Monday, January 02, 2006

Broadcast & publishing are undemocratic

A comment I made while discussing the propriety of regulating campaign ads in light of constitutionally protected "free speech":

Ideas should travel on their merits....Democracy for me in essence is "one person one vote" or "everybody gets heard." If you make a video recording of yourself and broadcast it everywhere ten times a day while your body goes on a whistle stop tour delivering the same slogans, you're getting too much say, especially if your broadcasting is to the exclusion of others and is something you can do just because you have money you obtained any which way. The same goes for print advertisements and brochures and even self-published books. The radio waves and the acoustic environments of public spaces and our homes belong to us. Also in a democracy I believe one doesn't sell one's vote. Auditing ideas and candidates is a self-interested charitable donation each of us makes to the community of which we are a voting member. We invite speakers to the podium, we don't just rent them our attention in return for a free meal and air conditioning. Not ideally at least.

Thanks to Wordy Wendy for the conversation.

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