By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
While millions across France marched in support of freedom of speech, at the State House in Montgomery, newly reelected Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh actively fought to destroy that freedom in Alabama.
If it were not for the courage and conviction of 19 republican members of the Alabama State Senate, the “new” media rules would have been adopted, and the US Constitution trampled underfoot. These individuals displayed true leadership, placing sacred principles over the will of their caucus leaders.
Freedom of speech, freedom of the press—these foundations make good government and good society, and there were 19 who knew and acted accordingly.
Some will be tempted to claim that I am happy because the Alabama Political Reporter’s press credentials were saved. I am happy about that, but more importantly, I am very thankful that the principles of a free people were preserved.
Far too often people concentrate on the here and now, without regards to how decisions made today will effect the events of tomorrow. True conservative leadership looks to the past to see the future. In this case, these 19 looked at the founding principles of our Republic and how the principles of free press have been described in the past.
The founders of our Nation would not be confused over who is a journalist, but they would most likely be startled by corporate media monopolies. Neither would they be surprised by those who wanted to limit speech, because European kings always controlled speech. They would recognize the Senate 19 as well, and they would be proud to see their legacy continued.
We do not know the names of those 19 who united together to protect the freedom of the press. But, we do know the names of those who would have limited it, and we will not forget.
On behalf of the Fourth Estate and the People of Alabama, we thank you.