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View Diary: How John Roberts orchestrated the Citizens United decision (220 comments)

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  •  "Hate" crimes regard motive. (0+ / 0-)

    I have no idea what they have to do with banning speech.  

    •  There has to be some normative basis (0+ / 0-)

      for deciding what is hate. If there is, there is also a normative basis for deciding what is allowed as free speech. We do not, for example, allow free speech for military officers. Why? Because it is understood that the framers considered a standing army one of the greatest dangers to a republic. Therefore, military officers are not allowed to publicly criticize civilian authority. But what of rich people? At the time the Constitution was framed, it was understood that wealthy elites were as much a danger as military officers. Madison writes in Federalist Number 10 on the dangers of factions, and notes that factions most often arise based on economic interests. Why can we not limit the free speech of the wealthy in the same way we limit the free speech of military officers. I suggest the reason you are uncomfortable with the idea is because you have a historically inaccurate view of free speech as an absolute right. Zephyr Teachout's  article The Historical Roots of Citizens United v. FEC: How Anarchists and Academics Accidentally Created Corporate Speech Rights (pdf file) shows how the conception of free speech as an absolute right evolved, and discusses how the (republican) conception of corruption as a danger to the republic has suffered as a result. If nothing else, free speech versus corruption is a very interesting historical trade-off to ponder.  

      My position, of course, is that short spots on radio and TV have nothing to do with informing the citizenry, and are almost wholly intended to give the public a corrupted view of some political faction or other. I think a return to the original balance between corruption and free speech would allow us to prohibit political advertising on TV and radio. The impact on campaign finance would be, I believe, extremely beneficial, since it would remove the need for hundreds of millions of dollars for advertising, and force political campaigns to be based on street and community organizing.

      A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

      by NBBooks on Wed May 16, 2012 at 02:55:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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