Freedom of expression may be guaranteed by the Constitution. But it’s an idea we have to fight for every day.
The great civil libertarian Nat Hentoff once said that our sex drive pales in comparison with our urge to censor. It’s an urge that is played out in places high and low, encompassing both the serious and the absurd. Military veterans protesting the war are arrested in Boston and charged with disturbing the peace. An anti-abortion activist in Maine borrows sex-education books from public libraries and refuses to return them. A legislative leader in Rhode Island– the head of John McCain’s presidential campaign in that state– compares anonymous critics to `terrorists,’ and helps kill a proposal aimed at guaranteeing their First Amendment rights...
And let us not forget Robert Watson:
Robert Watson is both the minority leader of the Rhode Island House, and the chief chair of John McCain’s presidential campaign in Rhode Island. He is also, according to this week’s Boston Phoenix (see post below), one of those deserving by the alt weekly of one of their annual award winners for muzzling free speech in New England...read on