Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Free Speech Threat?

U.S., Political, Quality of Life

Congressional Democrats have unveiled a new effort.  They would like to see the Citizen’s United versus Federal Election Commission decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 reversed.  Nothing too serious involved unless you think that free speech is important and that any infringement is not to be tolerated.

The idea behind this move is that corporations are defined as persons but that they should not have the rights to freedom of speech that people have as individuals.  Sounds sort of like something that isn’t too bad, especially when you hear the statement issued in its support described as aimed at “reducing the role of money in campaigns”:

“We have a clear agenda in this regard:  Disclose, reform the system reducing the role of money in campaigns, and amend the Constitution of this ability for special interests to use secret, unlimited, huge amounts of money flowing to campaigns” said Nancy Pelosi yesterday.

Has Ms. Pelosi done anything without a political motive?  Not that I can recall.  So, if that is true, then what could her motive be in this situation?

If you stop to think about it, there is very little that an individual can do politically if there is not some larger umbrella group of like-minded citizens with which he or she can affiliate.  That gives us a clue.  Maybe those larger groups are set up as legal entities that are described as ‘persons’; maybe then those ‘persons’ could be denied the right to engage politically.  Think of the number of political campaign donation requests you receive from groups such as these.  Think about groups such as the various tea party organizations.  Could this amendment be used ultimately to make those types of ‘persons’ unable to engage in political issues?

If you stop to think about it, much of what we recognize as law today evolved from Supreme Court decisions about what was meant by various sections of the Constitution.  The “Commerce” clause for example has been greatly expanded from what was the original intent.  The “activist judges” throughout the system make their own interpretations and then we watch as each tier of justice either declines to reverse or actually makes the law more over-reaching than it was.

The Democrats who are lined up in support of this amendment use wonderful language about freedom to describe its purpose, but at its base is this quote from Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) who said the proposed amendment would not impact individual speech, but said that any speech by corporations – even campaign committees – could be regulated by Congress.  “But what it would do is it would say, all of the speech in which, whether it’s corporations or campaign committees and others engage in, would be able to be fully regulated under the authority of the Congress and – under our Constitution.”

No good can possibly come from this.  Constitutional amendments require a lengthy ratification process, and this slightly concealed effort to rein in free speech is a prime example of why that process takes time.

This simply is another among many reasons that our current President needs to be removed from office in the fall elections.  His is a not-so-carefully concealed socialist agenda that pits one person against another while each loses a bit more freedom in the process.

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