Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Supreme Court decision on campaign spending

I am troubled by the knee-jerk response of so many thoughtful people to the Supreme Court's decision on campaign spending. Yes, there is a certain inequity when those who have more money, spend that money to speak more loudly than others. But the same thing happens in a small group when one speaker speaks more loudly or perhaps more convincingly than others.

It is simply inconsistent with our system of freedom of expression to attempt to restrict the speech of anyone, person, corporation (or any other organization), or country. We have staked our all on the principle that out of a diversity of views, the truth shall emerge.

What is dropped from these knee-jerk reaction criticizing the Court's decision is a recognition that they are opposing, in so doing, this time-honored and fundamental tradition that we are better off with the largest number of opinions expressed and discussed. I fear that underlying these complaints is a belief that our fellow citizens are unable or at least unwilling to sort through voices big and little, loud and quiet, rich and poor and to come up with decisions based on all these choose to watch, read or hear.

If we give up that confidence, we give up confidence in democracy. I choose to take my chances with unfettered speech and my fellow citizens. And you?

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