Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ administration has made the news for his press office’s attempts to get two small newspapers to “unpublish” stories that the administration objected to. The articles in question dealt with a new state office in Colorado and the future of labor. Polis’ office objected to the articles because the organization that wrote the articles, The Center Square, had previously received some funding from organizations that received funding from the Charles Koch Foundation. When the newspapers pushed back against Polis’ office, Polis’ staffers doubled down on their actions, asserting that The Center Square wasn’t a reputable news source and that the article should have been placed in the opinion section.
Numerous people with experience in the press expressed shock that Polis’ staff would make such a request, which comes across as an attempt to silence people not necessarily even for what they say, but for who they are. It was pointed out that Polis’ staff didn’t object to any of the content or identify any errors with it, but merely didn’t like the fact that the organization publishing it was associated with people with whom Polis might disagree.
That demonstrates how far we have come in this country, when liberals who formerly would have fought to the death for free speech no longer see the First Amendment as sacrosanct. Their former views of moral relativism and denial of objective truth in order to allow themselves a seat at the table have given way to what they were aiming at all along: they believe their views are objectively truthful and anything that they disagree with is false. And they have no qualms about trying to shut down and silence anyone they don’t like.
In many ways this country is returning to the time of the Revolution. The powers that be no longer recognize the rights that the Founding Fathers gave their lives to defend: the right to free speech, to criticize the government, to bear arms against tyrannical government, to be safe and secure in their persons and possessions, etc. Far too many Americans agree that those rights need to be curtailed, too. It’s very likely that all of this will come to a head at some point and lead to a very nasty and protracted conflict.