Talk-radio superstar Rush Limbaugh warns that Google is imposing a de facto speech code by its firing of an employee who challenged the company's liberal "groupthink."
On Thursday, he addressed the case of James Damore, an engineer who was fired after his lengthy memo criticizing the company's leftist diversity agenda was reported by media.
Damore has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, which could lead to a lawsuit against the company.
He criticized the company's liberal leanings and its training around "unconscious bias."
Damore was blasted by Google CEO Sundar Pichai for "advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace" and fired.
Limbaugh warned: "We're talking about the dividing line of liberalism versus conservatism. This guy happens to tend toward conservatism, and that's what is not permitted. Not just his words. His thoughts, if they're discovered, are not permitted. So people get shamed, they're called names, and that's how certain speech is silenced – under the guise of improving everything, under the guise of not hurting people, under the guise of not offending people."
WND Editor-in-Chief Joseph Farah also weighed in on Damore's ouster.
"So, you think it's not a big deal that Google fired one of its engineers for company speech code violations? Let me beg to differ," he said. "This is how freedom is lost – not in one big bite, not always through the sweeping edicts of a tyrannical state, not even with the heavy hand of people with ‘bad intentions.'
"It is most often lost because people in powerful and influential positions in government and corporations, education establishments and among the cultural elite decide there are higher priorities than freedom of speech."
He explained nobody means to impose speech codes, but, "These are enlightened people with a higher cause – to be ‘compassionate,' egalitarian, ‘progressive,' and to correct injustices of the past and present through social engineering."
But to be fired over a "voice of dissent"?
"Make no mistake about what is happening. This is another nail in liberty's coffin."
Limbaugh called such moves a gateway to totalitarianism.
In a recorded interview, Damore said he was "not attacking diversity."
"I'm just attacking the fact that we can't honestly discuss any of these issues, and that that is actually hurting the problem," he said.
Limbaugh said: "You see, they can't discuss. They can't be open about what they think. They have to follow the Google groupthink or they're going to be canned. They're not allowed to dissent. And yet these are people claiming to be the greatest defenders of First Amendment free speech. These are people claiming to be the bulwark and the saviors, and yet if you don't say what they want to hear or what they agree with, you will be shut down, you'll be shamed, and you'll be fired. This is how it begins, folks."
He noted such sentiment is pervasive on college campuses.
"You'll find a shocking percentage of these young people who think that it's perfectly fine that speech be policed so that feelings are not hurt and so that people aren't offended, and they're perfectly fine with it - and that's how it begins. Of course, all of this is happening under an umbrella that people think is ultimately good and positive and compassionate. ‘We are preventing people from being hurt. We are preventing people from being offended. These speech codes and this discrimination against certain things is a good thing,'" he said.
"Always under the guise of goodness do people lose liberty and freedom. That's how it happens, and then after a certain passage of time, that's when the powerful forces of government begin to enforce the speech codes with the use of force."
"It's OK to chill speech for a ‘higher calling' – like spreading racial and sexual ‘diversity' mythology, which, at the end of the day, is an ideological conviction. We see clamoring for speech codes to be used against people, even scientists who don't buy in to ‘climate-change' hysteria.
"We see those who believe intelligent design is apparent throughout the universe being denied teaching positions and turned down for tenure. We see those who consider their worldview as ‘conservative' being tarred as racists and ‘alt-right' demons."
He had the same warning.
"When one cannot freely speak his mind, it's the beginning of the end for liberty. When one starts listening for an unwanted ‘knock on the door' or watching for termination papers from the office because of stating one's deepest convictions in the very spirit of ‘ideological diversity,' then the quest for real diversity has lost all meaning."