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Brave new world? Orwellian ‘disinformation governance board’ goes against nation’s principles

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas arrives for a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Department of Homeland Security hearing to discuss the President’s FY 2023 budget for the Department on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
Anna Rose Layden
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas arrives for an April 27, 2022, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security hearing on the FY 2023 budget for the department. Mayorkas has announced a new Disinformation Governance Board to combat misinformation.

Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the creation of a “Disinformation Governance Board.” The supposed purpose of this office is to combat “disinformation” on issues ranging from COVID-19 to elections, among others. How can we leave it up to a partisan government entity to dictate what is “true” versus “false,” especially in regard to what one side believes is “propaganda” verses another citizens’ political opposition? Let’s not forget that it was these same government powers that said that Hunter Biden’s laptop was fake and that the U.S. government wasn’t spying on American citizens — things we know to be false. How will our people know what they’re allowed to see isn’t being manipulated? It’s bad enough what has been endured under “big tech’s” censors; reduced deliveries on unpopular messages, and manipulation of search results to edit out narratives that challenge liberal Democrats’ messaging. Now, the government proposes to create an Orwellian government entity at the Department of Homeland Security to explicitly manipulate social media and the internet to spread only approved messages. We cannot surrender our rights to free speech and free thought to government indoctrination. 

At its core, our federal government was established to protect our individual liberties, create a common defense, and create and uphold laws for the common good. Our government should have the goal of preserving a quality of life for all Americans. Each branch of the federal government can do good and enhance the lives of our citizens, if they limit themselves to their constitutional mandates. Together, the judiciary, executive, and legislative branch create a process for checks and balances against each other’s excesses when working properly. 

We now find ourselves at a horrifying crossroad with independence on one side, and an authoritative state on the other. How did our great nation, which was founded on the principles of freedom, individuality, and innovative ideas come to find itself suggesting the creation of an Orwellian state control? George Orwell wrote his acclaimed novel, “1984,” to be a warning against succumbing to dictators such as Joseph Stalin. Instead, President Biden and his team are using it as a blueprint to ensure only the approved narrative is disseminated over social media and the press. 

Unfortunately, this dystopian idea is far too real in many parts of the globe. Authoritative countries such as North Korea, China, Russia and Venezuela all have some form of a state-sponsored Big Brother watching over their citizens, manipulating the media they consume, and eliminating any narrative that is critical of the ruling class. It’s a horrifying new reality that nearly 250 years since the ratification of our Constitution, we must still fight for our God-given rights from an overbearing government.  

The very idea of a government entity being able to censor its citizens is why we spent nearly 50 years combatting the expansion of communism, it’s not something we should accept in America — the pinnacle of independence. While privately held online platforms have had wide latitude to make their own rules regarding censorship, it is explicitly forbidden for our government to do so. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the freedom of speech and expression against all levels of government censorship. As a strong defender of the freedom of speech, I believe that the Founders of our Constitution intended to give all citizens the individual right to free speech. As the president of the United States, Joe Biden should be a steward of the Constitution, not the one trying to destroy it.  

Doug LaMalfa represents the 1st District of California. 

Tags Alejandro Mayorkas Censorship constitution Disinformation board First amendment George Orwell Hunter Biden Joe Biden

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