Anyone who's read this blog for even short while knows that one thing I am an absolutist on is the first amendment. It is the cornerstone of what America is. It is the one part of the constitution that is the cornerstone of the entire American system of government. As Captain Ed puts it:
Senator McCain apparently has no love for the First Amendment, nor any understanding of why it occupies the primary position in the Bill of Rights. The right to free speech recognizes the inherent and natural right to speak one's mind and to argue for one's political beliefs. Free speech costs nothing and it requires nothing other than a lack of government interference. The right to speak out informs all of the other natural rights recognized in the Constitution; without it, none of the others make sense, including the right to religious expression, property rights, the right to bear arms. None of these make sense if the government can control your political speech and determine about what its citizens can protest and when they can do it.
To hear John McCain cheerfully announce that he would choose clean government over free speech is a complete and utter deal-breaker for me. I could not, in good conscience, vote for anyone who stands for ending free speech. Let's face it, government is corrupted by big money. Both parties are equally to blame. But the answer isn't killing the first amendment.
Senator John McCain has many fine qualities, but an understanding of free speech is not among them. He would trade our primary birthright for a mess of bureaucracy and trust it to operate in our interests while limiting our ability to criticize it. That path leads to autocracy, corruption, and ruin.
This man frightens me.
UPDATE: Protiein Wisdom on the subject.