I’m divided over the Supreme Court’s ruling the other day striking down campaign finance laws restricting corporate contributions to political campaigns.
On the one hand, McCain-Feingold not only seems like exactly what its opponents say it is — an onerous suppression of free speech rights — but also doesn’t seem to have been particularly effective. Money in politics is like water going downhill: it’s going to find its way there no matter what. On the other hand, it’s dismaying to me that even more political power is going to accumulate in the hands of the wealthy, who will now be able to purchase a bigger and more powerful megaphone, especially in the waning days of elections. If you have enough money to spend, you can buy up a lot of advertising time on local TV and radio stations, and keep your opponent off the air.
What do you think? Because I’ve been traveling, I haven’t had time since the ruling came down to read the pro and con arguments, or to think this through. You don’t have that excuse!
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About Rod Dreher
Rod Dreher is director of publications at the John Templeton Foundation, a philanthropy that focuses on science, religion, economics and morality. A journalist with over 20 years of experience, Dreher has written for The Dallas Morning News, the New York Post, and other newspapers and journals. He is author of the book "Crunchy Cons." Archives of his previous Beliefnet blog, "Crunchy Con," can be found here. He and his family live in Philadelphia.