Freedom of speech means that you have to allow all of those who don't agree with you the chance to voice their opinions. That's the dichotomy between the liberal and conservative movements in this country. Liberals see opposition to be EVIL, thus must be supressed; while conservatives see those in conflict with them to be MISGUIDED...and thus, should be convinced to the correct course.
As a young man, I volunteered for the United States Marine Corps. In the last unit I served from August of 1983 until June 1984, HMM-266 the Griffins (now VMM-266, the third unit to activate to fly the MV-22). There was a banner that hung upon the walls of the "Ready Room". It said:
"FIRST TO GO, LAST TO KNOW, We Will Defend To The Death Your Right To Be Misinformed" UNITED STATES MARINE CORPSIn a nutshell, that's what freedom of speech means. You have the right to be misinformed. That being said, you don't have the right to keep OTHERS from being misinformed either.
Earlier this year, Senator Charles Schummer, D-NY, introduced a bill that would have the effect of stiffling political speech. His bill, The Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act (“DISCLOSE Act”), would in his words,
“Anyone who wants to hide, will not do an ad after this legislation passes. And I think there are a lot of people who like to hide … so I think there’ll be many fewer of them.”The reality is that by forcing everyone (businesses, etc) to disclose whom they are contributing money to, would have a chilling effect upon political speech.
Their solution was the DISCLOSE Act, a piece of legislation that creates a burdensome new regulatory scheme as well as requires that political ads feature disclaimers which may be as long as 14 seconds in length. This will increase the costs to small businesses and membership based organizations that seek to have a voice – many won’t be able to afford the additional compliance costs and will have their voices silenced.
This of course would add not just regulations, but would have the additional effect of having to hire more governmental workers to ENFORCE the act...thus adding yet more to the size and scope of government at a time when we need just the opposite. The time has come for us, as a nation to roll back, not just this attempt to further expance the size and scope of government, but to down size the government, just as many companies have reduced their work forces.
We don't need more regulations that muzzle our natural right to free expression. We need to stand up and fight yet more attempts to reduce the people of this country to servitude to the government.