THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 286, August 29, 2004
"Our society undoubtedly over-reacts to naked breasts"
Campaign Finance Reform
Exclusive to TLE
As we approach election day 2004, implementation of the so-called Campaign Finance Reform law championed by Senator John McCain and others comes nigh. Of course they are ignoring logic and Constitutional law in an attempt to restrict the rights of the American people to support their chosen political candidates.
It appears a very populist approach to a problem that is much greater in perception than it is in reality. The dilemma in politics is not and never has been the amount of money spent on candidates or political parties, it's the willingness of corrupt politicians or political parties to accept or even seek such funds in return for their support of specific legislation or political agendas.
Every person or political entity will support candidates they believe will act in their best interest or at least not act against them. Political Action Committees work collectively in the interest of their members. Labor unions use the combined power of their members to influence elections. All manner of special interest groups take donated resources and apply them to the election of candidates that will support their desires. They account for billions of dollars in political influence but in the tradition of class resentment it's only the wealthy individuals or the corporations spending in their self-interest that draw the ire of the McCainiacs.
There are forces of rectitude and logic arrayed against the reformers. In fact the whole scheme has come under fire from such odd bedfellows as the ACLU, the NRA, Libertarians and the Christian Coalition. They all fear the results of the reforms, like; a huge boost to incumbency, the political control that the major media will acquire and the increased power of trade unions who control the disbursements of their members money. Unfortunately they have a monumental task, made even tougher by the incumbent led opposition of the vested interests they are fighting.
Even a cursory examination of the proposed legislation shows the real reason that it is supported by so many in Congress. It is a virtual guarantee of incumbent re-election. Opponents not only have to face a restrictions on funding and the ability to spend their money effectively but the very speech they might wish to use to criticize incumbents will be prohibited. How McCain and Feingold and their minions can make such a blatant attack on the American system of elections simply boggles the mind.
The whole reform process exposes a glaring flaw in the U. S. system of government. It is based on the concept of people being represented by politicians who will supposedly act in the best interest of their constituents. In this case though, the best interest of American voters is usually at odds with the best interest of the politicians. Those in power now have found a way to virtually insure that they can keep their jobs until they die. Even now the incumbent re-election rate is over ninety-three percent. With McCain-Feingold in place it will be near one hundred percent because almost all the tools that an outsider can use to challenge a sitting office holder will be history.
Now we are seeing George W. Bush, the great hope of the GOP, the man who will shrink the size of government, support the Constitution and make freedom ring throughout the land, combining with John McCain to file legal challenges to the right of American citizens to pool their resources in order to speak out on important political matters. Sounds to me like the President, having discovered what a terrible mistake he made by not vetoing the McCain-Feingold bill, now is doing some desperate CYA. Of course his efforts will result in even more erosion of the rights of Americans.
The big winner in the whole campaign finance reform fiasco are the media, especially the electronic media. No one with an IQ larger than his hat size can deny that the American media has a liberal/socialist bias which they have built up over forty years of Republican/Conservative apathy. The McCain bill will make them the most powerful political entity in the country by making it impossible for affected parties to purchase time to express conflicting views. Of course, those who are in charge of TV and radio programs will be free to schedule all of their political friends who will have the Constitutional right so pontificate on the political scene as much as they wish.
Furthermore, in the last sixty days of a campaign, no one would be allowed to air ads critical of any candidate. That's what McCain, et.al. refer to as "leveling the playing field." I guess it all depends on how warped your view of the playing field is in the first place.
In the final analysis, campaign finance reform will allow the corrupt to remain corrupt and prevent the rest of us from saying so. We draw ever closer to a tyrannical monolithic political system where only those in power and their minions will be able to influence elections. Is it time to set up the barricades?
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