Censorship Is about Power | National Review

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At NR, we know a thing or two about censorship. At its essence, it is an exercise in power, no? Your speech may do innocuous and fun and frivolous things, such as provide a new recipe, or recount the Little League game, or reminisce about last year’s vacation, or call the kids in for dinner. But what about when your speech turns political? What if it, say, attacks the Establishment’s preferred presidential candidate? Or not even attacks — merely raises doubts about him?

“What if” . . . leads straight to kapow!

Well, we can’t have that now, can we? Somebody suppress the links! Do we have a policy for that? No? Well, wing it. And when you’re done suspend the accounts!

What if your political speech expresses a disagreement about a public-policy matter, such as climate change? A thing once upon a time considered “debatable.” Hardy har har: Call the lawyers and sue the pants off National Review!

In the midst of a critical flash webathon seeking to raise funds so we can fight and punch and gnaw the Left, NR exists to do a lot of things. But at the core of our overall mission is the need — the very one also at the core of our nation and Constitution — for free and unfettered speech. That idea, that premise, that right, is under duress, in the public square, in the classroom, in the corporate boardroom, on that place you go to to wish people a Happy Birthday only to find you’ve been unfriended.

We are fighting back.

Should we be surprised that Censorship has reared itself, sanctimonious and ugly, alongside Culture Cancelling, Wokeness, and Riots? Nope. The fact is this: Free and unfettered political speech is a hostile notion to Powers That Be, because it risks the Powers’ power. After all, the vanguard enjoys being the vanguard. At all costs — including the diminishment and suppression of your constitutional rights — it will do what it must to avoid becoming one of the proletariat.

Let’s not be shocked then when the news of a Biden Family scandal — and even the discussion of that news — has brought a massive response and retribution, along with a deafening silence from an MSM that long ago dropped pretenses of fairness, of objectivity, and now even of a sense for reporting. NR readers know that the media old (the daily paper, the network news, the weekly magazine) and the media new (social) will allow nothing to be “newsworthy” if it might become a bump on the road to Democratic hegemony.

Folks, this all goes way beyond rigging algorithms that determine your news feed.

This may seem an insidious part of the raging Culture War, but it is truly a major part of it, and a harbinger of things worse to come. As Michael Brendan Dougherty puts it in his new, must-read NR essay

And this is not going to stop with social networks. The next frontier is payment processors. Good luck launching your next direct-to-consumer subscription product when your most passionate fans can’t promote it on Facebook and Twitter and you can’t accept PayPal, Visa, or Mastercard.

Well, do you know what is not going to stop? National Review. We were the only game in town when Bill Buckley launched his brassy magazine in 1955, and we have been fighting relentlessly what James Burnham so aptly described as “the protracted conflict.” Funny thing: It’s a conflict as long as some trustworthy entity is in there fighting. Six decades later, we are returning to being a lone place for conservative sanity and fulsome condemnation of the progressive Left.

We did, we do, we will fight. But to fight, we need to rely on the generosity of our readers. Hence our appeal. It needs to have more appeal. That’s where you come in. Some 450 have responded to our webathon, God bless every last one of you. Still, we’re hoping to double that, and then, double that. This enterprise of fundraising happens one good, selfless, committed conservative at a time — one “intelligent American” (as Bill Buckley would appropriately commence his correspondence), who knows that NR is a vital cause, at a vital time.

In a place void of sugar daddies, it will take a lot of contributors offering us material kindness in the form of $10, $50, and $100 gifts to reach our goal of $150,000 (and that goal isn’t even half of our actual needs). Assuming you believe what we believe — that this cause is just — we don’t think we’re asking for much. We’re just asking for it from a heck of a lot of good people.

Believe us: Your potential sawbuck, Fifty, and C-Note matter.

Would you make a contribution? Please do so, and right here, with our deep appreciation. And our reminder that we are in this fight together. For those preferring to contribute by check, please make yours payable to “National Review” and mail it to: National Review, ATTN: Webathon, 19 West 44th Street, Suite 1701, New York, N.Y., 10036. God bless.

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