American Elephants


Democrat Attempt to End Freedom of Speech Failed. by The Elephant's Child

The Democrats attempt to rewrite the Constitution and amend the First Amendment to curtail the rights of Americans to free political speech has died in the Senate. It needed 60 votes to advance. Free political speech is the very essence of liberty, and the envy of the world.

Fifty-four Senate Democrats actually voted to give Congress the power to “regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.” Think through what that would mean.

Some, such as Senator Bernie Sanders (S-VT) said the amendment would allow Democrats to enact more of their preferred legislation. Exactly. Democrats want to be completely in charge, without any interference from those pesky Republicans. They just want Republicans gone — so they can rule.

This bunch rejects 223 years of liberty and political freedom guaranteed by the Bill of Rights since it was ratified in 1791 — because they want their own way. No arguments. No questioning our policies. No criticism. No unpleasant speech. Can they win elections without cheating?

Somebody remarked that there used to be a “Sandinista wing” of the Democrat Party. Not anymore, it’s entirely Sandinista now.

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5 Comments so far
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Money is not speech. Speech is the expression of ideas, beliefs concepts. The only concept that is expressed by money is “I own this politician’s ass and since I donate to his opponent, I own his ass too.” The solution: Just as god made man and endowed him with certain unalienable rights, so too man made corporations and endowed them with certain rights. What god gives us, god can take away. What we gave corporations, we can take away. There’s no reason for corporations to have freedom of speech. They can only press for government to take actions that are contrary to the desires and needs of the people. People own corporations. If people want to protect corporations, they retain the right to press for their agenda. But, it is only human beings who have rights.

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Comment by atmsafetypin

Sorry, Money in itself—coins, bills, checks, credit cards— is of course not speech. But money used to buy access to a medium that conveys speech is. Did you want a new law that forbids anyone from speaking on radio, television, internet, film— ban it all and back to standing on a soapbox in the park and shouting? You are failing to think this through. Corporations are simply groups of people, as are the Democracy Alliance, Think Progress, SEIU. AFL-CIO,and so on and so on. The Supreme Court simply said clearly that people don’t give up their rights to free speech because they work for a corporation. Should we then deny the right to political speech to any group of people? Or you just selecting out “corporations” because you have some warped idea that corporations are bad, or might have too much money like, say unions, or political organizations?

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

I don’t like corporations of any stripe. The only reason that corporations exist is to protect bad people from being held accountable for their deeds. That includes unions protecting bad workers. If corporations should have the right to free speech, why not the right to vote? Corporations originated as charters from the king of England. Like an army officer’s commission or an appointment to the bench, it is a grant of governmental power to the people who are the corporate officers. The only thing that charter does is set up tort immunity between the people who make the decisions for the corporation and the people who are harmed by those decisions. But, above and beyond that, why should Ford have the right to influence a politician at all? The Chairman of Ford can still make his case to the elected official. If the elected official is so stupid as to do something harmful to Ford which results in harm to the people, then the people will punish the elected official by voting him out. But, as things stand now, all Ford has to do is slip the politician a few grand and Ford can fuck over people all it wants to. If no corporation can donate, then the elected official doesn’t have to spend all his time fundraising. My experience with Democrats made me a hard Republican, but this lefty twit is right. http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/06/09/founding-fathers/

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Comment by atmsafetypin

Your dislike of corporations makes no sense to me. The fact that corporations were first formed in England has nothing to do with American corporations. Incorporation is simply a way to protect the individuals who incorporate from being individually responsible at law for battles with the corporation as a whole. Of course the CEO of Ford has more influence with the government than does the owner of the little muffler shop downtown. I don’t know how many employees work for Ford, but let’s say 50,000 as a nice round number. That’s a big bunch of potential voters, and if you add in all the people who buy and own Fords, it’s a lot more. A governmental action that could really damage Ford would have a negative political effect, and something favorable might act favorably. So what? The mayor of my town is more apt to get his telephone call answered by someone in government than I. Didn’t your mother tell you that life isn’t fair? Corporations try rather hard to avoid doing anything harmful to their customers. Corporations are the most heavily regulated entities in the country. We benefit every day from the products and services they supply, and if you are treated badly you have avenues for recompense. Actually, Alan Mulally did a pretty fine job as CEO of Ford, and of Boeing before that. There are strict limits to how much a corporate PAC can donate to a campaign and they cannot give directly to a politician.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

Well, ATM, you could have picked a less reputable and less historically accurate source to link to, but you’d have to put a lot of effort into it.

The author (and you, it seems) are conflating the granting of corporate charters by the British monarchy (which gave exclusive rights to the charter holder, and covered a specific commerce activity in a defined area) with modern corporations (which are legal entities designed to separate business debts and obligations from personal ones). The two have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with one another. The cherry-picked quotes from Founding Fathers had nothing to do with the corporate charter-holders themselves; the complaints were mainly that the British Crown still sought to enforce royal corporate charters in North America (to say that the quotes used were out of context would be putting it mildly; they were used in the linked article in a dishonest fashion).

Also, about some of the quotes; the Henry Ford quote cited near the end of the article (““Do you want to know the cause of war? It is capitalism, greed, the dirty hunger for dollars. Take away the capitalist and you will sweep war from the earth.”) is apocryphal. As often as it has been cited, the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn can find no evidence that Ford ever said or wrote it.

Corporations, as far as the law is concerned, are legal persons, and have many of the same rights and responsibilities as natural people do. Corporations can exercise human rights and they can themselves be responsible and held accountable for human rights violations. Corporations can even be convicted of criminal offenses, such as fraud and manslaughter. However corporations are not considered living entities in the way that humans are.

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Comment by Lon Mead




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