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Comments about ‘George F. Will: People should be free to organize politically’

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Published: Thursday, Oct. 31 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Ranch
Here, UT

Claiming that money is "speech" allows those with the most money all the speech and denies those who don't have enough money to speak at all. Legalized bribery, that's all campaign donations are.

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

Along the same lines, I not long ago listened to a liberal aquaintance talk about how we need to get the money out of politics. I asked him simply, how would you legally do that given the fact that the 1st Amendment allows free political speech. And there has apparantly been rulings that money is a part of speech. Makes sense. One can stand on the street corner and speak, or one can buy advertising in a newspaper, magazine, or some other media outlet. My aquaintance of course had no answer, but what troubles me most is, as George Will said, that the liberals hate the Citizens United ruling. That leads me to think that if liberals could, they would stifle any opposition speech. If true, that makes liberal thinking very dangerous to our way of life and government. And I find it especially ironic that the Democrats/liberals have used money to get power every bit as much as Republicans. Obama, the first billion dollar President.

Zac
Ogden, UT

If trashing the flag is considered speech, so can spending money.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Because we all know that Warren Buffet and the 19 year old working at McDonalds have the same speech. The same ability to get access to Congress or the President. The same ability to influence elections and public debates. And because there is no difference in these essential political functions, it should be clear to all that money does not ALREADY give the wealthy greater speech in America . . .

Money as speech is a real problem for us folks. Doesn't matter if your boogieman is George Soros or the Koch Brothers. Our country does not need folks who already have gobs of speech (and a vote like everyone else) even more access to power.

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Where does government get the right to limit peoples first amendment rights? People should remain free to organize and assemble in any way they see fit, including pooling their resources.

Danite Boy
SANDY, UT

I find it ironic that Mr. Will accuses liberals of trying to limit political participation when conservative legislators in state after state are enacting laws limiting early voting and making voter registration more difficult because higher voter turnouts have hurt GOP candidates.

KDave
Moab, UT

Limiting political speech should just be left to the IRS>

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

Will makes some unsubstantiated logical leaps on the way to his conclusion that "Liberals who love the regulatory state loathe Citizens United." (This conclusion that liberals are pushing for limitations on political speech was echoed in the headline for this column in the print edition of the DesNews.) The laws the judges overturned were in Mississippi and Arizona, hardly bastions of liberalism. They were state laws, which the conservative champions of federalism tell us is where governmental power should be based. If anything, Will's examples point to an effort by conservatives, not liberals, to stifle political speech. It's further ironic that he champions the judiciary (activist judges?) for overturning the laws when conservatives have generally placed the legislature above the judiciary as representing the "true will of the people," at least when the subject is gay marriage. Will's focus is selective. As Danite Boy pointed out, conservative efforts to limit voter registration and access to the polls is an egregious and overt attempt to restrict political participation (as is GOP opposition to immigration reform, which is perceived as a means to create more Democratic voters).

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Money is Power
Money is Babylon
Money is the Gadiantons
Money is the root of all evil.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

@Lagomorph

"...Will's focus is selective...".

He is a paid entertainer for fox news...

It is FAIR and BALANCED for him to be selective.

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

Open minded....

It is the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil.

Plenty of persons have lots of money and are generous, believe in philanthropy, and help others a great deal. Government never understands this. In fact, government would prefer nothing ever be said by anyone and that's what you had with communism.

E Sam
Provo, UT

Translation: "Rich people should be free to buy elections, just as the Founders intended."

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

George Will arguing in favor of unions! Will wonders never cease?

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

I loathe all the dodgy tv ads during an election, thanks to CU. This is not empowering people in the political process, but the opposite.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The right to speak freely is guaranteed to everyone by the 1st Amendment, not just to those who are members of a union, to those whose political party is in office, or to those with whom you agree. Corporations are "people". They are owned by "people". They are run by "people". To think that "people" should not be allowed to speak just because they have a common interest would prohibit unions from supporting a candidate or collecting dues that end up in the campaign coffers of a candidate.

The Constitution puts no limit on how we spend our money, individually or collectively. Those who think that it does have not read that document.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I wish we didn't even have elections.

We should just like the Koch bros and rich people decide everything.

The Hammer
lehi, utah

@Lagomorth

Its not flawed logic when you take a look at what these ruling will do to states like Delaware, Maryland, Mass., or Conneticut the liberal bastions. You think the requirements in Arizona and MS sounded tough wait till you see the changes to the political landscape when citizens start setting up townhalls and PACs to change the status quo up there (its already happening and thats what has Dems scared). The CU decision is destroying the political strong hold that have held states like Mass, Mich, Wisc, Conn, and others hostage for years.

As far as the judiciary goes, the right of free speech has been around for centuries. Same sex marraige never existed in humankind until a couple of years ago. Where is the precedent for allowing such a distortion of marraige? There isn't one!

Unreconstructed Reb
Chantilly, VA

I am absolutely bewildered that our resident experts in Constitutional Originalism can argue that corporate personhood was intended to extend beyond its original purpose to make and enforce contracts.

It strains my reading of "We the People" in the Constitution's Preamble to include megacorporations in that phrase.

I search in vain for any suggestion from the Founding Fathers, with their emphasis on egalitarianism, that corporations have an equal right to individuals with respect to free speech in the form of legalized bribes.

It blows my mind that those who scream that the Republic is in mortal peril everytime Obama sneezes can argue with a straight face that the voice of the average American isn't being drowned by a jaw-dropping flood of campaign monies doled out by multi-billion dollar corporations.

I find Mr. Will's argument to be absolute anathema to a democratic republic. The Citizens United decision is the most activist SCOTUS opinion in the last decade, a reversal of constraints on corporatism going back to Teddy Roosevelt, and a complete contradiction of Chief Justice Robert's proclaimed approach of judicial minimalism.

Contrariusest
Nashville, TN

@The Hammer --

"Same sex marraige never existed in humankind..."

Actually, same-sex unions have been recognized in various cultures for literally thousands of years.

Here's just a few examples:

-- in ancient Rome, same-sex marriages, complete with traditional rites, were not uncommon. Gay marriages weren't officially prohibited in the Roman empire until around 300 AD.

--Same-sex unions were recognized in Mesopotamia (see the book Homosexuality in the Ancient World).

--Ancient Assyrian religious texts included blessings for same-sex unions, and treated them as equal to opposite-sex unions.

--Same-sex unions were recognized in some parts of China for centuries, including contracts and elaborate ceremonies (see the books Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China and also The origins and role of same-sex relations in human societies ).

--In more modern times, check the paper "Same-Sex Couples Creating Households in Old Regime France: The Uses of the Affrement" for examples of legal unions in medieval France.

--Same-sex unions were widely recognized in Native American societies.

-- some Polynesian cultures revered a "third gender" and gave them an honored place in their societies.

There's more, but I'm out of space!

The Hammer
lehi, utah

You Forgot Sodom And Gomorrah

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