Law & Principles , Good Government
Jonathan Small | September 30, 2016
Free Market Friday: Freedom needs privacy
It was a free speech forum, of all places. This month at the University of Missouri, CNN commentator Sally Kohn declared herself “happy” if people she disagrees with feel “under assault” for expressing their beliefs. “If they feel like they can no longer speak … good.”
Unlike Kohn, while I disagree with her opinion, I believe in her freedom of speech. It is important, however, to point out that such opinions are not harmless. Just ask supporters of Gov. Scott Walker’s union reforms in Wisconsin. Some of those activists and donors had their homes raided by law enforcement at the behest of their political opponents. Thankfully, judges shut down that malicious investigation last year.
Another way some politicians try to silence opponents is by invading their privacy, exposing them to public harassment and even violence. In Wisconsin, the rogue prosecutor threatened his targets with jail if they talked to the press, but appears to have illegally leaked documents to his own media allies. During a campaign in California for a ballot measure on marriage, some same-sex marriage advocates publicized home addresses and business information for their opponents. The result was harassment, death threats, and property damage.
These were the acts of rogue prosecutors and malicious individuals. More troubling are legislative proposals in some states, always in the name of transparency, that attempt to systematically expose people’s political and religious beliefs.
These efforts harken back to some ugly moments in our history.
Jonathan Small, C.P.A., serves as President and joined the staff in December of 2010. Previously, Jonathan served as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, as a fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and as director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Small’s work includes co-authoring “Economics 101” with Dr. Arthur Laffer and Dr. Wayne Winegarden, and his policy expertise has been referenced by The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, National Review, the L.A. Times, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post. His weekly column “Free Market Friday” is published by the Journal Record and syndicated in 27 markets. A recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s prestigious Private Sector Member of the Year award, Small is nationally recognized for his work to promote free markets, limited government and innovative public policy reforms. Jonathan holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Certified Public Accountant.