Nailed it. Just…flat…NAILED it.
To be sure, many Americans of good faith bemoan the amount of money spent on campaign contributions and political speech. But if you don’t like big money in politics, then you should oppose big government in our lives. Because the former is a necessary consequence of the latter. When government grows larger, when regulators pick more and more economic winners and losers, participation in the political process ceases to be merely a citizen’s prerogative—it becomes a human necessity. This is the inevitable result of a government that would be unrecognizable to our Founders. See, e.g., NFIB v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. 519 (2012).
So if there is too much money in politics, it’s because there’s too much government. The size and scope of government makes such spending essential. See, e.g., EMILY’s List v. FEC, 581 F.3d 1, 33 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (Brown, J., concurring) (“The more power is at stake, the more money will be used to shield, deflect, or co-opt it. So long as the government can take and redistribute a man’s livelihood, there will always be money in politics.”).
It’s always amused the hell out of me to hear calls to “get the money out of politics” or promises from politicians to do so, as if that had ever in human history been even a remote possibility. It will NEVER happen, people. Since government by its nature has influence over the economy or the lives of its subjects, there will always be those who seek to insulate themselves from it, reduce the weight of it, or influence it in their turn. Just as Judge Ho says: the bigger and more powerful the government, the more money will be spent to provide that insulation. It ought to be obvious, a for-real no-brainer—a basic, self-evident premise almost everyone can agree on. Yet somehow, it isn’t.
The good judge is a Trump appointee, by the way. Yeah, somebody tell me again all about how he’s accomplished nothing worthwhile at all so far, whydon’tcha.