Friday, March 04, 2005

James Madison Comments on the FEC

Jay Reding makes an excellent point regarding the recent FEC statements about stifling political speech on the Internet:

Democracy is sustained by the multiplicity of voices contained within - as James Madison wrote in the Federalist #10:

Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.

What the FEC is trying to do is exactly what James Madison warned us about over two centuries ago. They’re trying to reduce faction by reducing liberty - which is a dangerous and foolhardy thing to do. Stifling the free exchange of ideals in the way the FEC plans to is an affront to the basic values of our Republic.

In a nutshell, that's a pretty good summation of the impetus behind the campaign finance reform movement that birthed the McCain-Feingold atrocity.

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