Thomas Sowell

Across a whole spectrum of institutions, free speech is being stifled so that the politically correct vision of the left can prevail, as it does in our educational system from the kindergarten to the graduate schools. It is the same story in most of the media. When a homosexual is murdered by anti-gay hoodlums, that is big news from coast to coast, but when two homosexuals capture, rape and kill a teenage boy, that story seldom sees the light of day.

Campaign finance restrictions reduce the chances of letting the public hear anything that has not been filtered through the liberal media and the liberal academic establishment.

What have been the actual consequences of previous campaign finance laws? A scholarly study of such laws -- "Unfree Speech" by Bradley A. Smith -- concludes that they affect the channels through which money reaches political campaigns, rather than the total amount of money.

Lots of innocent people have been caught in legal technicalities created by a tangle of red tape regulations, while the organized special interests continue to pour millions of dollars through the loopholes. Small groups of concerned citizens dare not enter the political campaign fray without lawyers to guide them through the legal maze created by existing campaign reform laws. In short, laws designed to reduce the influence of special interests scare off ordinary citizens, thereby enhancing the influence of special interests.

Campaign finance laws also enhance the power of incumbents, who have access to the media by virtue of their offices and have direct access to the public through the power of press releases and junkets paid for by the taxpayers. Unfortunately, it is only incumbents who can vote on campaign finance laws -- and they are obviously in favor of whatever increases their chances of keeping their jobs.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate