when the people of Washington post their thoughts online.
This dystopian development was heralded by the state’s attorney general Bob Ferguson, who tweeted that he was proud his office published the report upon which the proposed legislation is modeled, adding that it did so on the second anniversary of “the attempted coup against our country.”
Setting aside the absurd contention that anything remotely like a coup occurred, this is a blatant attempt to chill political speech and silence Americans who dare to question their government. The lawmakers claim that they are fighting against misinformation, what they are really fighting against is the right to free speech.
The law creates a commission that would address what the report calls a “panoply of challenges, which together combine to create the threat of - and indeed, are often precursors to - acts of domestic terrorism.”
See what they did there? Precursors? The idea here is to surveil American citizens, who have committed no crime at all, because maybe they might be planning to.
And it gets even worse. One seat on the commission is reserved for an “expert” in public health. Presumably this “expert” would ensure that misinformation about issues like Covid are suppressed, if not outright prosecuted.
This at the same time that the Department of Energy reports that the Covid virus likely came from a lab, a position that a scant few years ago was absolutely labeled danerous misinformation.
Laws such as this, commissions such as this must never be allowed a foothold in Washington State or any state, it is no exaggeration to say that this type of assault on free speech would fundamentally change our nation and society as a fearful populace has their rights destroyed.
The pretext here, the reason lawmakers give for this authoritarian monitoring of Americans’ speech is abject nonsense. For two years breathless progressives have claimed that we almost lost our democracy during the Capitol Riot, as if somehow the guy wearing the horn on his hat was about to become president, or something. It’s ridiculous.
The emergency that this illiberal legislative action seeks to address simply does not exist. It protects nobody, what it does instead is empower the state to pour over its citizens God granted free speech and look for clues that will be used to harass and punish those who say the wrong things.
That might fly in China, which may be exactly where these hairbrained lunatics got this idea, but it does not fly in America. Americans are free to say whatever they want about their government, without fear of arrest or some diminution of a social credit score.
There is a grave threat to our democracy, to our freedom, but it isn’t from supposed domestic extremists, its from progressive lawmakers who would tear up the Bill of Rights and trample on the expression of American citizens. This is how democracies die, not in darkness, not in riots, not in conspiracies, but in plain daylight as the state silences its people.
Americans must reject this. The threat is existential, without the right to free speech the American experiment will die. And today, in Washington State, the legislature is preparing the funeral. They must be stopped.