Trump Proved Citizens United Doesn’t Let Big Money Control Democracy

By Kyle Sammin

A funny thing happened on the way to repealing Citizens United: it ceased to matter.

It ceased to matter in terms of money buying elections goes, at least. As a First Amendment matter, the principles of the Citizens United decision are still important. Preserving free political speech will be the Court’s gift to America for years to come.

But as a tactical matter? As far as elections are concerned? All the hyperbole from the Left about Big Money buying our elections turned out to be completely untrue, as the 2016 presidential election demonstrated. For all of the tears shed by Berniebro millennials about Citizens United, its practical effects turned out to be exactly what advocates have claimed all along: more free speech, less censorship, and a continued tradition of free and fair elections.

Cash Rules Everything Around Me? Not Any More

Let’s just look at how much the big money interests were able to buy our elections this time around. In the Democratic primaries, the two main candidates were pretty evenly matched in terms of money and votes. Through June, when the primary contest was over, Federal Election Commission documents show that Hillary Clinton outraised Bernie Sanders by $274 million to $235 million. …read more