Hey mom and dads, it’s election week! Does your child like to argue? Does he like to boss his younger siblings around? Does he love the sound of his own voice?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your child is a natural born politician. Now to ensure his success in the political world, send him to Camp Politics for a three-week intensive training program:
Once he gets elected to office, the most important thing for him to learn is how to stay there. If he does a bad job, people will want to get him out of office. So your child will need to learn how to silence those that want to speak out against him.
Of course, this violates basic free speech rights. But Camp Politics has figured out a sure-fire way around the First Amendment that means politics will remain a game for special interests and political insiders.
It’s called campaign finance laws.
We all know that speaking takes money. And the only way ordinary Americans can speak out effectively about politics is to pool their resources with their friends and neighbors. But campaign finance laws limit the amount of money people can spend on political ads and organizing and they wrap people in red tape to the point that they can’t even speak!
When politicians can limit what people can raise and spend on political speech, and make the laws on political speech extremely complicated, politicians can effectively limit the speech of anybody that wants to kick them out of office.
Of course, there are nay-sayers. Take Institute for Justice free speech expert Paul Sherman:
How much red tape should ordinary Americans have to deal with in order to talk about politics? Under the First Amendment, the answer is simple: None. In America, the only thing you should need to talk about politics is an opinion.
Unfortunately, this country has moved far from this constitutional commitment to free expression. Today, even simple acts like placing an ad in the newspaper urging the public to vote for a ballot issue or local political candidate can lead to fines or even jail time.
A new report by University of Missouri economist Dr. Jeffrey Milyo, Keep Out: How State Campaign Finance Laws Erect Barriers to Entry for Political Entrepreneurs, shows that campaign finance laws are effectively silencing speech all across the country.
What explains the proliferation of these laws? As Dr. Milyo concludes, these laws are designed by political insiders, for political insiders. And by shutting out political entrepreneurs, incumbent politicians and entrenched interests are able to shut out competition.
Camp Politics urges you to send your kids to us right away. Otherwise, Paul Sherman and his buddies at the Institute for Justice may secure free speech nationwide. According to Paul Sherman:
Free speech is the birthright of every American, not a privilege to be enjoyed at the whim of political insiders. With your help, we will win the fight to restore the protection that the First Amendment so richly deserves.