Skip to comments.Is Democracy Dead after Supreme Court Strikes Down Political Contribution Limits?
Posted on 04/03/2014 10:18:15 AM PDT by rightwingerpatriot
From some of the headlines and commentaries that I've been reading, you would think that America has finally fallen and collapsed into a pit of eternal darkness. The culprit is the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down political contribution limits. In a the now normal 5-4 split, the SCOTUS decided that limiting the number of candidates that a citizen can donate to during a campaign was unconstitutional. This limitation was put in place back in 1971, and has been tweaked a few times, notably the McCain-Feingold legislation. So will chaos now rule supreme as we're forced to bow to rich overlords? Is democracy now dead in the US as the little guy's voice will no longer be heard?
The answer is a simple no. America will soldier on after this decision, and, in fact, we're a little more free because of the decision. The political contribution limit rules stated that a person could only give up to $5200 to a candidate running for the House, Senate, or president, and only a grand total of $48,600 could be given in total. Other limits were established for giving to political parties and PACs. Now, the Supreme Court ruling did not get rid of the individual limits, but it allows people to give to as many individual candidates as they wish.
Chief Justice John Roberts said in his decision, "The right to participate in democracy through political contributions is protected by the First Amendment, but that right is not absolute. Our cases have held that Congress may regulate campaign contributions to protect against corruption or the appearance of corruption. At the same time, we have made clear that Congress may not regulate contributions simply to reduce the amount of money in politics, or to restrict the political participation of some in order to enhance the relative influence of others."
Those on the left are decrying this ruling as an end to civilization and democracy itself. They invoke the bogeymen Koch brothers, saying that rich people will be buying elections and that the individual citizen will be smothered as they cannot financially compete. I guess they're ignoring the gargantuan cast of rich liberals who give to Democrats every election cycle, such as George Soros, David Geffen, J.J. Abrams, Haim Saban, and many others. Let's not forget the unions and the tens of millions they funnel into campaigns as well.
As for striking down on all limits, I do confess I'm of a mixed mind. On one hand, I think that you should be free to donate as much as you wish as often as you wish. It's your money and you're free to spend it as you desire. On the other hand, I understand the worry about someone having an inordinate amount of influence by essentially buying an election. However, you cannot live by assuming the negative in every situation. If one worries about someone giving $10 million to a candidate in order to essentially buy them, then might not the same rationale be used to argue that guns are bad because some people will use them for crime? I love and defend free speech even thought it means I'll have to endure the ravings of neo-nazis, hippies, and socialists. Even though their speech could be considered destructive, I don't cut off the limbs of liberty because someone may say something mean. As for our current campaign laws, I guess it would be best that the entire byzantine structure of our campaign finance laws be scrapped with all the various PACs, tax exempt groups, etc.
I know many would say that richer people would have a greater influence upon elections. My rebuttal is that they already do. It's a simple fact of life that people who are rich have a great deal more influence and clout than someone such as I. Even a local newspaper has more influence than myself as they can campaign relentlessly for candidates and endorse as many as they wish. My recourse is to engage in forums, blogs, or with my neighbors to sway them to my opinions. I'm a tiny pebble composed to the cannonball of influence that even minor media outlets can bring to bear.
I accept that my $20 donation isn't going to buy me undue influence with a candidate as opposed to the person who donates a million dollars. It's the nature of society that there will always be people with more, or less, clout than I have. My preference is that everything be in the open so you can easily see who gives what to whom. As the situation is now, you have bundlers funneling tens of millions in dollars to campaigns, mixed in with the soft money of PACs, and the circular flow of money from unions and foundations to a myriad of smaller groups that operate in concert but are legally separate. It's a constant shell game done with smoke and mirrors.
The Supreme Court did not end democracy this week as the left suggests, but it actually enlarged it. No matter how much money is raised and spent, it's still up to us, the individual voter, to make an informed decision and cast our vote accordingly. In the end, all the money in the world cannot forcibly drag you into a polling station and make you cast a vote. The onus is still on us. (Now the debate over low information voters is another matter entirely!)
I would hope, so we may live in a republic again.
Democracy is mob rule.
When was “Democracy” ^ever^ alive in the CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC known as thhe United States?
um, no.... this FIXES it...
Thats why these dumbasses hate it
All campaign finance laws are unconstitutional. The government has no more of a right to limit campaign contributions than it does limiting the number of pages a newspaper can print.
That would be my fervent prayer.
End the unsurped "democratic" power of the congress (or even of the people) to vote in laws or regulations that are clearly unconstitutional!
Restore the Republic!
Restore the constitution limits on government!
Restore freedom to we the people!
this also means that Mrs CLINTON wont have to rely on illegal bundlers anymore....
Lets SHARE that with our “liberal” neighbors shall we
“Is democracy dead”
I certainly hope so, with republican government once again becoming the preponderant idea. See my book!
Democracy should be dead. This is a republic!!! North Korea is a democracy. 100% voter turnout for 100% vote for Kim Jong Fatbody.
Amen. Government should stay out of politics!!!!!
Democrats are hypocrites with their own big millionaire donors & supporters.
If you really want to “get the money out of politics” you first have to get the politicians out of every single aspect of our lives that they are currently meddling in now.
Term Limits is the only solution EMOP
The problem is the two parties are already too much alike. That'll get more extreme. DC will become a totally monied class, removed from the voter, awash in money from the elite.
When the ignorant mobs voted to elect the Kenyan twice. And the feckless legislative branches allowed him to rule by fiat.
Yes, we can only hope. “Democracy” is like a vampire though, you think you’ve killed it, and it keeps rising from the grave to haunt you.
The Constitution is not chiseled in granite as many people have evidently been indoctrinated to think. In other words, there is nothing to stop the states from amending the Constitution to limit political contributions.
On the other hand, the main reason that political contributors are interested in buying favors from corrupt federal politicians these days is the following. They don’t understand that much of the powers that the feds regularly exercise are actually 10th Amendment protected state powers which corrupt Congress has wrongy usurped from the states.
Damn, I hope so. Let's get back to being a Republic, shall we?
I was going to say, “Man, I hope so.”
Yeah, I think it’s going to make that much difference. Politicians will have an easier source of income playing the game than they will doing what voters want. Everybody will have the same income source....the elite, who can afford to fund both “sides”.
The way I read that, your right is basically whatever John Roberts decides that it is on any given day.
Strange no one on the left doesn’t have a problem with unions, especially public employee unions, shaking down their members for money and making huge unrestricted donations to political candidates.
I heard one claim that this helps GOPe beat off primary challengers.
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