Op-Ed: Monopolizing Montanans’ Free Speech Needs to Stop (Ed Butcher)

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[Ed Butcher] Americans have a right to free and open internet which should not be controversial!  However, “Big Tech” companies are colluding to become “thought police” as they brazenly state that communication by conservatives with the general public must be stopped. This anti-free speech foundation was laid in 2016 when Trump arrived with a mission to clean out corruption and cronyism in government—i.e. “Drain the Swamp.” This included career Republican “establishment” as well as Democrat bureaucrats who became thoroughly entrenched during the Obama Administration, which in my opinion, was filled with corrupt players like the “Clinton Crime Family” and continued by the Biden Family operations in China and other countries.

As political lines have been drawn within Big Tech during the past four years concluding with the highly questionable election controversy, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Google, and Apple have joined together as monopolies to blatantly destroy competitors like Parlor.  They have the power to destroy political opponents of their left-wing cabal by cutting off access to communication platforms.

When I was a Democrat Party activist, “Freedom of the Press” was a major battle in which we were engaged.  Now I am witnessing the modern Democrat Party taken over by their radical left-wing base utilizing billionaire Tech donors who are deciding what Americans can publically say.

However, the Montana Legislature and reportedly other states arecurrently drafting legislation to provide oversight of this Tech monopoly to protect the free speech of Montana citizens.  The Montana legislation is being supported by Randy Pinocci representing Central and Eastern Montana on the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) which would provide oversight of Big Tech “censors” by the elected Montana PSC.

Historically, the PSC was created to protect consumers from discriminatory practices by the Railroad monopolies and subsequently added Electric Company monopolies–exempting member-owned electric cooperatives (REA) of which the PSC has no oversight authority.  Other monopolies such as telephone companies and recently cell phone companies have also come under PSC oversight to protect consumers from abuse by these monopolies.  It is becoming obvious that states must now bring these arrogant Big Tech monopolies under some form of oversite to protect 1st Amendment rights of open communication.

The famous writings of George Orwell and Huxley pictured a world of government censored media (China, Russia, Cuba, and other dictatorships).  However, America is facing a situation of Big Tech corporations in conjunction with other media monopolies censoring political speech.  They are aiding selected political groups or special interest private and government individuals/groups willing to protect their billion dollar monopolies (and enjoy enormous personal political influence).

PSC Commissioner Pinocci is emphasizing that speech being censored in the name of a media corporation is as dangerous as censorship by government—“…despotism is not confined to government buildings.”

The people of Montana must have government oversight of these uncompetitive and partisan “Big Tech” monopolies which discriminateagainst American citizen voters—picking winners and losers!

Sen. Ed Butcher (Ret) is a Central Montana rancher/businessman and former college political history professor who served for 10 years in the Montana Senate and House.




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