Pete Riehm
Will the First Amendment survive COVID?
By Pete Riehm
July 26, 2021

As the United States slides closer to socialism, the First Amendment has never been in greater jeopardy. Relentlessly and ridiculously accused of White Supremacy, Christians, conservatives, and Trump supporters have been censored on social media for years now. Any conservative opinions are bludgeoned by the press and pundits with a biased, unbalanced cudgel of "racism." The simple premise is if your opinion can be branded racist, you have no right to be heard. Quite a nifty trick to circumvent honest debate and silence dissent. Although a California court struck down a California law imposing jail time for mis-gendering, there is utter confusion about using the correct pronoun for the dozens of imaginary genders the left conjures. However, it may be the public debate about the Chinese virus and the COVID vaccinations that may cement the government’s usurped authority to control speech.

Americans were shocked by the recent revelation that the Biden White House was flagging certain Facebook posts about COVID and demanding Facebook take them down. Read that again. The government was using a private company as proxy to censor Americans’ constitutional right to debate a very controversial topic. This is a flagrant and unambiguous violation of the First Amendment!

It’s bad enough that social media are actively, aggressively, and unabashedly censoring conservative Americans, but they are doing the bidding of leftists in government under the thin veil of being private companies. It’s government censorship plain and simple. Censorship by anyone is patently un-American, but it should alarm every American that our all-powerful federal government is pulling the strings behind the scenes.

The disputed origins of the Wuhan Flu are still unknown and the efficacy of the vaccinations is still undetermined. Vaccinated people are still told to wear masks and now some of the vaccinated are getting COVID AGAIN! But now the experts say they never said the vaccines would prevent COVID, just make it milder. That’s not what they said at first. The Chinese virus story keeps changing. The Democrat Media Complex and our own federal government have yet to tell the truth about the Chinese virus—so why should anyone have any confidence in their ever-changing masking, social distancing, and vaccination machinations?!

Everything about COVID and its treatment is a legitimate issue for debate, yet any debate, or even questioning, is verboten! If Americans contest this censorship, bedwetting liberals rush to scold us that any deviation from the government narrative that hinders vaccinations is dangerous to public health. They claim any social media post or public utterance that doesn’t support universal vaccinations is actually KILLING people. So censorship is defended as acceptable if the government is trying to protect you. That is the exact same scam every cruel despot in history has used to usurp total power and oppress the people.

Every totalitarian regime has excused its brutal depredations as necessary for the greater good, and any resistance is castigated as detrimental to the greater good. The fact the government is often wrong, however, justifies the inherent right to dissent—that’s why we debate and each sovereign individual decides for themselves. However, while a valid premise, that is actually not the issue here. The real, somewhat stealthy issue, is that the Biden government is trying to establish its absolute authority to control speech!

The chosen weapon to controlling speech is the amorphous term “misinformation.” This only works when the government can insist on and enforce whatever it thinks is truth and everything else is deemed “misinformation.” Leftists want to ban Christianity as inimical to LGBTQ+, censor climate change deniers as a danger to the planet, and silence conservatives as domestic terror threats. Every opinion contrary to official dogma is considered harmful and therefore “misinformation,” so the government declares its censoring of misinformation is only to protect the citizen and society. Protecting your health is the excuse to deprive Americans of their right to free speech. But the censors run smack into the First Amendment. It’s the ultimate obstacle to censorship, and it still works.

Leftists hope COVID is the vehicle to nullify the First Amendment, but they know the government still cannot constitutionally squelch speech. So they seek an end run around the First Amendment by colluding with Big Tech, corporate America, and social media to root out misinformation and censor on the government's behalf. These mega corporations are more than willing because they are transnational companies, no longer American companies, and the government tacitly allows them to behave as monopolies. It is an unholy alliance to concentrate power beyond the reach of the will of the people and wield the terrible tyranny of censorship by an authoritarian government through its quasi-public collaborators.

This sinister scheme to eviscerate the First Amendment is already working. Dissent to vaccinations and questions about the origin of the Chinese virus are deemed “misinformation” and already widely censored, but the next step is to ostracize the unvaccinated. They are blamed for the ostensible continuing of the pandemic and shamed for endangering their neighbors. If they don’t submit, we are all threatened. So the government is hoping conservatives' fellow citizens, out of fear, will pressure them to comply or turn them in. At this point, subjugation is complete.

How is this different from the Cuban dictatorship encouraging their citizens to report the freedom protesters or even beat them in the streets?! Our government is enlisting big business to oppress us and turning the people against each other. We are witnessing a totalitarian campaign to establish tyranny under the guise of public health. The pandemic is not terminal, but censorship threatens to make freedom terminal.

“And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, 'Teacher, rebuke your disciples.' He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out’” (Luke 19-39-40).

Pete Riehm is the host of Common Sense Radio heard 8 pm every Thursday on FMTalk106.5 or streaming at Email him at or on MEWE @PeteRiehm or read all his columns at

© Pete Riehm

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Pete Riehm

Born to German immigrants, Pete Riehm grew up in Texas as a first generation American. Working his way through college, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduating from the University of Houston, Pete was commissioned into the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He also earned a Master's Degree in National Security from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas... (more)


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