With the government still in shut-down mode, SCOTUS today heard arguments in a new case that deals with money in politics.
Back in 2010, SCOTUS ruled in favor of corporations in the landmark Citizen’s United ruling, which essentially granted corporations the state of personhood, thus allowing them to donate to political campaigns. This stirred up an inevitable shitstorm with many of the actual people in the US, most of whom were already tired of corporations lining the pockets of politicians in order to get laws passed in their favor. The Citizens United ruling included such gems as this line of wisdom:
This Court now concludes that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. . . . And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy.
If anything shows just how out-of-touch with reality these people are, these couple of sentences should shine a spotlight on the problem.
The members of SCOTUS, all of whom are placed into the job politically, are far and away from the normal citizens of the US. Like the politicians in DC who live inside their own little echo chamber and have no idea how the other half (or should I say other 99%?) live, the judges of the SCOTUS see things in a totally different light.
I’m sure that in their world, where palms are greased and checks are written on a daily basis, they truly believe in what they say, like the phrase I mentioned above.
If SCOTUS rules in favor of corporations in this new hearing, there will be literally nothing left to stop corporations from taking over the country completely. They will be able to donate directly to the politician of their choice, with no limits set on how much they can spend.
When I was growing up, one thing we always heard was that anyone could grow up to be president. A lot of people who talk about politics say that one of the best and most effective ways to change things is to run for office yourself.
But how are you supposed to do that when you can’t afford the millions of dollars that are spent on campaigns? And it’s not just presidential campaigns that suffer. This is a problem that runs as far down as the county level, and sometimes even the city level.
The average US citizen has no chance to become involved in politics in a big way. Unless you’re from a political family or a family who has lots of money and has donated to one party or the other, you might as well just stay home and not waste the money on campaign signs that end up as litter in people’s yards. You’re never going to outspend the party-backed candidate who has lawyers and open checks at his convenience.
I know people feel there are bigger fish to fry, what with the government being shut down and all, but I had to bring this up. If you read our site regularly, you’ll know that I’m all for people educating themselves, especially on issues that can change the fabric of our country. Well, folks, this one’s a biggie. I urge you to keep an eye open for the outcome of this decision.
You can read more about this, along with the story of the Alabama businessman who brought the case up in the first place (“It’s just that sometimes it’s more advantageous for the donor to donate directly to the campaign.”), check out the NPR article here.
Clyde O. Watson