The Progressive View of Free Speech

We ought to be allowed to set limits.  The government should tell you what your limits are.  No less a light than Senator Charles Schumer (D, NY) says so.  Fox News reports that in an effort to pass the Disclose Act, which would have stripped political speakers of their anonymity and exposed them to union intimidation and to Democratic ad hominem attacks (can you say “Koch brothers?”) with a view toward further intimidation,

New York Sen. Charles Schumer claimed Monday that “there ought to be limits” on First Amendment rights, while arguing in favor of Democrat-backed legislation that would require full disclosure of big-money donors behind election campaign advertising.

After all, he says,

You can’t scream “fire” falsely in a crowded theater.  We have libel laws.  We have anti-pornography laws.  All of those are limits on the First Amendment.  Well, what could be more important than the wellspring of our democracy?  And certain limits on First Amendment rights that if left unfettered, destroy the equality—any semblance of equality in our democracy—of course would be allowed by the Constitution.

There’s a pattern here.  The examples he cites are plain acts of dishonesty.  So what else is dishonest in this Progressive’s eyes?  Why, political speech of which he disapproves.  So this must be limited, too.

But, indeed, “what could be more important than the wellspring of our democracy,” the freedom of political speech?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *