Saturday, May 24, 2014

Lying Lester Asks: Are Money & Speech One In The Same?

Some say money is speech. At one time I argued that money was speech and corporations, individuals, political parties, and organizations (special interests) ought to be able to spend freely to "get their message out". After all isn't that one way voters keep informed?

But my position has, shall we say, evolved. Some say money can be considered speech if all parties have the same ability to spend large sums of it to get their voices "heard". Of course we all know this is not the case and realistically it never will be. The larger the corporation, the wealthier the individual, or the more flush the super PAC the bigger voice they have. So, what does this mean from a practical viewpoint? In a word INFLUENCE.

Money buys influence. Money combined with influence is power. And the more money that is available the more influence and power can be bought. So if you're the average person on the street, the small business competing against the big guys, or a politician with a small campaign war chest you simply don't stand an equal chance. The big money gets people elected, the big money buys influence, and the interests of the those without the same ability to spend rarely get noticed.

Some say the nation ought to be looking at real campaign finance reform and limiting the influence money has on the political process. The RNC, disagreeing with this position, has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission to allow it to solicit UNLIMITED cash amounts from individuals. Of course the argument is again the Article 1 of The Bill of Rights; aka the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Lawrence Noble, general counsel to the FEC from 1987 to 2000 and now an adviser at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center says that "if the RNC is successful, we will again see party committees brazenly soliciting $1 million contributions from wealthy contributors seeking to directly purchase influence over candidates and officeholders, with the party committees acting as the sales agent".

Lawrence Noble is right. Although I must say... what the hell is wrong with the idea of those with the most money having the most political influence? That is the place that Lying Lester's position has "evolved" to. At one time I argued that money was speech and corporations, individuals, political parties, and organizations (special interests) ought to be able to spend freely to "get their message out"... and now my "evolved" position is that I will argue this more fervently.

Because money and speech ARE one in the same. And I believe that considering money speech resulting in elections basically being bought by whoever spends the most - that is a good thing. Why? Because money equals influence, and influence equals power. And the wealthy - having proven that they are superior to the rAbble by the mere fact that they have more money then them - SHOULD rightfully have great power. That being the case, Lying Lester prays to the ghost of Ayn Rand that the RNC wins it's lawsuit.

Sure, I'd be happier if gOvernment were so small that buying influence with politicians would be pointless, but we don't live in that world. Elect Gary Johnson in 2016 and maybe we can do something about the situation, but in the meantime I strongly object to limiting the "speech" (or the buying of it with large amounts of money) of wealthy people.

Byline: This evolved commentary was authored by Lord Lying Lester: Man of Reason (AKA Lester Nation). Advocator of money equaling speech. LLIN-067.

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