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First Amendment text and gavel
First Amendment text and gavel
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No One Has Monopoly on Truth, Answers — Not Even Gov’t

Originally published at Newsmax

A troubling question for so many today is “how did the United States, the most successful and advanced nation in history, fall into the current state of decline so rapidly?”

The easy answer, which absolves people from responsibility, is that decline is an inevitable law of history with most all empires not lasting more than two or 250 years. 

The United States will be 250 years old in 2026.

However, Americans are generally not fatalists.

Far better is it to understand what’s going on and do something about it.

First, it’s essential to recognize that America is different from all other nations in human history because its Foundation revolves around the God-given right of freedom  one of the most important natural rights.

That right of freedom, when protected and fully realized enables people to maximize their creativity, solve the most difficult problems, and flourish.

The Founding documents of Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were revolutionary in establishing for the first time in human history that the primary purpose of government was to protect and defend freedom and other natural rights of the nation’s citizens.

The tradition of natural rights that lay behind the Constitution assured people of a range of unalienable rights, the most fundamental of which are articulated in the first 10 amendments, also known as the Bill of Rights.

The First Amendment is the most important because it protects all the other rights — a cornerstone that provides a self-correcting means for both the public and the private sector to function properly.

What is essential about the First Amendment is that freedom of speech and thought are absolutely necessary for a society to arrive at the truth of facts, what works and solves problems, and what is right and wrong.

Americans now have a front row seat to congressional investigations and are relearning that freedom of speech is the primary weapon to expose and destroy lies and deceit.

The current state of our decline can be traced  to allowing so many liars and deceivers to gain power and influence.

Until recently, we the people have had limited success in exposing frauds and false narratives and holding those responsible accountable.

The deceivers’ primary method of operation is creating and using propaganda that often starts with a kernel of truth that gets manipulated and spun to create false narratives that are believable.

In fact, these narratives — often created by parties and agencies working within and around government — are generally designed to facilitate hidden agendas of corruption via a strategy of appealing narratives facilitating group think.

It’s hard to say exactly when the federal government violated the First Amendment in stepping over the line in propagandizing the American people.

But we now know that the CIA engaged in a large-scale program, known as “Operation Mockingbird” in the early years of the Cold War, for the purpose of manipulating domestic and foreign news media organizations for propaganda purposes.

Mockingbird recruited leading American journalists into a propaganda network that enlisted and paid some 400 journalists and involved 25 large organizations, who were secretly conducting assignments for the CIA.

Being discovered decades after it began, Operation Mockingbird was never formally closed. So, it should come as no surprise that the scope of media manipulation by government agencies became an “industrial scale” operation.

We learned through the Twitter files and the reporting from Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger that government agencies have enlisted all the Big Tech social media and information search companies to support various narratives that have included:

Blocking the Hunter Biden laptop probe and its incriminating information. 

Blocking coverage and scientific reports of benefits of therapeutic drugs such as Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine to protect the pathway for approval of emergency use authorization vaccinations as the only preventive for COVID-19.

Supporting the view that the southern border is secure.

Supporting the climate change scare and need for a Green New Deal.

Supporting Ukraine with massive aid, even while the United States runs a simultaneous $1.5 trillion budget deficit.

It’s imperative to remember that the First Amendment is based on the principle that no person or institution, including government, has a monopoly on the truth.

Further, the suppression or control of speech and expression is unconstitutional and threatens our Republic.

No nation can survive when its government deceives and corrupts its people, denying them the ability to make good political and economic choices.

Similarly, when a nation’s justice system becomes politically weaponized, the moral compass of equal justice under the law is destroyed.

However, the recent temporary injunction by U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty in Louisiana that bars a slew of government agencies and more than a dozen top officials from communicating with social media companies for “the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech under the First Amendment,” is encouraging.

Americans are now waking up to the endless hoaxes and lies that have gone down for decades.

With the staggering level of alleged corruption in the Biden family being reviewed we are surely close to a tipping point, exposing questionable acivities in the Obama White House as well.

In the first year, 2009, Hunter Biden co-founded investment fund Rosemont Seneca Partners with Christopher Heinz, stepson of Obama’s future Secretary of State John Kerry, and Devon Archer, the former Kerry adviser who just testified before Congress that Joe Biden participated in all his son’s shady business dealings.

The First Amendment remains the Foundational cornerstone of the United States.

It is the brightest light, exposing our darkest scandals.

It facilitates solutions to seemingly intractable problems.

Scott S. Powell

Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality
Scott Powell has enjoyed a career split between theory and practice with over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and rainmaker in several industries. He joins the Discovery Institute after having been a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution for six years and serving as a managing partner at a consulting firm, RemingtonRand. His research and writing has resulted in over 250 published articles on economics, business and regulation. Scott Powell graduated from the University of Chicago with honors (B.A. and M.A.) and received his Ph.D. in political and economic theory from Boston University in 1987, writing his dissertation on the determinants of entrepreneurial activity and economic growth.