One is tempted to
attribute to liberals a particular animus toward our Constitution and liberty
in general. After all, it is liberals who relentlessly violate the First
Amendment by vesting the federal government with the power to regulate religious
expression by the several states.
It is liberals who have steadfastly used a renegade judiciary to overturn
the legitimate will of the people in regard to issues ranging from special
rights for homosexuals to the denial of government services to illegal immigrants.
But it has become distressingly apparent that although liberals indeed are
arch foes of the Constitution and liberty, even politicians who claim to
be "conservative" also find them increasingly inconvenient. If a strict observance
of the Constitution and a love of liberty are marks of conservatism, that
political philosophy is in danger of near extinction among elected officials.
I am convinced the Hillary Clintons and Chuck Schumers of our nation would
gladly abandon the Constitution if they could, because when properly followed
it greatly limits their power, and liberals covet power -- raw, unbridled
power to remold society, redistribute wealth and control the lives of you
and me. They love power, but not liberty.
But power is what attracts people to politics in the first place and power
corrupts. And evidently conservatives are subject to its corrosive influence.
Right now, an egregious assault on our Constitutional freedom of speech is
being made in the name of "campaign finance reform." This outrageous attempt
to restrain free speech was sponsored by a Republican (John McCain) and signed
into law by President Bush, whose oath of office requires him to defend the
Constitution, not circumvent it.
Campaign finance "reform" supposedly will take "big money" out of elections
and return the political process to the people. Balderdash. This is as transparent
a piece of anti-free speech legislation we will ever see.
Particularly bothersome is the prohibition against election advertising sixty
days prior to a general election. Now consider this carefully: The New York Times,
under our freedom of the press, will be able to editorialize against George
W. Bush every one of those sixty days with no consequences, and if the Times is not "big money" the term is meaningless.
But if you buy a computer, a printer and a mailing list, and proceed to send
direct-mail pieces to voters urging them to vote against Senator McCain,
you will be in violation of the law.
Dan Rather can sit in front of a national television audience every night
on the CBS Nightly News and load his "reporting" with political commentary,
and will face no legal consequences.
But if you go to your local television station, produce a thirty-second advertisement
and buy time to urge a vote against Senator McCain, you will suffer legal
And now liberals are trying to reinstate the old "fairness doctrine" that
forced radio and television stations to offer equal time to opposing viewpoints
whenever they ran "controversial" programming or political commentary. Apparently,
this form of liberty is entirely unpalatable to them.
Why? Because the vast majority of talk radio is conservative, and people
such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity routinely show liberals for the destructive
force they are. But what is most disheartening is that many Republicans are
hitching their wagons to this train. It seems they are no lovers of liberty,
either, and will sacrifice it to silence critical voices.
Should this denial of free speech be accomplished, it will be the death of
talk radio, and a great forum for conservative ideas will be gone with the
wind, and our liberty will have diminished.
The Founding Fathers had an inspired vision of a constitutional republic,
a form of government that freed us to become great. Unfortunately, their
vision is not shared by everyone, and our republic, such as it is, has many
powerful and implacable enemies.
In their wisdom, James Madison and company knew that the real threat to freedom
is not in the display of the Ten Commandments, but in a federal government
heavily vested with power.
They recognized that a federal government composed of states governed by
a Constitution clearly delineating the powers granted to each would safeguard
our God-given freedom.
They were quite aware of the dangers of a powerful judiciary and sought to make it the weakest branch of the government.
Their way was the best way. But it is not America's way now, and we are the worse for it.
Dennis Campbell is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to Internet and print publications.