Friday, January 22, 2010

We the Corporations

"We the Corporations..."

No, it doesn't say that in the Constitution. Does it?

It might as well, because the Supreme Court seems to be unaware of that fact.

And for Republicans, as in the death of the Republic in Star Wars, it was to thunderous applause. The term “corporate America” just took on a whole new meaning. And the vision of the corporate future of another science fiction film – Alien – takes shape.

If “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” sounds less than welcome, then imagine how ominous “I’m from the corporation and I’m here to help you” sounds. We have seen how much these leeches want to help us already.

The Supreme Court, for eight years the final bastion of democracy as President Bush established his imperial presidency, has gone over to the dark side. In a ruling (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) that can only be termed incomprehensible and disastrous, that formerly august body sold out to big money and signed the death warrant for American Democracy.

Despite the precedent of decades of legislation, the nation’s highest court ruled that corporations can spend as much as they like to ensure the nominees most friendly to their interest – not to those of the American people or to the welfare of the country – are elected to office.

In what must come as no surprise to anyone, the corporate-owned Republican Party cheered the ruling. Ironically, it is seen as a victory for free speech.
The 5-4 ruling pretends to be a defense of the First Amendment; the high judges claim that corporations have the same rights as individuals. But as the editorial in the New York Times today points out, the Constitution mentions many entities - “the people, militias, the press, religions” – but it nowhere mentions corporations.

But free speech existed before the Supreme Court ruled: everyone in a corporation – including the CEO and Board of Directors, the President and other officers, all have votes now – just like the rest of us.

The difference is, they have deeper pockets. And they can now buy elections.
Yes. It’s official. Corporations can now put whoever they want into office.

President Obama was critical. As a candidate for the presidency, he campaigned against special interests. This ruling makes an already untenable situation worse.

It has been a long time since the American people were adequately represented in government and their voices have now been drowned out in a deluge of greed in the color of green.

Wall Street – who marched our nation into the worst economic crisis in a century – benefits; Big Oil, which has marched our nation and the world into an ecological disaster, benefits; health insurance companies, who have marched “Joe six pack” into long lines of those waiting to die for want of medical treatment – benefit.

The American people lost.

The Environment lost.

Various groups, League of Conservation Voters, the Public Campaign Action Fund, and others, are collecting money to offset the damage, for example, by congressional action – the public financing of elections (the Fair Elections Now Act).

But we cannot win on the money front; that is the entire point of this ruling.
The Supreme Court has said to the American people that they have no right to a voice in government. Government OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people, has ceased to exist.

What we have now is government OF the corporations, BY the corporations, and FOR the corporations.

We cannot allow this to stand.

Justice John Paul Stevens, who dissented from the ruling, speaks truly when he warns that the ruling threatens democracy, adding that it “will, I fear, do damage to this institution.”

Our only hope now that the courts have turned their back on the American people and on the American system of government, is a constitutional amendment.

In a world where American democracy is portrayed as tyranny against corporate interests, I stand back shakily, reeling from the dagger blows, for it is not only American democracy that has been assassinated, but the voice of the American people for whom, and by whom, this government and this country was created.


Post a Comment

© Copyright by Progressive Renaissance  |  Template by Blogspot tutorial