I haven’t gone through the opinions in today’s McCain-Feingold decision, but was struck by an excerpt from Justice Scalia’s dissent that shows how much at odds with contemporary liberalism his views really are:
“Who could have imagined that the same court which, within the past four years, has sternly disapproved of restriction upon such inconsequential forms of expression as virtual child pornography, tobacco advertising, dissemination of illegally intercepted communications, and sexually explicit cable programming, would smile with favor upon a law that cuts to the heart of what the First Amendment is meant to protect: the right to criticize the government…”
The very things Scalia calls “inconsequential”—virtual child pornography and sexually explicit cable programming—are, from the contemporary liberal standpoint, aspects of sexual and lifestyle expressiveness that are worthy of the highest degree of protection. They are a sacred part of what it is to be human. In contrast, the point of government is to advance equality, promote economic efficiency, and protect a list of rights that is already long enough to determine in advance most features of social life. That makes government basically a matter for experts and functionaries, with the role of the people limited to the periodic display of approval. To perform that role they need only to be educated, and professionals in the schools, the New York Times, and other institutions will be able to perform that function all the better if pesky political ads, which only confuse the people, are done away with.