Rep. Melissa Bean, Another Democrat AGAINST Free Speech

-By Warner Todd Huston

**Update at end of original**

In the devastated country of Zimbabwe the tyrant that runs the place, Robert Mugabe, has an iron fist on the political process. He often won’t allow members of the opposition party to leave their homes much less to go out and campaign for office. When political parties are physically prevented from even being allowed to engage in the process we call that tyranny. Now, it isn’t too far to go to say that Illinois Congressman Melissa Bean (D, 8th Dist) is beginning to head down the road to Robert Mugabe’s style of tyranny right here in the USA.

Yes, you heard me right. I just said that US Congressman Melissa Bean is beginning to act like the murdering tyrant, Robert Mugabe.

Let’s face reality, here. All too often we Americans groan at the mere mention of politics. We Americans are spoiled by our freedom in many ways. We moan about having to think of politics while there are countries where representatives of the people are thrown in holes so deep they are never seen again. One of those countries is the one the world has absurdly favored with the Olympics.

Another reality is that, whether we are sick and tired of our politics in this great country or not, politics is exactly what formed us, what informs us, and what reforms us. Without a direct and vigorous engagement in American politics we would fast find our freedoms gone, our liberty papered over by too much regulation and our fortunes leeched away by confiscatory taxation. To avoid these all too human pitfalls, these are the reasons our Founders set the system up the way they did.

That good ol’ “Freedom of Speech”

So, we have this nearly unique ability to squawk about just any old thing in the United States of America. We have an actual right to do this squawking as far as we are concerned. It’s that “freedom of speech” we were all born with, right?

Not exactly.

You see, the original conception of what “free speech” meant to the Founding Fathers was that we all had the right to talk about, write about, congregate for, support and vote for the candidate of our choice as well as the concepts and policies we wanted to promulgate. So, to that end, we had this freedom of speech, more properly called this freedom of political speech, no matter who was in office, no matter what party ruled… no matter what.

We also have this right no matter how far away from or how close to the election we are. (Someone needs to school John McCain and his toadie Senator Russ Feingold about this little fact.)

However, as far as the Founders were concerned, we did NOT have a right to say just anything we wanted, anywhere we wanted to say it and at any time. It is rarely recalled that nearly every state had sedition and speech codes and did so far into the first era of our history. For a short time, there was even a Federal sedition act. The Founders did not imagine that license to speak was the same thing as freedom of speech.

But today, we have spread that blanket much further than the Founders intended. For most circumstances, this is a good expansion of our rights to speach and not be thrown in jail or fined by the state because we have something to say.

If I say I hate the Democrat Party, or I feel the Greens ought to take over, or I say I wish the Dixie Chicks should just shut up and move to France, well, I should not expect a government agent to come knocking at my door to take me off to a Mugabe styled gulag — or, for that matter, telling me I better shut up, pay a fine, and slink away unheard from again.

Now, back to Congressman Melissa “Mugabe” Bean.

Rep. Bean has signed her illustrious name to a measure that the Founders would have been incensed about. She is a co-sponsor on a bill that would outlaw so-called “robocalls” between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Now, a “robocall” is an automated political message where a machine dials the phone numbers of folks in a candidate’s electoral district, then plays a recorded plea for votes. Quite often people hang up on these calls and never listen and with the increased use of cell phones, robocalls may not be as effective as candidates hope.

They are also a pain in the rear end.

Let’s not forget that candidate Melissa Bean used extensive robocalls when she ran for Congress. Of course, she is fairly in that seat now. And, curiously enough, she NOW wants to put restrictions on any future challengers to her candidacy!

Thank you Melissa “Mugabe” Bean.

Now, catch this facile thinking from a quote in Chicago’s Daily Herald newspaper. Look how Bean bends over backwards to extend the Nanny State into our political process.

“When it’s used correctly, (an automated call) can be an informative tool,” Bean said. “But when it’s used as a form of harassment or deception or voter suppression, then restrictions are needed.”

What restrictions are needed but the success or failure of the idea to realize votes? If robocalls don’t work, candidates will stop using them. If they DO work, then we have a valuable tool to engage in our political process, just like the Founders insisted we do.

But, here comes nanny Missy Beangabe to tell us what sort of political engagement we will be “allowed” to have and at the point of a gun and at the risk of fines by the state if we disobey her stormtroopers. And what if we don’t, Mz. Beangabe? Do we send our candidates to jail for daring to oppose you?

Listen, I am no fan of these robocalls, myself. If they all went away today it would certainly be no skin off my nose. But Congressman Missy Beangabe has NO right, no moral right and no Constitutional right, to tell candidates for office how they should be allowed to conduct their right to free political speech.

If those candidates annoy the voters, well then not winning the election is their reward. But Beangabe has NO moral right to send her stormtroopers and moneychangers to the headquarters of candidates seeking election because they made a phone call.

Her bill is an abomination to the American way and should be opposed by any real American whether they like these robocalls or not.

And if the Founders were able to ring up Melissa Beagabe today, that’s exactly what they’d tell her. Some of them, as was their wont, may even have a hankering to tar and feather her as a tyrant.

And I can’t say as I’d blame them.

Rep. Melissa Bean, Another Democrat AGAINST Free Speech


Well, my little piece has set off the alarm bells on the far left, as I’d imagined it would. So far, however, about the only substance to the faux outrage is for my detractors to say “Hey, a Republican is co-sponsoring the bill.”

To that I say…. So what?

Any Republican who is co-sponsoring the bill is JUST as in the wrong a Melissa Beangabe. They are just are tyrannical in the end as Beangabe because this bill is anti-constitutional, and if not exactly so is contrary to the principle upon which the Founders created our political system.

I am saying right here and now, that ANY politician that supports legislation that curbs robocalls, or printed matter, or TV spots, or ANY political outreach is a tyrant. I don’t care if he is a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian or a member of the Silly party. Any supporter of legislation that curbs political speech is not acting in accordance with American principles.

Now, if a candidate is stupid enough to run his robocalls at dinner time or in the middle of the night, then he will lose support. If he does this and loses support and other politicians find out about it because the ire of the people is raised, then that other politician will avoid the losing maneuver. The situation will take care of itself like all market based matters.

But, NO legislation should be created to curb his freedom of political speech. Again, let the market place for votes curb it for him.

Lastly, let me say that one of THE biggest reasons I cannot vote for John McCain is the outrage that is McCain/Feingold. His was an unconstitutional outrage against free political speech. John McCain will not get my vote in november no matter who he is facing.

Sadly, it’s obvious that my argument was waaaay too subtle for them to “get” it. And there you have it.


Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,, New Media Journal, Men’s News Daily and the New Media Alliance among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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