The Future of Free Speech

Mark Tapscott (HT: Instapundit):

I don’t see how McCain could avoid being a vigorous supporter of proposals to expand the regulatory reach and severity of campaign finance law. Otherwise, it will take the Democrats about 10 seconds to accuse McCain of flip-flopping, or worse, if he doesn’t aggressively support their certain efforts to expand the FEC’s budget, staff and regulatory authority.

The inevitable result will be the expansion of congressional and bureaucratic regulation of political speech in America, likely beginning with bloggers. Absent an iron-clad promise to vigorously oppose any expansion of congressional or FEC regulatory authority in this area, it’s hard to see how John McCain’s ascension to the White House could be anything short of a disaster for freedom of political speech in this country.

That’s a real worry, but there’s every reason to believe that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would be just as interested in expanding the regulation of political speech. In short, it’s hard to see how 2009 and following “could be anything short of a disaster for freedom of political speech in this country” no matter which of the three is elected President.

4 thoughts on “The Future of Free Speech

  1. Democrats will certainly outreach Mr. McCain in reining in free speech rights with two words: Fairness Doctrine.

    I’m not sure about Barack Obama, but Hillary Clinton has been quite candid in her wish to quiet the AM Radio crowd down.

  2. Freedom of speech is the biggest core issue of a democracy. Our Forefathers understood this & that is why the second amendment allows us the right to bear arms. That amendment is also the only one to end with the words “And this right shall not be infringed” Remember when Bill Clinton was president the catch phrase was “Politically Correct?” Telling somebody what they are saying is trying to stifle my right to free speech. I’m not a politician so I don’t have to be politically correct. Tell me how to speak my mind will you? You should be shot! Our forefathers knew for a democracy to succeed it had to be redefined every generation for fresh ideas to make it better & stronger. Take away our right to free speech & we become just like communists. For some political leader or official to tell us that what we are saying or doing that is not harming anybody is not politically correct is an infringement on my first amendment right.

    Hillary is on the ropes now! She fired her campaign manager. The ugly little wet rat is now seeing that she is not loved by the country like she thought she was. The fake b__ch is on the ropes & I hope she receives a knock out punch, because it’s about time for her to shut up. She says she is the candidate for change BS She says she has been in the public arena for 35 years making change. I don’t see it. She is a lawyers’ lawyer. In other words a liars’ liar. She could not take care of her husband & now she wants to take care of America? Look at how she has spent all that campaign money she had, & now she wants to take care of the American budget? Wake up America! She is out to destroy this country. You want a black president? You want a woman president? Condoleezza Rice would make a fine president, she just has better sense & brains to believe that a president can do everything they promise to do when they are campaigning. Hillary Clinton is the definition of partisan politics. What a fake!

  3. I agree that freedom of speech is immensely important, but speech needs to be met with speech. If someone “*tell[s]* me how to speak my mind,” I can tell them to drop dead. But that’s very different from bringing it about by having them shot. Of course, if they shoot at me, it’s a different story.

    It’s very important, I think, to preserve the distinction between speech and behavior. As Jonathan Rauch argues, words can be answered with words, and bullets with bullets. If you erase the distinction, then words can be answered with bullets, and free speech is over.

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