I read George Will’s column last evening and couldn’t wrap my mind around his argument. I revisited it this morning and find his bait and switch tactics perverse.
A three-judge federal court recently tugged a thread that may begin the unraveling of the fabric of murky laws and regulations that traduce the First Amendment by suppressing political speech. Divided 2 to 1, the court held — unremarkably, you might think — that issue advocacy ads can run during an election campaign, when they matter most. This decision will strike zealous (there is no other kind) advocates of ever-tighter regulation of political speech (campaign finance “reformers”) as ominous. Why? Because it partially emancipates millions of Americans who incorporate thousands of groups to advocate their causes, groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association.
My question for Mr Will is, why should we protect free speech that costs so much monetarily that the majority of the public have no access. Why should the right of groups like the “Swift Boaters” to spring up and influence the outcome of an election and die out be protected? When you speak of “millions of Americans who incorporate thousands of groups to advocate their causes”, are these the groups you are speaking of? Groups funded by a handful of the richest of Americans who are buying their way into the political arena with their immense wealth. Wealth that the majority of Americans can not use to “buy” their own “free” speech.
Count me as one in favor of limits on political contributions. This is America, where every single persons voice is just as important as every other persons. Having a large bank account should not allow you to speak louder or with any more authority than any other person in this country.
I am sorry Mr Will but in this case, your having the pulpit of a Newspaper OpEd Column doesn’t make you right, it just makes you a living.