"CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the FREEDOM OF SPEECH, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".
This is Jack's signature, and it got me thinking. There are four professions listed here that are protected from governement interference.
The first one is Priests and other religeous types.
The second is journalists, and bloggers too.
The third is leaders of movements like the civil rights movement. They organize the peasful protests and such. Bringing people to gether to peacably express their views about abortion, the trilateral commission or segregation.
So far nothing to object too, right? But what is the fourth profession? petition the government for redress of grievences. It is an important right I think you will all agree. But can you guess what the people who make a living petitioning the governemnt for redress of grievences is called?
They are called Lobbyists, the representatives of special interests to the governement. They work for Tabacco companies, and HMO's and Abortion rights groups. Often entire industries will pitch in for lobbyists for their common interests.
So you hear people talk about how bad special interests are, how dastardly lobbyists are. Why don't they make it illegal for people to try and influence our elected representatives, that WE elected to serve us? Well, it turns out that our forefathers thought that that is exactly what we would do, and made it a fundimental right to lobby government. They didn't call it lobbying, because the term hadn't been invented yet, they called it petitioning for redress of grievences. But they didn't mean signing a petition to put some issue on a ballot. They meant it in terms of petitioning a King or a Governor for help. Some where along the line the term was changed to lobbying, probably to try and discredit it.
So what od you think, is lobbying the fundimental right I think it is, or should we have a constitutional amendment to end it? Is a lobbyist as important as a priest, a journalist, and a protest organizer? If so, shouldn't they be afforded the same level of respect, these petitioners to the government, as the other three are given? I think they do.
(Not that I actually respect the other three very much either, I'm a pirate after all.)