Nader group says let's change the First Amendment

At least they’re advocating the use of the only legitimate mechanism to allow the government to regulate political speech:

“Public Citizen will aggressively work in support of a constitutional amendment specifying that for-profit corporations are not entitled to First Amendment protections, except for freedom of the press. We do not lightly call for a constitutional amendment. But today’s decision so imperils our democratic well-being, and so severely distorts the rightful purpose of the First Amendment, that a constitutional corrective is demanded.

“We are formulating language for possible amendments, asking members of the public to sign a petition to affirm their support for the idea of constitutional change, and planning to convene leading thinkers in the areas of constitutional law and corporate accountability to begin a series of in-depth conversations about winning a constitutional amendment.”

Mark Tapscott that they’ve finally admitted that they have some disdain for the Constitution:

In other words, since we lost under the current rules, we’re going to try to persuade enough people out there in America to change the rules to make it clear we win.

At least they are finally admitting that they view the First Amendment – which says Congress shall make no law respecting freedom of speech – as flawed. And that they judge themselves as smarter than James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights that begins with the First Amendment (actually it was the third, but that’s another story), and the “Father of the Constitution.”

But what then would constitute a corporation?  Ralph Nader’s group obviously wants to apply this to the private sector, but Public Citizen itself is a form of corporation, a non-profit.  If they find corporate involvement in politics so distasteful, why not apply that restriction to all corporations?  In fact, most media outlets are for-profit as well.  Why should they not face regulation in order to clean up biases and misinformation, just like any other for-profit corporation?

As we see, the slippery slope on curtailing freedom of speech gets steep right from the start.  Why, some people may want to limit speech rights to citizens only, and not to non-citizen residents, legal or illegal.  Blogs can be dangerous, according to some people, so why not ban them at the same time?

Madison knew that making the government the arbiter of acceptable political speech meant one thing: a government that would protect its own interests.  When the law-enforcement capabilities of the federal government get applied to determining the legitimacy of both the speech and the speaker, free political speech is at an end, and with it political dissent, free elections, and liberty.  None of the ills that Public Citizen proposes to solve with this approach compares to the disastrous results we will see when free speech gets controlled by the government that free speech itself was intended to limit and hold accountable.

In other words, Nader and Public Citizen couldn’t shine Madison’s shoes.