Threats Facing Conservative Speech

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 31, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. Grothman. Mr. Speaker, I am honored that Congressman Buck has asked me to be a speaker this evening as we defend the U.S. Constitution.

Our U.S. Constitution is under attack like never before. I am not talking about the Second Amendment, which, of course, is disliked by so many people on the other side of the aisle. I am not talking about the right to a speedy trial, as we see in Washington, D.C., itself, people spending months and months in jail without ending their ordeal there.

I am talking about the First Amendment. Throughout my life, the First Amendment is almost the amendment that would have been most unanimously agreed to. Nevertheless, in part, I assume, because of the popular culture and in part because of our educational system, we are in a situation in which the Pew Research Center found 76 percent of Democrats support tech companies censoring online.

Even more amazing, 65 percent of the Democrats support censorship by the government. How in the world did such a large, important party in this country it become apparently the accepted view of the First Amendment to be that it is obsolete?

Just last year, the then-chairman of the Intelligence Committee wrote to Meta, the parent company of Facebook, threatening congressional action if Facebook did not continue to censor conservative views and maintain bans on conservative figures, such as the former President. Can you imagine people in this body saying the way we are going to deal with political disagreements in the future is we are just going to censor one side?

That is what is going on here.

Their message is loud and clear: Get in line, or we are going to use the levers of government to silence you. It is a chilling message, reminiscent of the practice of communists in China or Russia or Cuba.

It surprises me what open criticisms of the government you can find in Russia. In China, the Communist Party exercises complete control over the internet, restricting what its citizens can search for. It is hard to believe people in this country want this country to become more like China.

It is not unfounded. You can even bleed into freedom of religion.

In Canada, recent court rulings have held LGBTQ rights trump an individual's right to freedom of religion. Freedom of speech should be a given. Liberal college students when I was in college used to pride themselves on defending free speech.

Look at Canada, censoring views that come from the Bible. In other words, censoring religion in Canada. That is what it is coming down to in our country.

I thank my friend from Colorado for giving me an opportunity to defend the Constitution, and I hope anybody back home listening to this educates their children and grandchildren. We do not have the government censoring free speech.