The Parler Pledge
This post is authored by Jeffrey Wernick
By popular account, Benjamin Franklin was asked, after leaving the 1787 Constitutional Convention, “What did we get, Doctor?”
He answered, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
We have kept it for 230 years, and trust in the integrity of our elections has been key. Without confidence that our leaders are legitimately elected, our system will disintegrate.
This year, we’ve already seen months of indefinite lockdowns imposed with questionable authority, as well as the Nation’s purse strings stretched beyond any reasonable standard of prudence. Now, while our Republic is still languishing in this miasma of encroaching statism, there looms another threat: a coordinated information brownout.
A recent Pew Center poll shows that half of voters expect difficulty when voting this year, an expectation that, if realized, will cast doubt on the election results. Many states have scrambled to expand their vote-by-mail programs, sometimes resulting in vague and unfamiliar rules and procedures that many Americans don’t trust. Whether their concerns are justified is debatable, but we have seen major problems this year in places like New Jersey, where a municipal election, held entirely by mail for the first time, was deemed to have been “irreversibly tainted”.
Given the justifiable anxiety over voting integrity, matters won’t be helped when political power brokers try to delegitimize the election results. Nor will they be helped when Facebook, Twitter and YouTube start moderating as they see fit, impairing the free flow of information. By the time we get final election results, we may end up with a president-elect the authority of whom roughly half of Americans won’t respect. That’s a recipe for instability, conflict—perhaps even violence.
We at Parler have no influence over candidates’ strategies. We also can’t predict what will happen when the apparent loser implements his voter-doubt-magnification protocol. What we do know is that there will be a tremendous information deficit created when the technoauthoritarians fire up their content-curation machines to halt the free flow of information, both to and from a population of already restless, locked-down Americans. But this is where there is something that Parler—and anyone else interested in ensuring the free flow of information—can do.
Zuckerberg is right in saying that results might remain in limbo for days or weeks after the election. Many more votes will be cast by mail and, even when postmarked on election day, won’t be received or counted for days afterwards. In a close election, a significant number of mail-in ballots can be determinative, and if 2000 was any indication, we may see lengthy, chaotic, and opaque recount procedures, in multiple states. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Friday adds still more uncertainty, because the final ruling on the results may come from an equally divided Supreme Court.
Where Zuckerberg and his technoauthoritarian pals are wrong, however, is in their plans to address Americans’ anxiety and uncertainty by imposing de facto censorship: an information brownout under which only “approved” information sources may be seen and heard. At Parler we believe the very last thing 2020-weary Americans need is to be coddled, babysat and selectively spoon-fed propaganda while they wait for election results. We recommend instead—and intend to provide—full doses of real, unvarnished, and unfettered information, updates, and opinion, by individuals from all walks of life.
The Washington Post’s slogan is, “Democracy Dies in the Dark.” At Parler, we add: as does a Constitutional Republic.
Trust in and respect for election results requires transparency. The People deserve to consider all sides and sources, so that they may exercise and act upon their own best judgment. No one should be banned or censored for his or her views, whether by government or by Silicon Valley do-gooders. Biased editors and content curators should not be telling us what we may hear, say, or think.
Parler will not let this brownout stand.
This election season, Parler is the home for uncensored, real-time election coverage. We invite all candidates, journalists, observers, and interested citizens to share information and commentary on Parler. We’re the hub for exit polling, poll watching, ballot counting and recounting, legal challenges, breaking news and analysis from all perspectives. We honor the right of all individuals to speak and hear freely, and to decide for themselves what to think. While this is business as usual for us, we are proud to do our part this year to ensure that no candidate will be able cheat, incite unrest, or steal the election unchallenged, in the darkness. We welcome anyone who wants to partake in a free and open flow of information to join us.
Sunshine is the antidote to election fraud and interference. It’s essential for the legitimacy of, and respect for, election outcomes. We’re here to provide it.
Join the movement at Parler.
Jeff Wernick is an investor in Parler, as well as Dan Bongino.