2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #205
Okay, we now have passed all of these election maximum donation laws which have really not particularly helped things, but have made things much more confusing, bureaucratic and, in my view, more harmful to our system of democracy. I start with the premise that wealthy people who want to donate money to their favorite candidates or issues will, as a practical matter, virtually always be able to do so. Maybe not directly, but through PACs, (supposedly) independent expenditures or other means. In addition, if wealthy people are candidates themselves, they can make unlimited contribute to their own campaigns. So what have been the results? Much chicanery by wealthy people, unfair advantages for the wealthy as candidates and it has required most candidates who are not wealthy themselves to spend much of their time trying to raise small donations from lots of people. And how does one raise money? Often by direct mailers that attempt to appeal to the recipients on one particular emotional issue and also to vilify their opponents on that issue. And those approaches to fundraising have strongly contributed to the polarization that has now prevalent in our country.
So what should be done? If Bill Gates could spend as much money as he would want on his own election campaign, he should also be able to spend all he wants for other candidates or issues of his choice! It is a matter of free speech – and Liberty! However, all contributions above a certain threshold amount should immediately be disclosed both to the government election commissions and on the internet. So then if voters think that a particular recipient candidate is in Bill Gates’ “pocket,” they can always vote for that candidate’s opponent. But no non-human entities should be allowed to contribute to any candidates or initiatives whatsoever. Why is that? This is also a matter of Liberty. If corporations contribute money, they should first get the unanimous consent of their shareholders because they are spending their shareholders’ money. And often those shareholders do not support that particular candidate or cause. Of course, corporations would always be free to appeal to their shareholders to contribute their own money if they wanted, but that would be all they should be able to do. The same thing would be true for labor unions or any other entities. This approach engaging Liberty would reduce the chicanery, unfairness, polarization and frustration that is heavily present in our elections at this time and increase freedom of choice. So, once again, Liberty works!
Quote for the week: “If you ain’t where you’re at, you’re no place.” Colonel Potter in MASH
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President