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Old 10-17-2011, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 14,181,176 times
Reputation: 7949

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Everyone has been asking 'what does OWS want?' I was listening to an OWS PR guy on Medved today, and campaign finance reform was #1 on his list.

In the first place, campaign finance reform inevitably tangles with the First Amendment. Campaigns are all about speech, so when if you want to restrict campaigns, you have to restrict speech. One of the worst things W Bush ever did was to sign McCain-Feingold, which banned 'issue advocacy' ads within 60 days of an election. James Madison was spinning in his grave--this was exactly the kind of speech that was meant to be inviolate.

But leave that aside. Suppose we cancel the First Amendment. Campaign finance reform will never work anyway. Why? Because in essence it is an interdiction strategy. It's a way of trying to block those who want to buy influence thru campaign donations from being able to do so, by passing ever tighter laws. But we know from the war on drugs that this does not work. We can't even keep drugs out of our prisons. We can pass all the laws we want and drugs continue to be bought and sold. Just watch some of the OWS videos if you don't believe me!

As long as government has so much power, and so much money, people will find ways to buy access to it. In fact ever tighter campaign restrictions will just mean ever more ruthless people buying and selling influence, and ever worse corruption. We think it's bad now, but just wait till we have lock-down reform and a burgeoning black market in political favors.

There is only one solution to a problem, and that is a return to a limited government, one that doesn't have very much influence to peddle in the first place.
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