There’s an increasing assault on freedom of speech today. Conservative voices face efforts to censor and silence free thought from the left, the mainstream media, and increasingly from Big Tech companies. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised the troubling situation during a speech at Voice of America (VOA), the oldest and largest U.S.-funded international broadcaster. He didn’t mince words, calling the efforts authoritarian and un-American.

This kind of censorial instinct is dangerous. It’s morally wrong. And it’s against your mandate. 

Censorship, wokeness, political correctness, it all points in one direction – authoritarianism, cloaked as moral righteousness. It’s similar to what we’re seeing at Twitter, and Facebook, and Apple, and on too many university campuses.

While the focus of his address was reportedly on American exceptionalism and why VOA had a responsibility to promote that, he addressed widely-held criticism of America’s greatness:

… your mission is to promote democracy, freedom, and American values in the world. [VOA] lost its commitment to its founding mission. Its broadcasts became less about telling the truth about America, and too often about demeaning America.

It is not fake news for you to broadcast that this is the greatest nation in the history of the world and the greatest nation this civilization has ever known. I’m not saying ignore our faults. Indeed, just the opposite. It is to acknowledge them. But this isn’t the Vice of America, focusing on everything that’s wrong with our great nation. It certainly isn’t the place to give authoritarian regimes in Beijing or Tehran a platform.

VOA staff were not all pleased that the outgoing Secretary of State would address them. The speech was reportedly broadcasted live, worldwide, but the Government Accountability Project, a group representing VOA whistleblowers, called it “a violation of law, rule and policy.” Pompeo had a response to them:

I read that some VOA employees didn’t want me to speak today. They didn’t want the voice of American diplomacy to be broadcast on . . . the Voice of America.

It’s time that we simply put woke-ism to sleep.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Woke culture has moved from academia to private industry. Former college graduates are now forcing their liberal viewpoints and intolerance of differing opinions on their employers and using cancel culture to enforce their dictates as retribution against those they oppose. They think—whether genuinely or not—that they are fighting fascism and oppression, but their my-way-or-no-way approach is actually repressive and undemocratic.

If we want unity, equality, and freedom for all, we need to go beyond putting woke-ism to sleep, we need to put it to death.