Let me say right up front that I am not a fan of former President Trump. But he has furnished us with one more example of how the Free Enterprise System works so much better than government. What is that? He recently launched a new app that proclaims to be “America’s ‘Big Tent’ social media platform” that encourages an open, free and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology. Great. Since these platforms are private, they should be able to decide who and what gets published, just like newspapers have been able to do for centuries. And if people feel that they are not being well served, they can take their business elsewhere. Of course, not many of us would have the resources to start our own platforms but, if the need is strong enough, some people certainly would. So, once again, the answer is to promote competition!

Of course I understand that these are complicated issues that do not lend themselves to easy resolutions. As an example, we have had some biased journalism in our newspapers ever since newspapers began. And, furthermore, when large numbers of cable television channels first sprung to life I felt “Oh, great, now we will be able to get a large number of diverse opinions in our news.” But boy was I wrong. What instead we received were cable stations that simply catered their newscasts to the pre-conceptions of some groups of people. So what many people receive simply reinforces their biases. Of course we can attempt to use so-called “fact-checkers,” but then who checks the fact-checkers? Nevertheless, the alternative is government censorship, and that is not a good idea whatsoever. Thus the answer continues to be vigilance by us all – and competition. In other words, as Thomas Jefferson famously said so long ago, “If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.” So the bottom line remains, it is up to each of us!

Inscribed on a paperweight that I have on my desk: “The Smallest Good Deed is Better than the Grandest Intention.”


Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

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