Stop the Assaults on Free Speech  

Sunday, January 15, 2006

What's really happening is that the Left, having lost its media monopoly, has had trouble competing in a true "marketplace of ideas" and wants to shut that marketplace down.
Every day, something happens in America where someone, usually a liberal, tries to suppress the First Amendment rights of another, usually a conservative.

Don't believe me? Just look around you. As if the ACLU's all-out war on free practice of religion weren't enough, liberals in Washington (mostly Democrats, but the liberal Republicans are involved, too) are trying to shut down much of the free speech taking place in talk radio and the blogosphere.

Mark Tapscott posted a link today that EVERY blogger must read, particularly those coming from the right side of the spectrum. It's a long article, but it does show, in very clear terms, the need for all of us to take a stand for the First Amendment. While I believe we should be working towards the outright repeal of McCain-Feingold instead of supporting the so-called "Online Freedom of Speech Act", it is absolutely IMPERATIVE that the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" never makes its way onto the public scene again.

I am a citizen of the United States and a blogger. I often refer to myself as a "citizen journalist". If you look at me as a citizen, my blog is protected by the First Amendment's free speech provision. If you look at me as a journalist, it's protected by the First Amendment's free press provision.

All of these assaults on the First Amendment are dangerous to ALL Americans, both liberal and conservative, and not just bloggers. Liberal bloggers should be voicing the same outrage. Face it. If conservative speech can be regulated into obscurity (as it was prior to the Reagan Administration), so can liberal speech. The average American would have less access to the varying viewpoints in the arena of ideas, and informed decisions, including voting decisions, would be less common.

Frankly, I want anyone who votes the way I do to know what and whom he is voting for. If someone votes along the same lines I do, I want him to do so because he believes along the same lines I do. If my blog serves to educate him in a way that makes sense to him, then so be it.

Likewise, those who vote the other way must know for what and whom they are voting. If someone's basic tendency is conservative, but a candidate lies to him and makes him believe he is conservative without being exposed, then that voter has been cheated out of his voice. His vote has been stolen and, if this occurs with a majority of Americans, so has the election.

Like him or not, President Bush tells it like it is when it comes to who he is, what he belives, how he would handle a particular situation, and how he would govern. His predecessor lied so brazenly to Americans of all walks of life, convincing enough of the electorate that he would govern as a conservative rather than as a liberal, that he won the election in 1992. Bob Dole's failure to bring more Americans' attention to those lies in 1996 cost America four more years of a socialist president. I would have less of a problem with this if Mr. Clinton had won these elections while telling the truth about how he would govern. If Americans had chosen this person as their president with a real understanding of the truth about him, then blame for the problems caused by his administration would fall squarely on their shoulders. Thank God for the Contract with America. It saved us from much of the socialism Clinton would have otherwise crammed down our throats.

So the Left can't hang with real free speech in America? There's one freedom we have in this country many of them overlook. The freedom to naturalize in a country more consistent with their beliefs. If they want to have the right to win every argument, they can move somewhere else. There are lots of beautiful countries in the world where they would be welcome. Until, that is, enough people got tired of being suppressed and stood up for themselves.

Fairness Doctrine, Online Freedom of Speech Act, McCain Feingold, whatever you want to call it. No limitations can legally be placed upon the free speech of the citizens of this country, whether they act as ordinary citizens or as members of the media. Left or right, liberal or conservative, we have to stand together.