My last post discussed the fallacy of separating the individual’s right to free speech from his right to cooperatively exercise those same rights in group form.
But there is a little more to be said on the subject. Star-Ledger Guest Columnist Michael Patrick Carroll has contributed some valuable insight on the subject in his op-ed Left's objections to Supreme Court are out of order. He writes:
“Consider the delicious irony of Star-Ledger columnist Tom Moran, writing in a corporate publication devoted to shaping public opinion and affecting election results, complaining about . . . corporations attempting [to] shape public opinion and affect election results.
“Apparently, when The Star-Ledger writes an editorial endorsing a candidate, that’s fine. But let Exxon do that same thing and that ‘. . . inflicts wounds on our democracy.’ ”
Yes, the Left is hypocritical. But one need only look south, to Hugo Chavez’s developing dictatorship, to see the dangerous game that the Leftist corporate media is flirting with here. In Venezuela, the Chavez regime is crushing free speech on basically the same grounds as the Star-Ledger wants to crush Exxon’s. Only in Venezuela, it’s the “corporate media” that’s the enemy. Think Obama’s war on Fox. Once private associations of individuals of any kind are stripped of their “rights”, government censorship and control of the dissemination of information and ideas is only a matter of time.
When the Star-Ledger attacks the freedom of “special interests”, it promotes its own long-term destruction ... and with it our First Amendment and our freedom. The Editors should heed the lessons of Venezuela.
Another salient point that Mr. Carroll makes concerns the Left’s obsession with legal precedent. He writes:
“Allegedly lamenting the reversal of precedent, leftists object that judicial nominees, like Samuel Alito, promised to be ‘modest,’ and that upsetting statutes and rejecting precedent betrays that promise.”
But the Left’s hypocrisy knows no bounds:
“Leftists adhere to a constitutional Brezhnev doctrine: if it went our way once, it’s settled and immutable precedent. If it didn’t, the court should correct it and precedent be damned.”
Mr. Carroll cites two cases, Brown vs. Board of Education and Roe vs. Wade, in which established precedent was overturned (in these particular cases rightly, in my opinion). Each time, the Left loved it.
Of course, the phenomenon of legal precedent has been one of the most powerful instruments for bringing about in America what Glenn Beck recently referred to as “evolutionary Marxism” – the step-by-step process by which America’s constitution and Founding principles are being eroded and overturned. The Left uses the conservative obsession against the “activist judiciary” to preserve each step, by raging against conservative judges who dare make the “activist” decision of overturning any precedent. In this way, the Left can preserve the socialist ground they have captured through the courts, while disarming and usually silencing the Right as hypocrites.
To be fair, judicial activism (as I understand it) refers to judges who distort constitutional principles, such as finding justification for welfare state programs in the “general welfare” clause. Overturning a clearly unconstitutional law or legal precedent such as McCain-Feingold does not constitute activism, on my understanding, because it restores First Amendment protections that were lost by previous (activist) decisions. As Mr. Carroll puts it:
“There is nothing the least bit ‘modest’ in blindly refusing to reconsider flawed precedent or acceding to unconstitutional government policy. Indeed, doing so constitutes gross judicial malpractice.”
But all of the flawed precedents that have led to today’s rampant statism are blindly protected by Leftist voices like the Star-Ledger, even at the potential cost of their own independent ability to stand up for the Leftist causes they so cherish.