Why is giving money to a candidate considered free speech? Free speech means you can say or write whatever you want without fear of imprisonment or worse. That’s free SPEECH. It doesn’t mean you can DO whatever you want. You can’t rob a bank, for instance. Why does donating to a politician somehow qualify as ‘speech’? This isn’t speech. This is clearly a financial transaction. Giving money to politicians isn’t necessarily saying anything at all. It might be a kickback, bribe, or just a donation with no particular issue in mind. Making donations a first amendment issue is like making sales a first amendment issue. Both are financial transactions. One says you support a candidate, the other says you support a product. Why is one speech and the other not? You could then argue, for instance, that the government must allow me to purchase C4 explosives or that fully automatic rifle with extended clip and silencer – you know, because of free speech.
This is absurd for a number of reasons. First of all, if donations are a form of free speech, then wouldn’t rich people have more of a ‘voice’ than the poor? Would that not give the rich more opportunities to ‘speak’ than the poor? I’m not sure that’s what the framers of the constitution had in mind. But in practice, this is what happens. The rich spends millions while the average person can’t afford to donate anything substantial to politicians in the first place. I think everyone can understand speech isn’t something that you should need to be able to afford. The rich shouldn’t have a larger voice with which to speak.
Financial transactions are not ‘speech’ and should not protected by the constitution like actual speech is. What we’re really protecting here is the ‘right’ of the rich to have more influence on our politicians and our lives than the majority of citizens. We’ve handed them the keys to the kingdom and called it a ‘right’. Good work, all you idiots who made this happen. When the ‘wrong’ people have all the money to spend, then what will you think of your success?