I just finished reading Mark Levin‘s latest book, The Liberty Amendments. It is a good book. I don’t agree with all his amendments (like about 8 of the 10), but I think the general approach is sound. I am also afraid it is too little too late. Within the next four or five years, I expect we will be fighting a major war. Then we will not have the energy to divert into a Constitutional Convention. Nonetheless, we have to try something to save our republic, and Levin’s proposal provides a framework for action.
What do we need to do? We need to read Levin’s book and call our state legislators. We also need to study The Federalist Papers and other such books. We need to refine Levin’s ideas and identify the amendments we must pass. Then we need to advocate those amendments.
What is the big problem with a Constitutional Convention? What has always frightened Conservatives is that Socialist Democrats would high-jack the convention for their own foolish ends. Hence when I received this ad in an email from a friend I cringed.
Lawrence Lessig once again earns the title as the godfather of the movement to get money out of politics with his newest TED Talk. Telling the story of how he became so invested in the fight for free and fair elections, this talk gets a little personal.
Lawrence Lessig makes the case for why every citizen should be doing something about the corruption in Washington, while reminding us to never give up hope… in what might just be his best TED Talk yet.
PS. If you liked this video, imagine how your friends and family who are not so familiar with Lawrence Lessig or Wolf-PAC will feel about it. Let’s spread the word.
What is this email about? Wolf PAC advocates a Constitutional Convention for campaign finance reform. Of course, instead of thoughtfully advocating reform, “Professor” Lawrence Lessig makes a highly emotional appeal.
Unfortunately Lessig’s appeal to emotion works with a lot of people. When someone speaks calmly and confidently, we have a tendency to assume that person knows what they are about. Doesn’t that describe the success of the current occupant of the White House, but isn’t our experience showing that man is either dangerously incompetent, dangerously evil or just plain dangerous to trust with any kind of responsibility?
Yet why are appeals to emotion so successful? When a calm, confident and able speaker says something stupid or lies, we have a tendency to look past their mistakes and lies, particularly when other people (the corporate news media) applaud them. When it comes to politics, we should never set aside our skepticism. Look again at Wolf PAC. Isn’t Wolf PAC a Political Action Committee (asking for your money to spend on politics) complaining about the influence of money in politics? Shouldn’t that strike us as ridiculous?
Money in politics equates to free speech. The reason the founders did not prohibit money in politics is that they equated that with limiting free speech. Word of mouth is okay, but it still costs money to get people talking.
As a practical matter, unless we prohibit freedom of the press, we cannot stop folks with lots of money from spreading propaganda. Consider how many big corporations own news organizations. That’s just one of the ways they buy influence with the electorate and the folks running our government. With their advertisements and what they spend on movies, books, music and so forth, large corporations have countless ways to influence our beliefs and behavior. Nonetheless, it is government educates us and indoctrinates us as children. Thus, government is the true threat.
When people complain about money in politics, what they want to do is stop the other guy from getting out his message. That’s particularly true of career politicians. Do these ever reduce their own spending? In fact, that idea never seems to occur to them. Too often their solution is bigger government. Now, whether we agree with a politician or not, they want to force us spend our money on his political campaign. That’s wrong!
To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. — Thomas Jefferson
If we really want to limit the amount of money in politics, then we must fight tooth and nail for a smaller government. What politicians spend to buy our votes with “other people’s money” dwarves what our nation spends on politics. The Federal Budget is around 4 trillion and state and local governments spend about 2 trillion. In addition, there are reams of costly regulations and tax laws that mangle our economy.
Instead of worrying about getting money out of politics, we must repent of the stupidity of letting politicians buy our votes with “other people’s money” and calling it charity, education spending, or an entitlement.
How can we fight? We can start by electing leaders with a record of fighting government spending. That includes men and women we can trust to do the right thing at a Constitutional Convention.
We win struggles for freedom by battling and overcoming would-be tyrants. That can involve great risks. If nothing else we must risk time, money, and energy, but if we are too afraid to take the fight to the opposition, there is no way we can win and remain free. When this struggle is over whether our children and grandchildren will be free, isn’t it time we made the choice to fight.