Occasionally George Will entertains while parsing his way through an issue, trying to spin a righteous — or at least defensible — conservative position on it that also nails “the left,” as in his commentary of May 6. There he accuses Rep. Jim McGovern of trying “to radically contract First Amendment protections” through his “People’s Rights Amendment.” Will also gives the bloated fallacy that corporations are people another dab of lipstick.
The last section of McGovern’s short amendment explicitly protects “the people’s rights of freedom of speech ... press ... religion ... association and all such other rights.” Yet Will claims it “would mow down the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, as well as the First” — a dizzying spin, but he doesn’t stop there.
His real concern is that McGovern’s amendment reaffirms these rights for actual people but restricts them from “corporate entities,” placing such entities under government control, as they were when the Constitution was adopted.
To claim “persons” would lose rights, Will spins corporations into “persons organized in corporations,” but it’s corporate personhood that would be limited, not the rights of individual people in corporations.
The several amendments currently proposed (including one by Move To Amend) to correct the political dysfunction created by the fallacy of corporate personhood — a court-imposed, not democratically chosen concept — will keep Will and his ilk spinning. But reader, beware: they are dizzy with nonsense!
Maynard Freemole, Corvallis (May 8)