Congress recently decided that bloggers should fall under regulation for political speech. Yes, you heard that correctly. Just as campaign finance regulations now openly thwart free speech via other media, the door is now open for the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to implement rules to govern bloggers.
With Congress' failure to protect individual free speech on the internet, as Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas says, "I fear that bloggers one day could be fined for improperly linking to a campaign Web site, or merely forwarding a candidate's press release to an e-mail list."
"Rather than deal with the red tape of regulation and the risk of legal problems, they will fall silent on all issues of politics," said Michael J. Krempasky, director of the web site RedState.org.
This is most troubling and disheartening. Like "free speech zones" before it, this is an offensive attempt to silence the American people, to squelch the voice of an increasingly politically active citizenry. The web has afforded a great many people the ability to voice their opinion openly using a medium that allows that voice to be heard across the globe. The American government is now trying to silence that voice.
I will happily go to jail for my rights. I will happily pursue legal action up through the U.S. Supreme Court where one would hope this kind of regulation easily would be seen as unconstitutional. How could it be otherwise?
America is rapidly declining into that which we have so ardently hated during the Cold War: a police state. Our rights are being diminished at a steady pace. Most Americans accept it, all in the name of security, and are woefully remiss in their understanding of what America should stand for and has stood for ab ovo.
I am disappointed yet again in our once great country. I am disappointed once again in our populace. How the mighty have fallen.