Lord Acton once said,” Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely”
In today’s world of politics one can easily see the corrupting influence of money. Whether you are talking about our state capitals or the nation’s capital, money and I mean a lot of money is being spent to influence our elected representatives. Elections are getting progressively more expensive. In Washington we see Senator’s grow wealthier by the day, and all of this on a salary of $192,000 a year. My friends something rotten is going on and it isn’t in Denmark. Although insider trading is not permitted by you and I, Joe citizen, our representatives have been feeding on insider information for years. Both political parties have been guilty of this.
You could turn the wise quote of Lord Acton into something more contemporary , such as MONEY TENDS TO CORRUPT AND A LOT OF MONEY CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY.
What is astounding is that certain elements of the Republican Party encourage this and support the idea that Corporations are people.
The Supreme Court, in Citizens United, overthrew one hundred years of precedent and held that corporations have the same rights of free speech that you and I have. We all agree that we the people have certain unalienable rights, but to imbue corporations with human qualities is dangerous to the future of our Republic.
President Theodore Roosevelt passed laws protecting we the people from the this type of influence and power. He wisely believed that no corporation should be allowed to contribute a single dime to any political committee or political candidate due to its undue influence.
The Supreme Court has also held that money is speech and not property; this throws logic on its head. When you pull a dollar out of your wallet, it just sits there, it is property it can’t talk. But for a person with a whole lot of money it should does give you a lot more power and say than the average citizen and this is not only unfair but contrary to our democratic principles. They talk about free speech, well there is nothing free about our elections, and free speech is not free when it takes so much money to be heard.
The founders had a great deal of mistrust of corporations. We should also have a mistrust for the power of money and the ability of the wealthy among us to virtually buy our representatives.
The citizens of this country get it. Montana for example passed an initiative instructing their representative in Congress to support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United with a majority vote of 77%. This is an issue that all of the people can and should get behind because when you give someone and this case, the very wealthy and corruptions, the ability to spend an unlimited amount of money to elect their candidates we the people can not compete with that. It creates an uneven playing field. Ninety three percent of all candidates win when they spend more money than their opponent. By giving corporations the ability to spend countless amounts of money you thereby turn this country into something other than a Republic.
America will increasing be controlled by the few over the many. Not since the days prior to the Great Depression have we seen the concentration of so much money in so few. The disparity between the wealthy, the top 1 and 1/2 percent, and the dwindling middle class has continued to widen.
We should punish at the polls those who support the fiction that Corporations are people. After all, Corporations are a creation of man. When a Corporation is able to walk into a voting booth, I’ll change my mind, but for the present we should and must reject all politicians running for office who support the idea of corporations being people, for their very actions to support this notion show us who they support and it is not we the people. We don’t need a government of Corporatist. This amounts to a new form of aristocracy which the founders rejected and we should as well. If we don’t watch out we will have those few of us with a lot of money have absolute power that they will use in a corrupt way.
If you able to spend more money because you have it, the wealthy will have the ability to have more speech than the rest of us. How can we the people be heard? The case of Citizens United must be overturned if we are to maintain our democracy and our Republic.
When Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address he said something very wise for today and all days when he said that, ” government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” This truism is in danger when what we have today is government, of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.
Let is work to preserve for posterity for everyone of us, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and fight to keep our Republic.