Free Speech Is Dead

I have always regarded the 1st Amendment as one of the best things about being an American and living in America. Part of this is due to my being an unabashed bibliophile. I delight in the fact that I can order books from Loompanics, Paladin Press , Feral House , Lindsay Publications, and all the other niche publishers of the weird and wonderful. These kind of companies don't exist anywhere else in the world. I can order a book on any topic I want and have it delivered to my front door. The ownership and possession of said book subjects me to no repercussions whatsoever. This is not a privilege enjoyed by the rest of the world, and it's one I cherish.

However, my book collecting is not the primary purpose of the 1st Amendment. The amendment exists so that debate can flourish and an informed citizenry can develop. The ability to openly criticize the government and agitate for change is one of the most important liberties we as citizens have. An inability to speak your mind about the problems you see in government is the first sign of tyranny. That's why campaign finance in guise of the McCain-Feingold Act infuriated me so much when it was first passed. The act is, prima facie, blatantly unconstitutional. The very idea that political speech about candidates is subject to restriction warps my fragile little mind. How anyone who takes an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution can vote for or sign this act is completely beyond me, yet it happened. Then a group of doddering old fools in black robes decided this was okay.

Now I have bizarre spectacle of the sitting President of the United States saying political speech about the candidates for his office should be suppressed. WTF? I mean, seriously, WHAT THE FUCK? Where am I living? I thought the basic idea behind the 1st Amendment was that we could all stand around and say what idiots our politicians and candidates are. I guess not, huh? Damn. Somebody's going to have to go back and rewrite a whole bunch of textbooks. Every one I ever had on government seemed to have that in there somewhere.

Anyhow, here's a link to the editorial that kicked this rant off. Everything he says is perfectly correct. Now, in addition to the drug war exceptions to the Bill of Rights, we have the campaign finance exceptions. Just peachy. By the way, don't try saying if I vote for Kerry in the fall this will all magically change. Fuck you. He voted for that piece of crap, just like every other donk senator except for John Breaux and Ben Nelson. Campaign finance was a bipartisan screwing of the electorate and a blatant (and successful) attempt to strip our rights from us. The only elected official that didn't fall down on the job was Mitch McConnell.

Update: Even better! The President is now threatening legal action against 527 groups! I'd say something more, but I'm gonna go froth at the mouth and chew on furniture and generally LOSE MY BLOODY MIND. Besides, Nick Gillespie already said most of it.


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