We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...leading Progressive defenses of freedom of expression, such as Zechariah Chafee’s, relied on utilitarian considerations and not on freedom of expression as a fundamental individual right. Progressives identified freedom of speech as a civil liberty to differentiate it from what Progressive understood to be the obsolete, individualist, natural-rights based liberties of the American past. While activist government was inimical to such rights as liberty of contract and property rights, it arguably buttressed a Progressive case for freedom of speech. According to Progressive advocates of constitutional protection for freedom of expression, the more active a role played by government, the more important it is to ensure that public policy is subject to vigorous and uninhibited debate. Such debate not only could bring important considerations to light, but also could serve as a check on those who would use public power for private gain, which in turn would lead to better public policy, which in turn would create a welcome demand for even more government.
Freedom is not utilitarian, and not meant to be. Freedom is, by nature, messy, difficult, and contentious. Furthermore, freedom is not meant to help government, or to help anything in particular other than the human spirit. If anything, freedom is meant to be against government power. Where is Breyer coming from?
America is not a government. America is a bunch of individual people. Who bankrolled Tom Paine's writings? The wealthy Tom Jefferson did, as I recall, out of his own fat pocketbook.
Once you agree that a certain action is a fundamental, Constitutionally protected right, how do you justify limitations? Why should an arbitrary monetary limit be accepted? Not a penny more than $2,600 or the candidate is compromised? Is that a valid Constitutional law theory? The whole thing just seems like a mess to me. There must be something wrong with the underlying assumptions.
If money is speech, are guns also speech? Discharging firearms at political rallies certainly smells like speech to me. Why doesn't the Supreme Court protect our right to keep and bear arms under the 1st amendment? Further, since money is speech and money buys my ammo, my bullets are protected to.