In any issue it is important to define the question being presented. The most recent Supreme Court decision regarding corporate free speech is often defined as a question of whether corporations have free speech rights. They do have free speech rights, so this is not the question despite attempts to simplify it as such. The question in this case should be narrowed to whether legislative limitations on the spending of money is an infringement of speech.

Consider the fact that the intention of the First Amendment in protecting speech was to ensure that everyday citizens could be heard, and not silenced by powerful elites. Now consider the impact of unlimited corporate spending in American elections. What is the end effect on speech by everyday citizens? Silence?

The amount of money at the hands of a very few number of people who control corporate spending is astronomical. No group or groups, and certainly no individuals can surmount the massive spending spree and extremely powerful influence that corporations have on politicians. It is already hard enough with the amount of money spent on lobbyists and the many other sources that corporations use to influence congress, the president, etc. All the money available combined to combat their influence is simply a drop in the bucket in comparison.

Is this good for democracy? What sane person who does not control or have major influence in one of these corporations would want this? If one considers the influence that corporations have and always will have in Washington, limiting spending in elections is only a drop in the bucket, leaving corporations still with far more influence than any other persons or groups. In reality, their speech far exceeds anyone or anything else, even with McCain-Feingold fully enforced. So how then is the legislation an infringement on speech?

If speech is important enough to be protected, perhaps the Court should consider protecting the speech of those who are not heard, like the ordinary American. Corporations will still go on having far more influence than John Q. Taxpayer. At least there is a chance that the people will have more confidence of their own influence and participate in the political process.

Money is at the core of this issue. Money buys the right to have your speech heard all over the country. Is it then fair, or the intention of the First Amendment, to grant this right to only those who have lots of money? At the end of the day, the same constraints required by the First Amendment to protect speech should not be applied to a situation where the right is being bought.

This issue should have nothing to do with party or ideological affiliation. Whether one is “conservative” or whatever else one might call themselves, the issue of political corruption and whether or not We The People actually govern, rises far above these petty and often arbitrary lines.

To say that one party or ideological alignment is more hypocritical on this issue than the other is unfounded. Justices Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas have all been very consistent in their stance on deference to legislative decision making. Now all of a sudden they are activists, seeking to tightly control the decisions of democratically elected representatives. Why the sudden shift of principles?

Why did America fight the revolution? An oppressive king with too much power caused the great thinkers of the time to create a system where the people were in charge. Here at Right Pundits we have the Liberty Tree to remind us of the blood shed for liberty. Was it all for naught if the people have little or no say in their own government? Ponder this I pray.