Corporations and unions should have voice heard through ads

I’m always surprised how far liberals are really willing to go to expand government. Sometimes even trampling on the Constitution.

Many are upset over the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that now allows corporations and unions to spend money on campaign ads. This struck down a provision from the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms.

While I usually don’t think the Supreme Court makes good decisions (refer to last column), this decision is pretty sound. This is a clear violation of free speech. It doesn’t matter whether it be a corporation, a union or a single person, Congress should never be allowed to make a law that restricts the free speech of anyone.

Of course, Democratic legislators and the liberal media are very upset about the law. All week, I’ve seen cartoons in the Skiff satirizing the situation, including one with a hedge stone that says “Democracy” with a boy by his father saying, “So corporations run the country now?” I was laughing hysterically when I heard President Barack Obama say in his State of the Union address that he believed the decision will “open the floodgates to special interest.”

For liberals to say things like that is ridiculous, as if no special interest is already in Washington. The health care bill, along with other bills Congress passes, (the Clean Jobs Bill, for example) is full of special provisions produced by special interests and lobbyists.

This also shows that Obama and many in our government, some conservatives included, must think the American public are idiots. Simply because someone runs a campaign ad doesn’t mean everyone has to agree with it. Frequently, people forget that part of free speech.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the main opinion of the court, got it right when he said, “When Government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought. This is unlawful…The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”

I thought liberals were smarter than this and at least believed in the freedom of speech. After all, I always have to hear about going green on campus every day. I guess that’s what I get for expecting some common sense out of them.

I want to say, though, that I’m not a big fan of corporations or unions, but they must not have their rights taken away. The best way to get special interest money out of politics in the first place would be to have the government become smaller and get out of the economy.

Michael Lauck is a sophomore broadcast journalism and economics major from Houston.