Libs demand citizenship test for political speech, but not for voting

Liberals are the first to reject the idea that voters should have to prove their citizenship or even their identity when they come to vote.  They say it will lead to voter suppression.  They say it will confuse blacks and Hispanics, who liberals constantly maintain have the timidity of jackrabbits and the intellectual fortitude of five-year-olds.

But when it comes to political speech, liberals are now demanding that citizenship be proven.  Facebook, led by liberal Mark Zuckerberg, are now requiring those who wish to post political ads on Facebook to prove their "identity and location" – in effect, to prove they are American citizens.  Zuckerberg doesn't seem worried about suppressing political speech here.  Zuckerberg doesn't worry that blacks and Hispanics will be disproportionately deterred from buying political ads.  It seems that minorities are deemed to have greater savvy when exercising political speech rather than voting.

But it doesn't take a Harvard dropout like Zuckerberg to realize that Facebook's new rules are more for show than results.  Facebook would love to ban ads from foreign sources that attack liberal candidates.  But there is really no way to police them.

Let me give you an example.  Suppose Russia wants to spend $500,000 on Facebook ads showing that Nancy Pelosi engaged in repeated "brain freezes" during one of her recent press conferences or Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, and Eric Schneiderman speaking out about Democrats' commitment to women's issues.  Russia could simply get an American to create a dummy PAC or dummy company and funnel the money through him.  Facebook would never know the source of the money because it would be dealing with the shell company run by the American who was hired by Russia.

The fact is that in an age with an open internet, it is impossible to ban speech from other countries.  The only answer to "bad" speech is more speech.

Liberals object to proving one's identity before voting because they benefit from voter fraud.  But liberals see no "chilling effect" in proving one's identity before buying political ads because liberals think the measure might prove to their benefit.

It's not ideal for Russia to exercise political speech in our elections, but then again, our system of political speech is not exactly fair to begin with.  The power of political speech is disproportionately wielded by ABC, NBC, CBS, Reuters, the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, and Fox News, all of whom, except for Fox, are far left.  The political speech exercised by the New York Times alone is more powerful than the speech of thousands of bloggers.  How, then, is that fair?

The answer is that it is not, and there is no way it ever can be.  The solution, if there is one, is to allow as much speech as possible and hope good ideas will win out over bad ones, even if the bad ones have more money behind them.  It's happened before, when Ronald Reagan won election and re-election against a uniformly hostile media, and it happened again, when Donald Trump got elected.

It's funny to see liberals' disparate view on voter verification and political free speech, depending on what they think will benefit their candidates the most.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at

Image: Santeri Viinamäki via Wikimedia Commons.