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Op-ed Placement

There Must Be Real Consequences for Biden’s Ministry Of Truth

05/25/2022
Originally Published in The Daily Caller on 5/24/22.

Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was caught red-handed last week in one of the most dystopian endeavors ever attempted by the U.S. government.

The decision to “pause” efforts to form a Disinformation Governance Board (DGB), which was more aptly labeled the “Ministry of Truth,” essentially puts an end to the gross violation of Americans’ First Amendment rights — for now, at least. But what can be done to ensure that this never happens again?

In typical fashion, the Biden DHS only pulled back on its plan for the DGB due to political pressure. There was no moment of moral clarity. They would have absolutely gone ahead with creating a government board with the clear objective of policing speech. Who are we to think that they won’t try and reincarnate this in some other form? After all, this is the modus operandi when it comes to federal institutions.

In typical fashion, the Biden DHS only pulled back on its plan for the DGB due to political pressure. There was no moment of moral clarity. They would have absolutely gone ahead with creating a government board with the clear objective of policing speech. Who are we to think that they won’t try and reincarnate this in some other form? After all, this is the modus operandi when it comes to federal institutions.

Free speech is worth defending; it’s what allows our entire political system to work. This is broadly understood throughout mainstream American politics. The often left-leaning ACLU, as well as a host of non-partisan groups focused on First Amendment rights, voiced their criticism of the DGB. Clearly, conservatives were not the only ones concerned with such a hamfisted takeover of free speech by the ruling party. If anything, this refutes The Washington Post’s claim that the disinformation board collapsed due to “right wing attacks.” The story’s author, Taylor Lorenz, has since admitted that the board was a “disaster on all fronts.”

That the Biden administration would want to overtly curtail speech that doesn’t fit the approved narrative exposes the Democratic Party for the authoritarians they are. Biden’s DGB was a blatant attempt to seize control of the national discourse for political ends. We can only hope that Americans who may have been on the fence before voting blue in 2020 see this for what it is. This is the time for all who value the sanctity of open discourse in America to push back.

What does pushing back mean? To start, it would mean banning anyone associated with the creation of the DGB from federal service, permanently. This would require comprehensive civil service reform, something which has not been touched in over four decades. There needs to be a process in place to fire and blacklist career bureaucrats who abuse their positions of power.

The proposed head of the DGB, Nina Jankowicz, who personally thinks the federal government should be allowed to edit your tweets to provide “context,” should never receive a cent of taxpayer funding again. Anyone associated with the DGB should feel ashamed and humiliated for their attempt to openly subvert the rights of Americans. Jankowicz is the poster child for why we need civil service reform.

At the same time, we don’t need some lengthy, toothless investigation by establishment House Republicans next January which will ultimately come to nothing. What we do need is a complete review of the “national security” apparatus. This is necessary because the DGB was to fall under the jurisdiction of the DHS. Our national security is jeopardized when the institutions charged with protecting our citizens and our sovereignty are exploited for political gain.

We need legislation to prohibit the federal government from engaging on issues related to curtailing speech. This includes attempts to resurrect the DGB or any other mission related to speech or disinformation. We all know that if there are no actual consequences, this problem will never be solved. Comprehensive civil service reform and a review of the national security apparatus will go a long way in solving many other underlying problems associated with bureaucratic bloat as well.

If we don’t make an example of this plot to undermine the foundation of our republic, the powers that be will assuredly regroup and try again. While conservatives gloat over their short-term victory, we need to understand that this is only the beginning. This is why we need real consequences for such an egregious act. Will the next round of leadership in Washington see that this happens?

Noah Wall is the executive vice president of FreedomWorks.