Hillary the Movie and the Unfairness of "Free Speech"

| by Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights

The Supreme Court has recently finished an unusual second round of hearings
in the case of Citizens United v. FEC. The case concerns the
government’s decision to ban Citizens United from airing a movie about Hillary
Clinton during the 2008 Democratic primaries on the grounds that it violated a
campaign finance provision in the McCain-Feingold Act. Supporters of campaign
finance restrictions argue that by limiting the ability of the wealthy to
promote their political views, these restrictions make speech more

"What campaign finance supporters call ‘fair’ speech is anything but
fair,” writes Don Watkins, a writer and researcher with the Ayn
Rand Center.

“Those who acquire wealth through productive activity, whether individuals
or corporations (which are nothing more than groups of individuals), have every
right to use their ‘louder megaphone’: they earned it. What possible
reason could make it ‘unfair’ for these individuals to use their resources to
support and further their political views?

“In ordinary speech, ‘fairness’ means justice: getting what you
deserve--i.e., what you have earned. But the advocates of campaign finance laws
twist it to mean equal results: everyone, they claim, must have ‘equal speech.’
They are speech egalitarians.

"But real fairness demands, not ‘equal
speech,’ but equal freedom--not equal megaphones or equal commercial
time but the equal right to get your message out as widely as you can given
your time, interest, resources, and persuasiveness. But that’s precisely what
campaign finance laws prevent, by having government bureaucrats dictate what
you can spend, how you can spend it, when you can speak, and what you can