Well, it's official. I have joined the ranks of those who have been banned from Twitter.
Somehow, someway, I offended the gods of Twitter (that’s “gods” with a little “g” by the way) and they slapped me with a time out in the penalty box for 24 hours or some such nonsense for a post that I made nearly a month ago.
Ironic that it came about just after a liberal troll labeled me a “domestic terrorist” for daring to call out the liberal Mayor of Birmingham for his 15,000 blanket pardons for drug possession. Coincidence? I think not.
How ridiculous is that? I, as a conservative, call out a liberal and then have the ubiquitous label of “domestic terrorist” thrown on me and then I am the one who was blocked.
The level to which some folks will go to make sure that others are not allowed to say something is amazing. How quick some have become to take offense, feel triggered, or need their safe space, is an indication that modern dialogue suffers. Real-life needs to get back to the life we see in the movies. I know that sounded weird but bear with me here.
Name your favorite movie and I guarantee there are parts of it that you can quote outright. The kind of lost-in-the-moment line quoting where people in the room look over and ask “so, how many times have you watched this flick?” My wife knows that if we’re watching TV and not yet settled on something there is the very real risk that I’m going to stop on a channel that has one of those favorite movies, which will usually cause her to say, “I don’t recall agreeing to this one …” At which point I would likely give a pleading look and quickly look back to the TV saying something lame like, “Yeah, I know, but this is almost to the part that so-and-so says so-and- so.”
On a good day, she’ll just give me a look that I can feel more than see and with a deep sigh, she will look at social media on her phone while I pretend that I only want to watch just a minute.
I’ve got several of those movies that I can’t resist stopping on to see what part of the storyline it’s in. And of course, all of the quotes -
- One of them is Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? I love that movie! There are more one-liners out of that single film than any other. Every member of my team in Baghdad loved it and it was inevitable that when things were bad one of the guys on the team would up and say “C’mon in fellers, the water is fine” – a direct quote from the movie.
- Or how about The Outlaw Josey Wales? “You gonna pull them pistols or whistle Dixie?” … Clint Eastwood is such an icon.
- Or Braveheart … “Where are you going? ... I’m going to pick a fight!”
- And the one that almost guarantees with a high rate of return that the remote control is going to stop on whatever channel it happens to be on: Tombstone. Kurt Russell, Sam Elliott, and Bill Paxton as the Earp brothers and of course, in the role of his life, Val Kilmer playing Doc Holliday. How many one-liners are there from that single movie? “Why Johnny Ringo, you look like someone just walked on your grave.” And of course, the maddening challenge that every man has repeated at least once in his life: ”I’m your huckleberry.” I love that movie.
Here’s my point: I would bet that any of the movies that you love have quotable lines that stick with you. I would also bet that most of them are things that people get banned for by the snowflakes who act as the gatekeepers on social media.
The reality is that heroes don’t talk like politically correct non-binary lip-synchers who squint in the sun and run to their safe spaces when the mean ol’ everyday salt of the earth real folks who make our society function say something … I don’t know ... “Normal.”
There is nothing inspiring about tepid words. The great speeches, the halftime locker room inspirations, the quotes that fire us up or inspire us to action, those don’t come from a highly moderated overly-sensitive alternate reality where people who are not even a part of the conversation are allowed to adjudge the merit and worth of your words after the fact and out of context.
What would Tombstone have been like with Twitter monitors writing the script? ”Why, Johnny Ringo, hello and I don’t want to be offensive or cause you any concern, but I believe that I need to intervene in this tense situation.” That’s a hard no.
Now I completely understand and appreciate that words can be offensive. It’s true that bullying often starts with words and that emotional abuse and suppressive language can damage people. I’ve also said for years that if you can’t express yourself without profanity or threats, then you need to work on your vocabulary. Those are not the examples of speech that I am referring to here.
What I am referring to is a return to dialogue. The ability for people to express opinions, lace them with humor, laugh at themselves and risk being laughed at by others. The ability to jack up the opposition when they’re wrong and tell them what line they are not allowed to cross because that’s what real people do. We must be able to share a thought with others without concern that a non-participant is going to attempt to intervene after the fact and out of context to provide some penalty or limitation on the ability to do so.
Twitter is a private company and as such they have certain rights that I as an attorney and a conservative can appreciate. Twitter, like other social media platforms, can set policies. They have also made themselves the modern equivalent of the public square, where opinions, thoughts, and insights are swapped – or so they say.
Twitter is also its own worst enemy. Indications are that there has been a drove of bailouts from Twitter to the new Gettr platform. I’m there too as a result of the Twitter gatekeepers getting too full of themselves.
Liberals are so often uninspiring. Their words don’t motivate me in general, except to make me want to galvanize more conservatives to action.
So that’s what we’re going to keep on doing on Rightside Radio. We’re going to use the medium of radio to continue to reach thousands every day. From what we can see it’s working.
Hey Twitter … I’m your huckleberry.
Phil Williams is a former State Senator, retired Army Colonel and combat veteran, and a practicing Attorney. He has served with the leadership of the Alabama Policy Institute and currently hosts Rightside Radio M-F 2-5 pm on WVNN. His column appears every Monday in 1819 News. To contact Phil or request him for a speaking engagement go to www.rightsideradio.org. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 news. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com