Monopoly Anyone? - TribPapers

Monopoly Anyone?

Asheville – Monopoly is a great board game. I remember as a teenager staying up until 1 and 2 am playing the game with my friends. The game gave hours and hours of fun. However, a monopoly in real life is not so fun, especially when it interferes with your freedom of speech, as in the case of Twitter, Facebook and now Amazon. 

What exactly is a monopoly? Wikipedia says, “A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity. It goes on to say “…a single entity’s control of a market to purchase a good or service.” This is what you have with these large social media monopolies. 

This isn’t the first time our country has been faced with busting up monopolies. In the 1890s and 1900s, President Theodore Roosevelt set about to break-up some of the biggest monopolies, including that of Standard Oil.

Today’s monopolies are actually more of a threat to our nation than those of the 1890s and early 1900s. Today’s monopolies threaten to silence nearly 80 million of our fellow citizens as fake news, conspiracy theorists and domestic terrorists.

The question I have is the playing field level for both sides of the political spectrum? I mean, I could care less which side you take in the political debate. Do both sides have a chance to get their message out in today’s public square (ie, social media)? Did Democrats have the opportunity to “scream to the top of their lungs” on these platforms that Trump colluded with the Russians to win the White House? Yes, they had every right to do it and they were allowed to do it. The country spent over $40 million looking into the charge only to find out there was nothing to the claims. 

The question is should the other side have the same right on social media to question this year’s election? I say if issues around the 2016 election could be questioned, what’s changed that the 2020 election can’t be questioned. If we could spend $40 million to find nothing but answers to satisfy questions for one side, then why not the other. I’m not taking a side here and I’m not saying there was wide-scale voter fraud, but more than 60-70 million or nearly half the voters believe there was election fraud enough to overturn the election. Why can’t Congress satisfy their questions? Would it put faith in the electoral system where faith has been lost by millions? 

I make a living off asking questions and doubting the government is shooting straight with the American people otherwise; what is the media good for? What is the freedom of the press other than look into questions? 

Now there’s talk of coming and taking children of parents who support Trump to reeducated them from their parents’ “evil influence.” Talk of making lists of people who would for the administration to see that they never work again.” Do you know what they call that? FASCISM! Exactly what they accuse President Trump of doing.

This is wrong! I believe no one, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, whoever should be singled out for their political beliefs. Nor should they be silenced. If you take away people’s voices and make it where they can’t make a living for the family, do you have any idea what will happen next?

Whatever side you’re on, people need to stand up for free speech everywhere; fortunately there is a poem by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöllerthat comes to mind:

“First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

I believe free speech is under fire by big tech and giant social media platforms, but the question is what is to be done about it if anything?

Monopoly anyone?

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