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Corporations are People Too February 4, 2010

Posted by Lynn Christiansen Esquer in Politics.
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According to the Supreme Court, money is speech and corporations are people. Yes, I’m a little late blogging about this (despite a spirited, 40-post debate I hosted on Facebook last week shortly after the decision) but what difference does a few days make? The harm has been done.

While the bizarro pairing of the ACLU and Fox News, which both supported the 4-3 ruling by Republican members of the Court to overturn portions of the McCain-Feingold bill, is ironic, the overall implications are disturbing beyond belief. It may be, no mistake, the most harmful decision since Dred Scott.

By effectively removing limits on corporate campaign donations (under the guise of who can put out political ads and when), the Court says that corporate and labor entities may spend millions of dollars convincing voters that their candidates are “of the people;” and of course, once in office, elected officials are beholden to those who put them there. Many of our problems in the United States already stem from the fact that money, not individual constituents, rules in Washington today. Now we’re about to usher in a new era of Chicago-style politics in which your vote and my vote will become completely meaningless in the face of Big Money.

This is not the way our Founding Fathers visualized democracy. There can be no adequate representation of the people as long as the government is set up to protect corporate interests over individual interests. The road to fascism is paved with corporate money masquerading as free speech.

As if that’s not bad enough, other countries head up many corporations operating in the United States. Can you imagine foreign influence on U.S. elections? There’s nothing to stop foreign governments and corporations from playing American politics with this new playbook.

It seems to me that by attempting to preserve free speech, the high Court has set into motion the law of unintended consequences. Or perhaps not so unintended? “The people get the government they deserve.” – Alexis de Tocqueville. Is this really what we deserve? If not: Fight back.

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