Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?
Its About Force
By JGillman, Section News
Folks at The Mackinac Center and I will nearly NEVER disagree.
Particularly on issues of such magnitude as transparency or government influence in our daily lives. Yet a presumed difference between private and government monetary involvement on any issue seems to be enough to persuade its scholars that transparency is not an absolute. Where government monies are spent it seems, is far more important to your freedoms than that which is expended to influence those expenditures or other acts. And that personal monies expended to influence government are not necessarily an impact on any personal liberties to warrant a demand for transparency.
We DO agree that limits should be removed from campaign finance. We agree that limiting to an arbitrary amount can impede free speech and political expression. What is considered a fair contribution into the process is a completely subjective matter that can only be resolved by the person who is willing to contribute into that process. A person's individual priorities and where a subject reaches a level of importance are hardly the providence of external assignment.
Thus the most accurate manner in which to protect what is a sovereign right is to allow, nay, PROTECT, that person's ability to engage in the process at a level appropriate to that person alone. Our place, and that of government should be to prevent that which would infringe on such activity and instead encourage a stake in the game.
In other words, if an individual wishes to personally expend $1 Million on a county commission race for a friend, there should be no objection from government. If it was to advocate bonding for a new swimming pool in a community, that money expended by itself guarantees no votes, and it is that person's right to seek such approvals.
And anyhow, some things can be overdone.
Go below the fold for more.
If someone were to expend moneys in such a manner as described above, questions would be asked.
Why would any one person find it so important to 'hire' a specific commissioner? What might be the ultimate reason a pool project might be so critical? How does this contributor benefit from expenditures of the like?
And easily enough, current reporting rules can show us who the individual is, what other projects might be of interest to them, and where that individual benefits from such direct advocacy. The effect of such an amount of money spent can easily be overcome with the ability to discover possible motives, and the process can enjoy an open dialogue about value and ethical participation.
In fact, as there are already reporting rules, it seems that any effort to stifle additional reporting without FIRST eliminating ALL reporting is at the very least hypocritical.
Indeed, because of the transparency in finance under such circumstances, all who might be affected are given an opportunity to present in full context, their OWN arguments. And some of those arguments might be informational about the individual involved, the history of that person, or which political philosophies are often advocated.
Supporting candidates and issues directly is a fundamental right. It also carries a responsibility of ownership.
Ownership that sometimes invites retribution.
Of course, the possibility of retribution is very real. It was seen by the current presidential administration as newly acquired auto makers were used to punish those who supported Republican candidates. It has been used here in Traverse City to punish some donors who supported keeping a special rights ordinance out of the city.
It already happens.
Yet retribution is the argument made to quash Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson's procedural application of finance law. Comparing the revolutionary era Federalist Papers, and the anonymous pens used to write them to issue advocacy today would be to suggest that roving bands of loyalists to any one faction might actually pull an issue supporter's family from their home and punish such support.
Retribution does indeed happen, but its certainly not enough to outweigh one other fact.
In fact, I believe those at The Mackinac Center would readily acknowledge that government equals force. It is the epitome of force. Nothing can be accomplished through government without the use of coercion, subjugation or restrictive opposing force. No law can be enforced without the threat of action upon those who would oppose, and no benevolence can be accomplished without first having taken by force from some to give to another. No action, whether that of protection or assault, by government can be fulfilled without first having satisfied its supremacy over the individual.
Government is force, and though it is composed of individuals, we have irrevocably assigned power and authority to elected and appointed individuals in a manner that restrains us in some way. As a society our compact recognizes necessary power of government to accomplish certain things that cannot be done without collective brute strength.
When government takes action, it is exercising that strength, and can ultimately do harm physically, economically, or in both ways to the individual. Not unlike an attacker, the government can become an enemy of our freedom, our physical well being, or mental state. And as any person should be able to defend from another individual's attack, so should they be able to do so from that of government in some way.
Self defense to the 'violence' of government however, is a more procedural matter. It requires organization, knowledge, voting, and advocacy. Suspecting bad things are about to happen is not enough to ward off those bad things. Knowledge sharing can be incomplete without perspective as well.
Some folks might consider a politician's plan sold as "for the good of our future" to be what it is on its face, however, no new law with regard to action or ability, comes,without a cost to liberty for some,. No act passes without new covenants or rules forcing the behavior of individuals in some way. Sometimes those rules hurt badly.
Competing interests, and the compulsion of government can distort individual rights to the point of violence. A wonderful new toy for one party interested in government involvement in our lives can be a shot to the head for so many others.
In a way, simple "advocacy" then equals force too.
Transparency is a way in which perspective can be shared with others for a fairer argument about what is truly an appropriate place for government action. Identifying an advocate's possible motivations can influence whole populations nearly as well as heavy financing of those motivations in the first place. With knowledge comes the ability to survive the assault propagated through money driven advocacy. When money becomes a weapon, pointed at us, transparency allows us to identify our attacker; we can defend ourselves against it. With knowledge, we all have at the very least, the ability to know where to run for cover.
Because frankly, when I am navigating the new impositions of government on a daily basis?
I want to know whether I am being shot at from the bell tower or the parking ramp.
Its About Force | 2 comments (2 topical, 0 hidden)
Its About Force | 2 comments (2 topical, 0 hidden)