Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center

25 thoughts

  1. I could be totally wrong, but I would guess that the individual (it started somewhere) who first objected to the “Hillary Movie” never had a problem with “Fahrenheit 9/11” or other Michael Moore movies? Perhaps they are not political enough? This is a frightening precedent and we are entering a period where the lemmings of our country will accept anything as long as it is spun nicely.

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  3. I'm quite surprised you would qualify this as an “excellent short”. It seems quite the opposite to me.The slippery slope argument on free speech is rather heavy-handed. Just because there is a grey zone on what constitutes advocacy, selling this as something that this could potentially ban any book sounds pretty forced. Grey zones and ambiguity don't necessarily translate into “anything goes”. Take voting age as an example: it's acceptable to defend a voting age within a range of, say, 16 to 21. So there's a grey area in this issue. But it's patently absurd to most people the argument that a 5 year old ought to have the right to vote, or that a 40 year old shouldn't. Advocacy sounds pretty similar to me: you can only stretch it to a certain point, really, without outraging the public.This first argument is not enough, of course. Why should this law exist at all? This brings us to the second argument – regulating advocacy is clearly the lesser of 2 evils. Each new election reminds us that commercials and air time have a clear influence on the electorate. Why should we extend corporate influence on government by creating an opportunity for privately financed propaganda?The remedy proposed in the ad is to shrink the size and regulation of government. But it sounds either naive or disingenuous to contend that a small enough, “hands off”, government would not provide a sufficient incentive for advocacy. Government would still have to manage certain market externalities and this would affect special interests; it would still have to hire private contractors for defense; and so on. Thus, there would still be plenty of reasons left to seek the favor of state officials. Not to mention that, under private influence, government could very well grow again.So one has the feeling that people in the ad are worrying too much about the remote, if potential, problem of an assault on the first ammendment, instead of focusing on the very real problem of government corruption by special interests.

  4. “…regulating advocacy is clearly the lesser of 2 evils…”It's not at all clear to me that this is true. Imagine that you're a novice, considering becoming more politically active for the first time. Are you going to take that risk, when the thicket of regulations about when, and where, and about whom you can make political speech could subject you to hefty fines and possible jail time? Who is going to be better able to afford the time and money to navigate the regulations, you….or institutionally backed speakers who have the money and lawyers to defend themselves if attacked? “…Why should we extend corporate influence on government by creating an opportunity for privately financed propaganda?…”You think that corporations have such a powerful, pernicious influence on politics that their speech must be severely restricted? Given that they _already_ have such influence, what makes you think that they won't use their money and power to warp such laws to their favor? You think John McCain pushed for McCain-Feingold out of the goodness of his heart? If I put up a Youtube video attacking George Bush, such a video could easily find a national audience (witness the Jib Jab video). Should I be prevent from doing so? What if I work for the AFL-CIO? How about then? What if I collect some money from some of my co-workers to finance the video? What if the AFL-CIO public affairs committee gives me a grant to make the video?What if I work full-time in the AFL-CIO's PR department and they pay me on the clock to make the video? At what point did my video cross the line from being protected “free speech” to “privately financed propaganda”?

  5. You think that corporations have such a powerful, pernicious influence on politics that their speech must be severely restricted? Given that they _already_ have such influence, what makes you think that they won't use their money and power to warp such laws to their favor?

  6. sorry about this… when u r reading this dont stop or something bad will happen! my name is summer i am 15 years old i have blonde hair ,many scars no nose or ears.. i am dead. if u dont copy this just like from the ring, copy n post this on 5 more sites.. or.. i will appear one dark quiet night when ur not expecting it by your bed with a knife and kill u. this is no joke something good will happen to u if you post this on 5 more pages

  7. I believe that extensive one-on-one (people-to-people) communication between United States citizens and Iraqi citizens would do more to promote understanding and good will than a government to government communication only – as now appears to be the situation. Actually it is now not government to government per se – but our state department and military advisors vis-a-vis various pressure groups working against one another and against us in Iraq now that stalemates progress.

  8. I have looked this video and much became more clear. Of some things before did not think at all. I will search still for the information. Here it is not enough of it.

  9. I think Fahrenheit 9/11 had a little bit more supportive evidence of their claims. The Hillary thing was just put out by a group headed by a disgruntled former Clinton employee, Dick Morris. Bill Clinton had to fire him when Morris allowed his prostitute to listen in on a phone conversation with the President.

  10. teszxSocial media sites had been very useful in Obama's Campaign for presidency, great article you had given out some info that I had never thought of before.

  11. Youtube is really a very useful social media when it comes in advertising..There are lots of people visiting this site everyday… Great post..

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