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Terrifying Senate Democrats Vote to Give Political Speech Less Protection than Pornography

September 11, 2014 in Economics

By Trevor Burrus

Trevor Burrus

This week, the Senate voted on and debated a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Congress and the states nearly unlimited power to regulate election spending. The 79-18 vote was only a cloture vote to advance the resolution to the floor, and the proposed amendment stands almost no chance of passing the high hurdle needed to become part of our Constitution–that is, a two-thirds vote from both houses of Congress and ratification by three-fourths (38) of the state legislatures.

Yet, even despite the resolution’s poor political prospects, there is one word to best describe it: Terrifying. Even though this resolution can be properly classified as a political stunt, and even though some Senators (including some Republicans) only voted for it just to score political points, it is terrifying that this proposed amendment can even score political points.

If passed, the amendment would repeal the most important parts of the First Amendment, those that protect our right to advocate for political change. If passed, the amendment would create a world where pornography, videos depicting small animals being crushed, profanity-laden jackets, and Phelps family funeral protests all receive more protection from government interference than even the smallest amount of political speech.

In the world championed by the terrifying Senate Democrats, individuals will have to seek permission from the government to criticize it.”

By giving Congress and state governments essentially unlimited power to prohibit or regulate anyone who is spending money trying to “influence elections,” the Senate stooped to a level of governmental malfeasance previously reserved for the former Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela. In fact, if Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro passed this same law, Americans would properly see it as a thinly veiled attempt to squelch the political rights of Venezuelans and to entrench himself in power.

In an America, though, where the words “spend money to influence elections” are increasingly spoken in same the ominous tones used to describe the actions of thieves and murderers, those who want to genuinely protect political speech are becoming distressingly rare. Many Democrats have fully jettisoned their historic support for free speech in the name of “equality of voice”–with numerous exceptions to that supposed equality principle, of course, for Oprah, the New York Times, actors, established political parties, and incumbent politicians.

Or perhaps not. Under this amendment, Congress could feasibly ban an hour-long Oprah special that featured current candidates, or even ban an …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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