The Courts are Right – Everybody Else is Wrong.
Recent polls show that about 80 percent of the people in the United States oppose the Supreme Court’s ruling that caps on political spending violate Free Speech. They feel corporations and Unions aren’t people and shouldn’t have Free Speech rights, that it will give them powers to influence the government in dangerous ways and that it will lead to government corruption.
Sorry America, The Supreme court is right, we’re wrong.
The reason 300 million people are wrong and 5 justices are right is because we as human beings are prone to react before pausing to actually examine our assumptions. Here are a few things that it might be helpful to consider:
Corporations and Unions are Made of People
The first error is in separating institutions from the people within them. This problem is more often seen in granting groups rights people don’t have (e.g. limiting accountability in corporations when individuals would have to face the consequences of their actions, granting governments the right to kill people when their citizens don’t have that right, giving unions the power to dictate to companies rules that the individuals of that company would not have the power to impose). In this case, however, the law is attempting to take a right away from a group of people that the individuals within that group have.
Simply put, putting a bunch of people together does not create or destroy natural rights. And the right to express your opinion and spend your own money to better express it is a natural one. And I don’t accept the argument that allowing corporations to spend money too is double dipping – I don’t support ANY restrictions on spending my money or voicing my opinion, so you SHOULD be allowed to double dip, triple dip, quadruple dip – whatever!
It Doesn’t Change the Bribe, It Brings It Out into the Open
The assumption that the campaign finance laws were preventing corporations and unions from plying politicians for favors is incredibly naive. They always have found ways to impact politicians – either by finding loopholes in the law, by laundering their contributions or even by hiding them outright. Now, however, with any luck, the money will come out into the open, where we can DO something about it. Shining a light on these transactions means we can hold the parties involved accountable – and that is ALWAYS a good thing!
The Problem is NOT the Bribe
If you are worried about what your politician will do with his power, you have given him too much power. This is because most politicians do not NEED a lot of money or big favors to favor a small group over the rest – they do it naturally. The only REAL way to combat this is to put checks on the government limiting its power – the less it CAN do, the less you will worry about what it WILL do.
Don’t Forget The Entertainment Value in Political Campaigns
I enjoy political campaigns – I get to see a group of people who normally think they are superior to me bow and scrapt to get my attention, I get to hear them speak the truth the only time they seem capable of it when they sling mud at each other and I get to relax a bit as they focus the bulk of their attention on something OTHER than stripping me of my rights. increasing spending on campaigning will only make this better! And be honest, you KNOW some people NEED to spend a little more on their ads…