I've reported in the past on China's social credit rating system. It's George Orwell's Big Brother in real life. And now it's coming to America.
Facebook is reportedly monitoring the off-line behavior of its users in order to determine if they should be categorized as "hate agents." If you speak at an event or say positive things about someone designated as a hate agent, that gets you points for your own hate score.
Some people may shrug and say, "Well, I don't want to be associated with neo-Nazis and closet Klan members." Of course not. But that's not what we're talking about. If those were the only groups being labeled as "hate agents," this might be a useful service.
But as we regularly report to you, this is not the only thing that the leftists who dominate Big Tech and Big Media are labeling as "hate."
Candace Owens, a black conservative, was penalized by Facebook as a "hate agent." Why? Because she speaks out against what liberalism has done to minority communities.
My friend Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian, regularly speaks out against radical Islamism. She has been labeled a hate agent.
Pinterest banned a leading pro-life site as "pornography."
As we have reported, leading progressive politicians are routinely labeling normal conservative views as "hate," beyond the pale of public debate and discourse. The latest example was Kirsten Gillibrand, who compared believing in the sanctity of life to Holocaust denial or the advocacy of slavery.
Virtually no mainstream conservative can speak on university campuses without a social justice mob labeling them a hater and trying to shut them down.
Well guess what? That social justice mob now dominates Big Tech workplaces like Facebook, Google and Twitter.
How To Fight Back
There is a big split among conservatives regarding how best to respond to this situation.
One side takes the traditional libertarian position that conservatives should oppose regulating business. If you don't like Facebook, just get off of Facebook. But more "woke" conservatives, and I include myself in this latter category, argue that more must be done.
We cannot permit these social media giants, which control today's public square, to label normal conservativism as hate and, thereby, banish us from today's public square. If they succeed in censoring us, we've lost the country. And sometime in the not too distant future we may find ourselves subject to more severe penalties like those imposed under China's social credit system.
I believe we must come up with creative means of defending free speech and stopping this censorship of conservative ideas.
For example, social media companies have been given certain legal protections in exchange for being an open public forum for free speech. If they are not going to be an open forum, perhaps they should lose those legal protections when they smear people as haters.
And kudos to Sen. Ted Cruz for his efforts to hold Big Tech accountable for its anti-conservative bias.
Today is Flag Day. Flag Day commemorates the day -- June 14, 1777 -- on which the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution adopting a national flag. Below are some excerpts of President Trump's proclamation recognizing Flag Day.
"On Flag Day . . . we celebrate and honor our Nation's lasting emblem, our great American flag. Since the Second Continental Congress adopted its design more than 200 years ago, the Stars and Stripes has been a powerful symbol of freedom, hope, and opportunity. . .
"The American flag helps us to never forget the values of our Republic, and the valor of the men and women in uniform who have defended it. . . We are reminded of the blood spilled across generations to safeguard liberty.
"We are prompted to reflect with pride on the purity and righteousness of our cause — the same pride that swelled in the hearts of our boys as they took the beaches of Normandy, and as they raised the flag on Iwo Jima. And we are strengthened in our resolve to pursue justice and safeguard the rule of law, so that freedom can march on.
"Today . . . let us recommit ourselves to the principles upon which our country was founded. With grateful hearts, let us reflect upon the price of freedom, and the brave souls who gave their last full measure to preserve it. As we raise our flag, as we stand and salute or place our hands over our hearts, let us renew our sacred pledge that we will forever remain 'one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'"
On this Flag Day, I'd like to express my gratitude to Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis, who is in hot water with local bureaucrats in Statesville, North Carolina. Evidently, the flag flying at his business is "too big." He's being fined $50 a day for every day the flag is up.
Lemonis isn't backing down. "As I told the city," he said, "it's not coming down under any circumstances." Fortunately, it appears that the city may be backing down.
By the way, today happens to be President Trump's birthday. Happy birthday, Mr. President!
And it's also the birthday of the U.S. Army!
Speaking Of President Trump. . .
President Trump is scheduled to formally kickoff his 2020 reelection campaign Tuesday night in Orlando, Florida.
The campaign is encouraging Trump supporters to host watch parties Tuesday night for his announcement speech and to post comments and pictures on social media. To learn more and to sign up, click here.