Sen. Hawley unpacks breaking up the Big Tech monopoly: ‘Time to get power back to the people’

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., believes Big Tech giants Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon need to be broken up because they pose the “gravest threat” to liberty with their ongoing efforts to “transform America.”

That’s the gist of his new book, “The Tyranny of Big Tech,” in which the senator says these powerful entities are “controlled by the robber barons of the modern era” — the book was dropped by original publisher Simon & Schuster because Hawley was one of the Republican senators who challenged the Electoral College vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate, but was picked up by Regnery Publishing.

Hawley appeared on Fox News’ “Life, Liberty, and Levin,” to speak on his book and denounce the monopoly Big Tech has in America.

Pointing to our Founding Fathers, Hawley explained that they hated monopolies because they hated monopoly.

“They were deeply, deeply suspicious of it, they associated it with aristocracy,” he said. “You know what happens when you get concentrated power? That means that the experts, the self-appointed experts, try to run the show the elites try to tell everybody else what to do.”

In fact, the Republican added, “our whole constitution is meant to disperse power.”

“Fast-forward to the industrial revolution, we see monopolies growing up in the economic sector, the railroads, U.S. Steel. What did the monopolies try to do? What they always try to do, they tried to take over the government,” he continued. “And they tried to project their power into the political sphere and override the will of the people and what we said then, a century ago — and by ‘we’ I mean conservatives and Republicans — they said we’re not stand for it and we’re not going to be told by a group of business people, or anybody, no matter who it is, no group of self-appointed experts will run this country.”

They responded then by enacting laws to break up the monopolies, and Hawley is calling on the GOP to go back to that principle.

“We need to recover the tradition of the American founders,” he said. “We need to recover the tradition of the Republicans from a century ago and say we believe in liberty, not monopoly and we are not going to allow a small group of experts, woke corporations to run this country.”

Fox News host Mark Levin accurately pointed out that the U.S. government gave Big Tech the advantage they have today, asking his guest to explain that advantage.

“They’ve been subsidized from day one,” Hawley replied. “They were given a huge immunity blanket…Most media corporations, publishing houses, any sort of platform, media platform, speech platform, is subject to lawsuits, for liable, for defamation and for other tort suits in court and that’s an important check.”

“If someone says something untrue about you, you can go to court,” he added. “And if somebody takes what you say and edits it and publishes it under your name without your approval you can go to court. These tech platforms have been effectively immune from suit in a vast majority of cases since the 1990s.”

Hawley said the principles of the free market don’t apply with Big Tech “because the government has put a big thumb on the scale in favor of these tech platforms.”

He also said that explains how Facebook, Google and Twitter got “so huge.”

“They were able to take our information from us without our consent and they were able to track us all around the web and they are able to now censor us and to censor our comments, to censor our opinions and to censor the speech of the sitting president of the United States as they did with Donald Trump,” Hawley said.

“No legal accountability — can’t sue them. Can’t take them to court. Can’t do anything about it,” he continued. “That’s because the federal government has given them these special privileges and this is why we see this monopoly power from Big Tech.”

A simpler explanation you will not hear,  as Hawley called for breaking up the unfair monopoly at play here.

“It is just what you would expect of government interference that has made Big Tech big and that is why, I say, it’s time to break them up in time to get real competition and it’s time to get power back to the people,” he concluded.

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Tom Tillison

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