Freedom of Speech
It has become an oft repeated trope of Catholics who are on the left or the self-consciously-unclassifiable portions of the American political spectrum that the pro-life movement has suffered a catastrophic loss of credibility because of its association with the Republican Party, and thence with the Iraq War and the use of torture on Al Qaeda detainees. Until the pro-life movement distances itself from the Republican Party and all of the pro-life leadership who have defended the Iraq War and/or the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on detainees, the argument goes, the pro-life movement will have no moral authority and will be the laughing stock of enlightened Catholics everywhere.
Regardless of what one thinks about the Iraq War and torture (myself, I continue to support the former but oppose the latter) I’m not sure that this claim works very well. Further, I think that those who make it often fail to recognize the extent to which it cuts both ways.
The recent personal attacks and invasive investigation of Joe the Plumbers personal life is a scary thing. Joe the plumber represents the everyday American, striving to better his lot in society. By sheer coincidence Joe the Plumber was able to ask an innocent question to the Democratic candidate for president that seemed to put Senator Obama on the spot. Then all hell broke loose.
I can understand if the far left goes far in their vitriol when their candidate was put in an unsavory position, but when the mainstream media began to jump all over Joe the Plumber I actually got a bit concerned. I’m all for the vetting of candidates and hard-nose journalism, but the vitriol and aggressive journalism being exerted upon the McCain campaign and their supporters is practically non-existent on the Obama camp.
Senator Obama has stated that he wants the Internet to be regulated. CNET had this exchange of a MoveOn.org member asking Senator Obama this very question:
He asked Obama: “Would you make it a priority in your first year of office to reinstate Net neutrality as the law of the land? And would you pledge to only appoint FCC commissioners that support open Internet principles like Net neutrality?”
“The answer is yes,” Obama replied. “I am a strong supporter of Net neutrality.”
This “Net Neutrality” law would be something along the lines of the Fairness Doctrine. Conservapedia states that the Fairness Doctrine required broadcasters who aired material on controversial issues to provide “equal time” for the expression of opposing views. The end result was censorship, broadcasters simply refrained from airing public affairs programing.