Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ayn Rand Institute on Glen Beck

McCain-Feingold Act tells you when when no one is allowed to speak or some groups aren't allowed to speak

Finally, someone on TV understands the nature of Objectivism, and has been bringing speakers to his program from the Ayn Rand Institute. Its director has been on the show. Last week Glen Beck had Onkar Ghate, a senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

Condensed transcript from the program, Feb. 20, 2009
Tonight, we have a very special edition of "The Glenn Beck" program.

We're going to play out some of the worst-case scenarios with some of the greatest minds around, asking ourselves one simple question: What if?

And tonight, we're going to think it out with the help of former CIA agents, some of the best money people around, military analysts, survival experts. We're going to try to show you how to prepare for the worst while everybody else is sitting back and hoping for the best. And I want you to know — everybody involved in this show is also hoping for the best.

In mid-January, the government "war-gamed" a scenario where American cities were subjected to a coordinated two-day attack. Why? Are they saying that an attack is imminent like that? No. They just understand that planning for the unthinkable will allow them to act rationally while everybody else is panicking.

The truth is — that you are the defender of liberty. It's not the government. It's not an army or anybody else. It's you. This is your country.

So, ask yourself: What kind of sentry do you want to be as you stand there at the gate?

We're making decisions right now, and I don't think we're really thinking them through. Let that not happen to us. Let's make the unthinkable thinkable for 60 minutes.

Onkar, tell me a little bit about what you see happening with freedom of speech in a scenario like this. Does the government need to keep people muted in a situation where things have really fallen apart?

GHATE Yes, I think so. In this kind of night player scenario that you're envisioning, what would happen is that the government wouldn't tolerate any kind of objections and dissent. And what would happen is, that there would be a clampdown on free speech, particularly, I think, political speech.

And we've seen precursors of that with, say, McCain-Feingold Act which is an assault on the First Amendment rights which tells people, you can't spend your money to advocate for views you want. It tells you when you can do it. It puts periods when no one is allowed to speak or some groups aren't allowed to speak and we would see a real extension of that so that the people in political power can hold on to their power, to get a real collapse in a dictatorship, it's a one-party rule.

But to get that, you really have to silence other people, and that — and you can only do that by infringing on their free speech rights and making a mockery of the First Amendment.

BECK: All right. I'm not sure if you — and I don't mean to insult you by any stretch of imagination, we just haven't had a chance to talk beforehand. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the history of Woodrow Wilson or Franklin, but — or even Truman. We've done this before, and it was always wrapped in Uncle Sam and the flag. We have clamped down on people. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, back in the early 1900s, we had 150,000 people that were political prisoners that were in jail for speaking out against World War I.

So, this isn't a crazy scenario.
GHATE: No, I don't think it is.

BECK: This has happened before. What would be the signs, the road signs along the road to 2014 that we should be aware of?

GHATE: I think extensions of McCain-Feingold, extensions of — if there are some political speeches that is OK and other speeches isn't, and it's the government that gets to decide which is which. So, if we start seeing as we've seen stimulus czars, regulatory czars, if we start seeing speech czars, we're down the road to a real dictatorship.


GHATE: And that would be really scary.
Onkar Ghate's comments Copyright (c) 2009 Ayn Rand(R) Institute. All rights reserved.

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