Well, it isn’t likely, but I always begin a year with that great hope — and very little else.
There is no reason to be confident. Our leaders want to diminish the rights of the Constitution because it will make them more comfortable and more secure in their power. The people seem to buy these outrages in the name of solving “problems.” The problems are rarely solved, but the politicians get more comfortable.
This past year we saw the Federal Elections Commission “reprimand” a NASCAR driver because he had a “Bush-Cheney” sticker on his car during a race. We can only hope that the FEC continues to make such ridiculous decisions so that people will wake up to how dangerous that agency has become.
Meanwhile, we can hope (but, as I said, without a lot of confidence) that high school principals will leave the student press alone, that prosecutors will find other ways to pursue their cases besides jailing journalists, and that FEC bureaucrats will get stuck in traffic on their way to work. And to give you a taste of what is going on with the First Amendment and the Constitution, I recommend the following as a starter:
- George Will, “A Retreat on Rationing Free Speech” (Washington Post)
- Dahlia Lithwick, “The Bill of Wrongs” (Slate)
- Bradley Smith, “New Rules Might Silence Democracy” (Ft. Worth Star Telegram)
Looking after the First Amendment is never easy, but it’s always worth doing. (Posted Jan. 1, 2007)
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Tags: freedom of expression