Focus Point - Free Speech 2Commentary by Pete du Pont
April 05, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. I've hammered the McCain-Feingold campaign reform for its attacks on free speech. Today, my guests take over.
"I am . . . for freedom of the press and against all violations of the constitution to silence . . . the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents." Thomas Jefferson, 1799.
"The concept that the government may restrict the speech of some elements in our society in order to enhance the relative voice of others is wholly foreign to the first amendment." the Supreme Court in Buckley V. Valeo and from Justice William O. Douglas: "It is vitally important that all channels of communication be open during every election, that no point of view be restrained or barred, and that the People have access to the views of every group in the community."
There's no argument: The First Amendment's designed to protect political speech. But McCain-Feingold would silence, by force of law, citizens criticizing their elected officials.
Jefferson would not be amused.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, hate speech.