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One Defense of Citizens United

Here’s a letter to the New York Times:

Today’s debate on the role of money in political campaigns (“Room for Debate: Can a Politician Win Without Wall Street?“) triggers the following question: If, as opponents of the Citizens United decision believe, voters are mindlessly and easily swayed by misleading political ads paid for with plenty of private money, what reason have we to suppose that voters would exercise sound judgment in the absence of such ads?

The implicit assumption of those who today decry the role of private money in political campaigns is that the same voters who are mesmerized into a state of stupidity by glitzy political ads are, in the absence of such ads, naturally intelligent, wise, and prudent.  This assumption is dubious.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030