Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

27 May 2013

Democrat Senator Durbin Questions Freedom of the Press

On Fox News Sunday, Democrat Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois questioned whether bloggers were protected by the 1st Amendment under freedom of the press.  Let us re-read the 1st Amendment of the Constitution and see if his doubts about the rights of bloggers to write as an exercise of their freedom of conscience makes any sense at all.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The breadth of this amendment as a means to allow individuals to use their minds, to produce their own ideas, and to make those ideas known to others is the unifying theme of this amendment.  Most people at the time of its adoption believed that this amendment guaranteed a broad freedom of conscience.  Certainly Thomas Jefferson and James Madison thought so.

When the amendment was written, the written word could only be distributed to others by using a rather expensive invention, the printing press.  But note that the amendment also allowed people to speak freely, to assemble and share ideas, and to complain to or seek reforms by the government.  In this context, it is not possible to believe that the 1st Amendment was only intended to allow those who distributed their ideas using a printing press to exercise their freedom of conscience.  I do not see the People then as thinking that freedom of the press was something that belonged only to someone who had made an investment in a printing press.  The core idea of the 1st Amendment was to allow people to use their minds and to share their ideas with others.

No, it seems very clear that the dissemination of an individual's ideas and thoughts by right was to be broadly protected by this amendment.  That being the case, the freedom to write down one's ideas and to disseminate them was to be protected from any abridging acts of Congress.  Thus, the right of bloggers to write down their ideas and to make them available to others for reading is clearly protected by the 1st Amendment.

With experienced Senators such as Dick Durbin showing such profound ignorance of the 1st Amendment, it is no wonder our government has become such a constant threat to the rights of the individual to life, liberty, property, the ownership of one's own body, mind, and labor, and to the pursuit of personal happiness.

To be sure, there is considerable evidence that Dick Durbin is less ignorant than a man of evil intent.  He, like all socialists, is only too happy to mislead the many who are uninformed about their individual rights.  Persons asserting their individual rights are necessarily a major problem for the supporters of Big Government and socialism.


JohnJEnright said...

It's not easy to embarrass the state of Illinois, but this is a man who can do it.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Hi John,

He has been embarrassing the rational individual minority in Illinois for a long time.