Silencing the American Citizens: $elling Votes

Jen Silvestri , Writer

Under the First Amendment of the United States of America, we are granted the freedom of speech. Although an overwhelming majority of people on the news today consider spending unfathomable amounts money on political campaigns to be a form of free speech, I will have to respectfully disagree. Freedom of speech, to me, is the right to actively voice your views and opinions, not simply buy them. Speaking your mind is not nearly the same as spending billions to buy-out a politician. I believe extensive funding to political campaigns will become a detriment to politics, creating a system vulnerable to escalated amounts of scandal and exploitation.

Prior to April 2, there was a limit of $5,200 per candidate per election cycle and $123,200 to all candidates per election cycle to be donated by each individual. Now, $5,200 can be given to as many people as desired. Essentially, this means that an individual can donate millions or even billions to any given political group. How can we not see that this new system condones bribery and corruption? This tells the rich and elite that they now have a chance to buy-out politicians. Private money could now have the power to influence elections. You can practically smell the fraudulence.

Now that we’ve talked about the elite, what about the rest of the everyday people including us, the college students, who don’t have full-time careers yet? This change in law now allows the wealthy to have a larger influence on politics, which is a disadvantage to the general public. This is something that will not benefit a multitude of American citizens. This limit on campaign finance gave the everyday American a voice. It allowed them to have a say without having to empty their pockets, which is exactly how it should be. This change in law has been deemed a newfound “freedom of speech,” yet to me, it will only serve to silence the vast majority of the American people.

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