Sunday, February 5, 2012

Citizen's United - The Not so Phantom Menace

Citizen's United – The not so Phantom Menace

A couple of weeks ago, I spent two hours in the cold at the corner of Main and Monroe outside the Federal Courthouse protesting the 2010 Citizen's United ruling that Corporations are Persons. The crowd was not very large, given the time of day and the temperatures, but that shouldn't have stopped the people who cared. Inference: not enough people cared. And that is not only a tragedy, it is a real catastrophe.

The decision of the Supreme Court made it possible for large corporations, like Caterpillar, ADM, John Deere, IBM, to seek protection under the First Amendment for Freedom Of Speech. That may not seem like a big deal, but this means Political Speech. Speech that includes promoting whichever candidate will act in their best interests. That's correct. Any large corporation or Political Action Committee (PAC's) can place as many ads on television, radio, internet, or any other media as they like and there is nothing we can do about it.

So if a candidate represents bailouts, tax breaks, and incentives for corporations, they now have a means to saturate the media with their image and their name. And we all know what happens in the ballot box. Most Americans are likely to vote for the name they are most familiar with. If you hear it over and over and over again, you are more likely to vote for that person simply by association.

This means the corporations who just ripped you off with their bailouts and mismanagement and bonuses to their executives, the very same people who have led this economy to the brink of economic ruin, are now able to insulate themselves by electing politicians who will owe them. Politicians elected by the media, not by the people.

And if you read my article about the passing of the Right to Work legislation in Indiana this week, you also know while corporations are getting stronger, unions are getting weaker. Much weaker. Union membership is down, union revenues are down, and unions are fast losing their clout for the workers of this nation.

Right now there is a movement to enact an amendment to the Constitution to eliminate Corporate Personhood. It is called Move to Amend, and it is one of two movements you need to be aware of. The second has to do with the root cause of our problems in Washington, D.C.: Career Politicians. The movement is called U. S. Term Limits , and they propose to place a limit of three terms on Congressmen and two terms on Senators.

Both groups are acting in the best interest of the citizens of this country to return the United States to a citizen government, a government Abraham Lincoln called of the people, by the people, and for the people. Not huge corporations. Not Career Politicians. The People, the 99% who have made themselves so vocal and visible this year. If you are a part of the 99%, you need to be involved. If you decide to do nothing, the results will be on you.

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