What’s Extreme

kochForty-eight members of the Democratic caucus attempted to do something never previously done: Amend the Bill of Rights. They tried to radically shrink First Amendment protection of political speech. They evidently think extremism in defense of the political class’s convenience is no vice.–George Will


George Will writes that extremist Democrats, wishing to make campaign finance reform Constitutional, seek to change the First Amendment of The Bill of Rights. I find this claim false–it isn’t the First Amendment that needs change, but the recent interpretations of it. Can it be that the idea that corporations have the right of free speech, and that money spent by corporations on political advertising is speech, are not extreme, but attempts to reassert the right of the people to limit the influence of money in politics is extremism?

Will writes that Democrats wish to protect themselves from political speech that might urge their defeat. It is surely true that Democracy hangs on the ability of the people to oppose and defeat incumbent legislators. However, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the will of the people for incumbents to be defeated due to unrestrained spending by corporate interests.

Will argues that people do not give up their rights when they band together in corporations to advocate for political change. This sounds good, but assumes that corporate speech reflects the views of many rather than a few at the top.

© William Hungerford – September 2014


About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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13 Responses to What’s Extreme

  1. Deb Meeker says:

    I too read this piece by George Will. It seems fine with him that the Supreme Court interpreted money to be speech, and corporations to be people, and further make these interpretations into law. As so many politicians who benefit from SCOTUS rulings on these issues, Congressman Tom Reed would most likely be at severe disadvantage without these indefensible rulings, lending extraordinary amounts of “speech” to be funneled into his campaign. Hopefully, with or without the advantage of corporate’s new found freedom to attempt purchasing their representation, Reed may find out with some others, that human free speech (voting) is still the only speech that matters.


  2. josephurban says:

    Too bad Will is not as concerned about the right to vote and the voter suppression acts of the GOP.


  3. Barbara Griffin says:

    What a bunch of crap…and too many American citizens fall for it.


  4. BOB McGILL says:

    who’s crap, Will’s or yours ? The biggest problem with this country, is the fact, that people have too many rights !


  5. josephurban says:

    The reality is that corporations are not people any more than groundhogs, weasels or pieces of pie are people. Let’s not forget that at one point in our history the Supreme Court determined that blacks were property and not persons at all. They were wrong then. They are wrong now. A future court will overturn the poor decisions of this one.


  6. Deb Meeker says:

    Would it be OK to take your right to post here away? I mean you could be an example for the rest of us.


  7. BOB McGILL says:

    you have done that, some of my posts have been deleted 🙂


  8. BOB McGILL says:

    almost every farmer in upstate is incorporated, most charities are too. The local historical society is incorporated. Cities,towns and villages also ! 🙂
    Your teacher’s unions and others are allowed to voice their opinion, but a group of people running a business can’t ? Your arguement makes no sense 🙂


  9. josephurban says:

    Bob…You make a list of BUSINESSES and organizations that are incorporated. Maybe you should re-read my post. As I said, corporations are not PERSONS. Your post indicates that you may believe that villages, cities, businesses, etc. ARE persons. By the way, no “farmers” are incorporated. Only the agricultural BUSINESS is incorporated.
    Also, where did I ever say that people running a business cannot voice an opinion? No where. Your entire post is one big straw man…easy to destroy with a simple spark of reality.
    My statement stands, corporations are not PERSONS. Eventually, a future court will overturn Citizens United.


  10. solodm says:

    Not that I’ve seen…:)


  11. BOB McGILL says:

    you make a list of businesses that weren’t incorporated by people. Like ET filled out the paperwork, or maybe some super natural entity.
    websters dictionary–corporation; a group of people organized, as to operate a business, under a charter granting them as a body some of the legal rights, etc of an individual.


  12. I also read and re-read his article the day it was published and found it to be incomprehensible.


  13. josephurban says:

    That is correct. A corporation is a legal entity, created by the STATE. A person is born of a woman. A biological entity. A human being. Thanks for helping make my point. A corporation can cease to be a corporation, yet all human persons involved in that corporation can still be alive. When a person ceases being a person he is dead. No matter how the SCOTUS tries to twist the law, we all know what a person is.


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