There are two trains of thought as I see it.
On one side is the idea of free speech. Anyone should have the right to voice their opinion, whether big or small. If the voice of the big corporate giants and unions can be silenced, then anyone can be silenced.
On the other side of the coin is the idea that politicians and political seats can be bought. The more money you have, the greater influence you have to sway voters one way or another. Media has a huge influence on the voting population. Unfortunately, that media influence has a long history of misrepresenting facts and distorting truth.
In short, there is no simple solution. How do you exercise free speech and curb political corruption and special interest buyouts at the same time?
Let's look forward to 2010. Let's say that a political candidate gets huge donations and advertisements paid for by certain special interest groups. What is that political office's obligation to those groups should that candidate win the election? Obviously (and we have seen this plenty of times in the past) that candidate will cater to those special interest groups that donated large quantities of cash, even if catering to those special interest policies are in fact bad for the country as a whole. If he/she doesn't, they will lose that support come the next round of elections. In short, money can in a way buy a political seat.
On the other hand, what if there is a legitimate issue that needs to be addressed, and is good for the country as a whole? If funding those campaign issues is muted or limited, then it won't gain the exposure needed to get the attention it deserves in Washington. This creates a whole new set of problems where the voice of the American people can be silenced.
So there's the main arguments as I see it. At this point, I don't have an answer. Somehow we have to find an avenue for free speech to flourish, and at the same time eliminate the influence of special interest groups. This will require a systematic overhaul of the entire election process as we know it. Personally, I think it would be easier to shoot a bolt of lightning out of my bung hole than overhaul the election process.
The sad fact is that a lot of candidates/elected officials ALREADY cater to special interest, that's a huge part of the problem now. I believe that money equates to power in the way the entire world operates. Any voice from any source simply portrays their own agenda whatever that may be and whether or not it's right or left.....er.... I mean wrong.
The voice that must become loud and strong is the voice of the American people. Then, and only then, will anyone stop to listen.
Again, look at what Justice Kennedy is saying, Powerful words maybe even historic..?
“When government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought,” Justice Kennedy wrote. “This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”
Curtis, when you figure out the lightning bolt thing, be sure to make a video!