Media Research Center President Brent Bozell interviewed Woke Inc. author and Strive Asset Management co-founder Vivek Ramaswamy in part one of a three-part series. The two discussed how anti-Americanism has infected American society and plagued American institutions including Big Tech.
Bozell told Ramaswamy that today’s left has gone in an anti-American direction. “Once upon a time it was verboten to call your opponent anti-American, that was a bridge too far, that was an insult. But today’s left has gone into that direction,” said Bozell. The two agreed that the battle for America’s soul is no longer one of conservative vs. liberal or Republican vs. Democrat. “I think these other labels are meaningless,” said Ramaswamy.
“What we have in this country is people who believe in the basic rules of the road that define what it means to be American and people who don’t… basic ideas like merit,” he added. “Meritocracy of ideas. What does that mean? It means the best ideas win when no ideas are censored. Restoring free speech in this country, I mean basic rules of the road.”
Bozell noted that censorship is starting to be a problem that can’t be ignored. “People are finally starting to see the threat posed by an industry that is bigger than many governments, nations around the world and whose seemingly singular focus is censoring exactly everything you just said,” he said referring to their conversation on anti-Americanism and America’s dangerously cozy relationship with China.
Ramaswamy responded noting that the problem is much “scarier” than merely Big Tech. “It’s not just the bigness of the companies but the fact that they’re working hand and glove with the government itself to censor disfavored political speech in this country,” he said.
“I don’t even call it Big Tech censorship anymore. I call it what it is. It is government-tech censorship where government is using the artifice of a corporate venire to do what the government could never do constitutionally on its own,” Ramaswamy said.
Ramaswamy addressed the common argument that “private companies” should moderate content however they like without First Amendment concerns. “If it’s state action in disguise, then guess what, the Constitution still applies,” he said. “If you’re going to pressure a private company and then you’re going to give them a form of immunity to do what government could not do directly, then the Constitution still applies.”
He also referred to the fact that Section 230 protections give Big Tech companies a mutually beneficial relationship with the government at the expense of free speech. “These companies ought to be bound by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States when they enjoy special federal protections and when they’re doing work effectively at the government’s behest.
Ramaswamy suggested that gov-tech censorship is a symptom of a wider cultural problem, noting cancel culture is “not just limited to the internet.” He pointed to those who have been fired for politically incorrect speech, online comments or for wearing a MAGA hat. He proposed that political speech should be protected as a civil right.
“If you can't fire somebody because they’re black, or gay or Muslim or white or Christian, or Hindu or whatever, that you should not be able to fire somebody or deplatform somebody just because they’re an outspoken conservative either. And why do I say conservative? Because that’s the side that’s been getting censored over the last several years,” he said.
Ramaswamy also noted that the American government is not the only one using a corporate veneer for political gain. Bozell and Ramaswamy discussed how China has used capitalism as a “Trojan horse to advance their own agendas.”
Ramaswamy spoke from his experience going to school and doing business in China: “What they decided to do is to say ‘Alright you guys think you’re using capitalism as a vehicle to spread democracy to China? The laugh’s on you because we’re going to instead use those same companies to actually get you guys to be more like us, sending back Disney movies and Apple iPhones as Trojan horses to undermine the United States from within.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.