The disinformation police are coming for you |

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The latest data appears to show voters could be in favor of Republicans in next week’s midterm elections. This is good news for them in the short term. All in all, if this happens, everyone better buckle up. The left and its media and technology partners are going to have a crisis.

If the Democrats are losing in the election by a large margin, their first move should be to turn inward. Their policy choices have contributed to historically high and destructive inflation. By flooding the country with too much COVID relief spending and pressuring the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates too low for too long, they have helped drive up prices across the board. Their anti-fossil fuel agenda has also helped drive up energy prices. These choices affected all American budgets. Granted, there were factors at play beyond any politician’s control, but major glaring policy mistakes played a part. Voters know this, and they seem eager to impose a political price on the authors.

The Democrats also put off many normal Americans by failing to stand up to the more radical elements of their own party. The removal of the previous administration’s border control policies without a competent replacement plan in place has contributed to the growing border crisis. Democrats’ efforts to deflect political blame have largely failed because many Democrats have specifically called for the decriminalization of illegal border crossings in nationally televised presidential debates. Add sweeping education and criminal justice policies and it would be hard for any political group to turn voters off so much if they tried. The results were devastating. Republicans are outraged, but so are millions of other voters. Most overwhelming is the huge loss of support for Democrats among their fast-growing and vital Hispanic base.

Rather than fight these self-inflicted mistakes, many Democrats and their media allies are looking for scapegoats. The first will be the American people themselves. There is a growing feeling on the left that people have let the country down. According to this worldview, Republicans are now a threat to democracy. The events of January 6 are only a precursor of what could happen. President Joe Biden is about to deliver a national address making precisely this point. According to this mindset, midterms are too important to care about ordinary Americans’ family budgets, jobs, or even crime and physical safety. According to history, voting is about the future of democracy itself. History, of course, ignores all the Republican politicians and Republican-appointed judges who have led America through its most recent election controversies.

The same mindset has convinced many Democrats that something as benign as requiring ID to vote is another Jim Crow. Voting Republican just because you think they can manage the economy better is, according to this growing worldview, essentially a selfish act. More than selfish, however, this kind of behavior can only be explained by a system failure. The system must be reformed, they will say. The reform they will push hardest is an increased crackdown on disinformation. Once you’ve fooled yourself into believing all of these things, and a slew of Democrats, media and tech personalities certainly have, it’s easy to conclude that misinformation must be the cause of All the problems. If people had good information, they would agree with us. If people don’t agree with us, they must be misinformed.

So where is this all going? We can look to the last presidential election for a sign. When the Hunter Biden laptop story broke, it was seen as a threat. Emails on the laptop showed a series of shady business dealings and contained hints that Joe Biden himself may have been involved. The reaction was swift and brutal for anyone interested in free speech or fair elections. The story was censored.

The predicate of censorship was an allegation that the whole story was probably Russian disinformation. A cavalcade of former intelligence and law enforcement luminaries signed off on the effort to give it credibility. Law enforcement officials have used this argument to pressure Big Tech companies. The story was completely banned on Twitter and buried by Facebook’s algorithm. All of this was done despite the absence of any real evidence of Russian manipulation. This was all done despite the fact that anyone who wanted to could have authenticated the contents of the laptop within hours using available digital evidence. Our news agency, The Daily Caller News Foundation, was doing just that at the time. The Washington Post used the same technique to come to the same conclusion. The only difference is that they waited 17 months to do it long after the election and long after the analysis would have been relevant.

When you’re fighting not just to win an election but to save democracy itself, it’s easy to rationalize almost any restriction. This is how well-meaning people persist in committing horrible acts. In that regard, there are growing signs that the laptop saga may have just been a precursor to what’s to come. According to reports, the FBI agent who pushed to remove the legitimate laptop story is now advising the Biden administration on what actions to take to combat misinformation. It would be difficult to invent something so crazy.

What kind of actions are we talking about? We can look to Brazil for a scary sign. Like ours, the Brazilian constitution prohibits government censorship. However, in the name of fighting misinformation, Brazil’s electoral commission pushed its media to censor stories during their recently concluded election. Some stories were cut and dried, such as the winning left-wing party’s false claim that Brazil’s populist conservative president was a cannibal. However, as with all free speech issues, things quickly got complicated. The Electoral Tribunal even pressured news companies and tech platforms to restrict reporting about the winning left-wing candidate’s previous conviction for corruption. These stories were true.

Any authoritarian knows that the power to control information is paramount. The laptop story proves that the misinformation claim was already being used in America for partisan purposes. The example of Brazil shows that these are not theoretical concerns. If next week’s US election goes as planned, watch out for the disinformation police.

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