Thursday, January 21, 2010

Free Speech

Years ago I wrote to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky because he firmly opposed campaign finance reform. He said that it would limit free speech.

I maintained that we hadn't had political free speech for quite some time, that our politcal campaign "speech" had become the most expensive speech known to humankind.

I thought McConnell's opposition to McCain-Feingold was actually based in the belief that his party still had the ability to out-fundraise the other party. If that situation ever reversed itself, I believed that McConnell would suddenly be on-board for campaign finance reform.

Well, our political campaigns becomre more expensive with every election. Not only are they the most expensive speech in the history of humanity and politics, the quality of that speech seems to be inversely proportional to its cost. Campaign speech these days is not "speech" but advertising. It does not want to inform you, present you with reliable factual information, so that you can make up your own mind.

No. It wants to scare you, seduce you, enrage you, tell you exactly how and what to think. Or all of the above. And it ALL gets tested on focus groups and mind control experts before it ever airs. Airs. How much of our politcal campaign speech is in the form of the printed word? None. It's a multi-media assault. And once you have an opinion, you have no need of information.

Some years back, Greg Palast wrote a book titled The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Gosh, why'd he go and do that? Maybe cuz that's how our so-called democracy works.

Except it's not a democracy. It's a plutocracy. Money talks. Money rules.

And today the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that corporations trump you and me. Since they are "persons", they can spend money like persons and buy as much free speech as they want.

So much for activist judges being only liberals.

I want cheap speech, real speech. It's the only kind that's free. Question is, for how long?

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