David Swanson’s Second Bill of Rights

David Swanson’s Second Bill of Rights

October 3, 2009

In an excerpt from Daybreak published at, David Swanson sets out the changes the country needs in the wake of eight years of imperial presidency — among them the right to vote (for real, this time), the right to basic welfare, and the right to freedom of the press from war-related obligations:

We should expand the First Amendment to require meaningful freedom of the press, and I will discuss later some policies that might make that a reality. But I think we might consider one strictly limited restriction on our First Amendment rights. This would involve the establishment of a right to protection from war propaganda, including any false, misleading, or fraudulent information intended to create support for war, with criminal penalties for violators. We should never underestimate the danger of restricting free speech or of opening up the possibility of further restricting free speech, but the clear fact is that war is much more destructive than any other human activity (with the possible exception of long term environmental destruction). It is already forbidden to falsely scream “Fire!” in a crowded building, so it might makes sense to forbid effectively drenching crowded buildings in lighter fluid.

Check to read the rest of the excerpt — and for the full story on David Swanson’s view of the American government post-imperial presidency and what we can do to restore a more perfect union, read the Amazon bestseller Daybreak.

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