Actually, they have reshaped it.
In case you missed it, our fine United States Supreme Court led by Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy ruled in a 5-4 vote that corporations cannot be restricted on political contributions in candidate elections.
The majority said that this was a vindication “of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech.”
But since when did corporations become citizens? Yes, I know that they pay taxes but not the way citizens are required to. We definitely don’t have the same loopholes. Nor do they have the same bankruptcy laws. Nor do I have shareholders that invest in me.
So far the media has been relatively quiet about this. Surprisingly so considering the magnitude of this decision.
President Obama called it “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”
For the first 24 hours following the decision, I was furious. I came to the conclusion that Americans were no longer part of the election process. As it was, corporations wielded a mighty big sword by utilizing corporate lobbyists to do their bidding for them in Washington.
Add the money they can now freely contribute and there is no way common Americans can have any quality time with our politicians.
I envisioned our election process being taken over by corporate interests. Debates, primaries and caucuses get sponsorships. (McDonalds Super Tuesday)
Whichever candidates best supported the corporate needs would receive hefty campaign contributions and a chance to represent their state or district for the next term.
And it really isn’t difficult to “drown out the voices of everyday Americans” as President Obama put it. The corporate lobbyists are always in the politicians faces and politicians are oblivious as to what we are saying outside the Beltway.
Initially, I believed that Republicans would now win every election. But that isn’t true. Many Democrats also put corporate interests ahead of American citizens. So in that regard much wouldn’t change.
What would change are the politicians who nobly put their constituents before the corporate interests. Their reelections would be in doubt.
And unless you have the corporate political machine behind you, you can forget any political aspirations you may have.
The point to remember is that we are a Representative Democracy. We elect people to represent us in the political process.
The added dollars coming from corporations will mean that ‘We the People’ will only be made aware of the candidates engulfed in that machine.
And as a Representative Democracy, the Supreme Court has determined who ‘We the People’ will rely on for determining which candidate we will ultimately vote for.
But isn’t that the way it seems to be anyway?
Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority:
“When government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought. This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”
This will also ensure that Fox News can provide 24 opinion on their ‘news’ station.
What is bizarre is that this does not explain how restricting corporate campaign contributions would use censorship to control thought. Campaign finance restrictions didn’t dictate the message, it just attempted to balance the process so ‘We the People’ had our voices heard – not ‘We the Corporations’.
In fact, stronger campaign finance restrictions were necessary in order to give our elections back to the people and really permit our voices to be heard.
Today, pork projects are given to districts so the politician can get support for his reelection. Watch how the pork projects will go to districts where the corporate dollars are flowing in from.
I hear Honda needs a new automotive facility in Alabama.
Anyway we spin this, this is bad for democracy. It’s bad for the country. And worst of, it will be bad for Americans. The Supreme Court has failed us.