I listened to a podcast today (yes, I'm woefully behind!) in which Thom and some RWNJ argued about the subject of transparancy as it relates to political contributions. The whacko Thom was debating claimed that any attempt to enforce a policy of transparancy with regard to political donations would threaten the right of the contributor to remain anonymous while taking advantage of his free speech rights. I think we need to examine this claim pretty closely.
I was brougt up to believe that what we call "freedom" is FAR from free - countless people died to earn freedom for the American people, and many more struggle daily to maintain it for us today. Thus, I would say that freedom implies responsibility. As a child, I earned my "freedom" (e. g., my allowance, and the ability to travel around my neighborhood as I chose), by doing my chores ... i. e., by accepting the responsibilities assigned to me. If I shirked those responsibilities, soome of my "rights" were taken away - I was grounded, or my allowance was withheld. The lesson was simple and direct - THERE IS NO FREEDOM IN THE ABSENCE OF RESPONSIBILITY!
When the Framers of the Constitution were working on the Bill of Rights, I am rather certain that when they were discussing the concept of Freedom of Speech, there was a tacit understanding among them all that the "Free Speaker" must be willing to accept some degree of consequences for his speech. The Government could not restrict one's right to speak, but it also could not restrict another's right to respond. My free speech may anger you, causing you to punch me in the nose. Sure, I can have you arrested for assault and battery, but my nose still hurts! Perhaps, instead of punching me in the nose, you might instead begin to air your own views, prove that mine are incorrect and embarrass the pants off me. In either event, or in countless other scenarios there are consequences that I must be willing to accept if I wish to speak freely. If I do not wish to accept said consequences, I am also free to keep my mouth shut. Free speech is not about holing yourself up in a locked building with a microphone, and a loudspeaker on the roof, broadcasting your manifesto to the masses unseen and unknown. It's about delivering your views while standing on a Soap Box on Main Street, where everybody & their brother can SEE AND HEAR you.
So when the Nut Jobs like Mitch McConnell, Judge Napolitano, and whichever fool Thom was debating about transparency of donations bring up how that would threaten the anonymity of the donor, the only necessary response is "So what??!! - Who ever said that Americans have a right to ANONYMOUS free speech? NOBODY, that's who!" The right that you DO have is to speak your piece, and then to take your lumps for it!