Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?
The Shield And The Shorn
In the discussion of reporting finance participation, a particular quote will be used often.
"Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority."Taken from none other than - Justice John Paul Stevens.
A legitimate perspective, .. to a degree.
Arguing with the pseudonyms "Publius" and "the Federal Farmer" James Madison John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton raised awareness to the design, purpose, and intent of the new Republic in the federalist papers. Ideas cast back and forth, laying the groundwork for proper historical perspective from identities only revealed years later. Arguing as I have, and using the federalist papers for reference, and guidance to what was meant in certain cases of constitutional debate, I could hardly be one to deny their importance.
However, the anonymous nature of that exchange, hardly stands as justification for powerful advocacy remaining out of the sunlight in our current political climate. Neither does a claim that free speech rendered anonymously must be protected as anything more than free speech. Under certain conditions, it becomes more than simply opinion, and is affective on others.
Consider the writings of the federalist papers.
By going below the fold for more
The arguments made in the federalist papers were anonymous indeed. They could have been written by nearly anyone involved in the process; at least as far as anyone at the time might have been concerned.
Their being hidden however was a matter of life and death for the authors. The possibility of loyalist being next door for example was a very real possibility, and such words and declarations were still considered to be treasonous to some of those who still held fealty to the king. Coming out from the shadows as authors of such works would put those men (Jay, Hamilton, and Madison) at risk directly. Yet even if a direct comparison on THAT aspect could be made to the advocacy arguments today, the fact remained that ANYONE could have made the arguments of common sense as was done in a shroud of secrecy.
Rather than justify hidden messengers spending millions of dollars to promote or pass distrust on any issue of person, this fact actually persuades us to look deeper into what true comparisons might be made with our founders and their 'hidden' personae.
Could it be that the writings of Jay, Hamilton or Madison, might have more in common with "Corinthian Scales," "KG One," or "LookingForReagan;" each, who have posted many philosophical arguments here on RightMichigan.com? Perhaps more so than a political PAC that spends great sums of money advocating we hate, love, distrust, or defy any other group or interest?
Blogging, much like those writing the federalist papers can be done by anyone with access to a computer. It costs nothing, it can be done in the open by those who prefer to be seen, or by pseudonym from those who would rather it is a little more difficult to locate them. Much for the same reasons, either group, our bloggers, or the nation's founders would make such decisions. Much in the same way with a secret ballot, our votes are held to the chest, we have one vote, or one voice, and can decide to expose our preferences in our own time, and at our place of choosing.
That is truly freedom.
And we recognize the level of participation as a single source, and typically, motivations are revealed over time or the exposure can be matched easily from others who dialogue in their own way. With all things being equal, they are.
When a great deal of resources are used to change public opinion, or motivate voters on any issue or election, it is not the same however.
Something that appears to have only nuanced differences can be quite different by construct. Equality of access to certain mass media can be made only through great expenditures not available to everyone. Casual anonymity is not a part of television, radio or print mediums. Its just not available. Even in letters to the editor, there is no guarantee of your right to an anonymous presence.
But its even worse.
Government has an unfortunate influence in all matter of daily purpose. When great expenditures are made to influence it and how it interacts with us, we must become reactive. When hidden agendas threaten our relationships with elected representatives by use of expensive and unmatchable propaganda, one man-one vote, or one man-one voice is too easily overcome. It is not an outcome issue, but rather one of playing field.
If I were to lie to you under a pseudonym in a blog or other written tool, you can see me for what I am; one man with a limited reach, and a limited ability to do harm or influence you. And as such, I can be summarily dismissed based on your opinion. However, if issue specific "facts" are placed before tens of thousands instantly, (most who will have no idea of what truth exists in the message) and can apply such ignorance upon you through government, it is quite yet another story.
At least if those who would use their influence are held to be responsible for their words, counter arguments of motive can be applied. Perspective can be provided, and hidden agendas revealed.
And I realize there are many who patronize this blog who will disagree for a number of reasons.
This is not the end of the world, nor is it a litmus issue. However, if one stands for transparency in government, it is only logical that major influences on government are out in the open. Our votes, and personal interactions by "pen name" can hardly be called to compare with the unique power wielded through secretive organized interests, which claim too often to be informing us for our own good.
Those who wish to hide can easily do so no matter what. There is plenty of room out here for the newest Federalist Papers, if only they wanted to play with the rest of us.
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