“It’s a Good Life” is widely considered one of the greatest episodes of The Twilight Zone. It tells the story of a six-year-old boy named Anthony who has extraordinary mental powers. In his efforts to protect himself from anything that disturbs him, he has isolated his little town of Peaksville, Ohio, from the outside world. Any person, thing or idea he finds discordant he destroys and then banishes into an esoteric nowhere he calls “the cornfield.” As a result, the surviving adults around him live in terror of expressing an unpleasant thought. Anthony, who can never be taught or disciplined, has no sense of right and wrong and can’t understand why no one will play with him. Whatever he does, no matter how destructive, the grown-ups have to reassure him: “It’s good, Anthony. It’s good.”
Peaksville, Ohio, is the world of political correctness and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook is the new Anthony. Or perhaps it’s Twitter’s Jack Dorsey. Or whoever is now to blame for the censorship campaign that is marginalizing conservative thought on Google and YouTube. That this censorship campaign is underway is undeniable. Videos engineered by Dennis Prager — that most amiable and reasonable of conservatives — have been demonetized and restricted on YouTube. Outrageous-but-lovable right-wing comedian Steven Crowder has been banned from both YouTube and Twitter. Google, amazingly, actually fired tech-head James Damore for the right-wing thought crime of speculating about gender differences. And Facebook has installed a new algorithm that favors established news venues — which, as Michael Knowles recently pointed out on my Daily Wire podcast, disproportionately harms right-wing outlets that were specifically created as a counterforce to the liberal bias in the so-called mainstream.
Much of this seems to have had its origins in the anti-fake news campaign which, as investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has amply demonstrated, began as a calculated attempt by leftists to silence conservative voices during Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Despite the fact that Donald Trump has managed to hijack the term fake news, the original leftist campaign has achieved its ends: groups strongly biased toward the left like Snopes, Politifact and the Southern Poverty Law Center (virtually a left-wing hate group) are now officially partnering with various social media outlets to determine what’s fake and what isn’t.
As a result, political correctness, that mind prison meant to ensure no one escapes the leftist worldview, is being incorporated into our chief methods of information gathering and sharing. Anything that disturbs the premises of PC — like the idea that culture and behavior matter to outcomes more than race, that men and women are different, that freedom requires an armed populace, that America is the last, best hope of humankind — is deemed “divisive,” or “hateful,” and is sent out into the cornfield.
The comparison to the Twilight Zone episode is so terribly apt because, like the little boy in “It’s a Good Life,” the social media companies that are carrying out this assault on free thought and free speech combine enormous power with childish levels of immaturity and moral ignorance. Staffed by people with identical opinions, they do not know what they do not know: that truth is only discovered in free and open debate, that “hatefulness” is in the eye of the beholder, that silencing ideas imbues normal human disagreements with rage, that their arguments are based on left-wing premises and that only by questioning those premises can they hear new ideas and learn.
The election of Donald Trump sent shockwaves through the comfortably leftist world of such corporate elites. They seem to believe if they censor the ideas of Trump voters, they can prevent such a shock from happening again. They’ve got it exactly wrong. It was their sense of being silenced and marginalized that drove those voters — including me — to the polls in the first place.
Little Anthony, in trying to turn Peaksville, Ohio, into a six-year-old’s Utopia, merely ended up becoming feared, isolated and despised.
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