If Money = Speech ... does that mean the Richer you are, the more you have to say?
If Money = Speech ... does that mean if you are Poor, you might as well stop talking?
If Money = Speech ... does that mean in the war of ideas, only Millionaires need fight for what they want?
If Money = Speech ... does that mean Speech equals Money? If so, man do I have a bag of wind to sell you!
If Money = Speech ... does that mean that everything we hold dear, is ultimately up for sale?
If Money = Speech ... does that mean that Billionaires can simply buy their Legislative Agenda, and nothing can stop them? (see: Kochs = ALEC)
BTW, the First Amendment protects the "Free Press" -- not the very Expensive Press.
OK, that's the overstatement regarding this 20th Century invention. Now here's the subdued counter-point that puts the facade of "legitimacy," back on the concept right out of the age of serf and lords ...
Editorial, NYTimes.com -- April 11, 2011
In the landmark 1976 case of Buckley v. Valeo, the court said that “virtually every means of communicating ideas in today’s mass society requires the expenditure of money,” so restricting campaign spending meant restricting political speech. The First Amendment required that political speech be unfettered, so the same was required for political spending.
But when the court ruled that money equals speech, it didn’t mean, literally, that money is speech. It meant that money enabled speech. A political contribution enabled the symbolic, or indirect, speech of the donor and the actual speech of the candidate -- and may the best speech win. The focus was on enabling the speech, not the money.
That changed in 2008 when the conservative majority struck down a federal rule that had tripled the limit on campaign contributions for a candidate outspent by a rich, self-financed opponent. Justice Samuel Alito Jr. wrote that the rule diminished “the effectiveness” of the rich candidate’s spending and of his speech.
And afterall, as Justice Alito knows, it is the effectiveness of the rich speaking, that must be protected -- above all else.
Afterall they've earned it.
Parting thought: IF Free Speech is so paramount, why does it COST so much to be able to make "effective" use of it?
Answer that, Mr Alito if you can spare the time. Because Time = Money too, or so us worker-bees are often told, by those rich folks, who always seem to be doing (or funding) -- all the talking.