Your Congressperson Knows What You Should Buy
Lowes Home Improvement recently decided not to pay for advertising on a cable network’s television show, “All-American Muslim.”
The decision may have been a response to a Florida group’s call for a boycott of Lowe’s for supporting what the group called, “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”
Now a Michigan Congressman says Lowes’ decision may violate the first amendment by supporting the beliefs of “a fringe hate group.” Also, a California state senator is calling for an investigation into the possibility that Lowes has violated state law, and says he may propose legislation in response to Lowes’ decision. (Click on the link above for details.)
To clarify: we have a sitting U.S.congressman who believes the first amendment can be violated by a company’s choice of where to advertise. We have a state senator who believes it is illegal for a company to withdraw advertising from a television show based on the show’s content. And we have a serious suggestion from a sitting member of the California legislature to make it illegal for companies to refrain from advertising their product in certain venues.
Some are concerned that the health care act popularly known as “Obamacare” might violate the U.S. Constitution with its so-called individual mandate, which for the first time in U.S. history would grant Congress the right to force Americans to spend money on a commercial product, namely health insurance. Those in favor of the law have called concerns about its constitutionality unfounded. But here we have two lawmakers, one at the state level, and one at the national, suggesting the government should force Americans to spend money on advertising to support a television program which the lawmakers deem to be worthy.
For now at least, the lawmakers are wrong on the law, but their logic is consistent. If the government can force us to buy insurance, they can force us to buy anything.