Claremont Review of Books: Bullying Culture (In the News)

Claremont Review of Books: Bullying Culture

By Fred Smith

Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel has written an insightful, important book on the Left’s efforts to drive market-friendly voices from the public square. A skilled investigative journalist, Strassel documents the extensive efforts to suppress political opposition, intimidate dissidents, and weaken the First Amendment.

Strassel notes that attacks on speech-and defenders of it-have come from both parties. She traces the history of campaign “reform” initiatives, accompanying court challenges, and bipartisan support for “transparency” and “accountability.” Readers will gain clarity, but little comfort, from her chronicle of culture and politics conspiring to weaken free speech…  

Strassel extols Bradley Smith, a law professor and member of the Federal Election Commission during George W. Bush’s presidency. Smith alerted conservatives to the risks of disclosure, helping them understand and challenge this policy. His work on campaign finance laws and disclosure requirements strengthened Republican resistance.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.