By Roger Linnett
The Supreme Court has recently given away the keys to the kingdom in a move unparalleled by any other branch of government in our history. The case was commonly known as Citizens United, in which a company had made a hit-piece on Hillary Clinton and wanted to show it within the 60 day limit for personal attack pieces before an election. The suit was brought to make Citizens United disclose who their contributors were, nothing else. In fact, the defendants stipulated that they were not seeking to challenge McCain-Feingold or any of several other election laws. The only question the court was to decide was – did they have to disclose their contributors, period? But the Roberts’ court used the case as the opportunity to cast an unbelievably broad net overturning several precedents and opening the floodgates to allow unlimited corporate money into the election process. Needless to say, the corporatists, or what Mussolini called them – Fascists among us, are ecstatic.
So what, you say? It’s just a different form of free speech, right? Well, consider this – a corporation licensed by any state in the country can now influence any race anywhere else in the country. For example – Is there a congressman who’s giving a company grief about its business practices or may be negatively impacting the citizens in his district with, say, cancer clusters? That corporation could drop a money bomb on the candidate – smearing, spreading falsehoods and running negative ads right up til the day of the election, which the candidate would be unable to rebut or disprove, or by simply donating so heavily to his opponent so as to overwhelm the media with ad buys, drowning out the offending congressman, or both. And lobbyists will become obsolete. Corporate representatives can now march right into the offices an obstinate Representative or Senator and simply demand that they do their bidding or be run out of office at the next election.
Also, it is now possible for other countries to have a hand in determining who are leaders are, because there are no longer any restrictions on corporations based anywhere in the world from influencing our political process. Should we allow transnational corporations, whose business objectives may be totally opposed to our national best interests to pick and choose our nation’s leaders? And taken to a logical extreme could not America’s sworn enemies, Al-Qaeda, et.al., having established a front company, not dump millions of dollars into wreaking havoc throughout our electoral process.
At their confirmation hearings, both judges Roberts and Alito swore all up and down that they would observe Stare decisis (established law) and not legislate from the bench, an assertion often levelled by Republicans at liberal judges. (The established law the Congress was concerned about at the time was regarding Roe v. Wade.) But what the “Republican 5” justices failed to appreciate in their decision, or simply didn’t seem to care about, were the ramifications, the side effects, the unintended consequences, of that decision. Not only did they free corporations to pour tons of money into the campaign process, but religious organizations, issue advocacy groups, like the billionaire-backed, “AstroTurf” groups such as the Tea Baggers, and virtually anybody else can now influence our election process to the extent their wallets allow.
The Roberts Court has, in fact, given all the rights of personhood to inanimate corporations. The protections and freedoms of the First Amendment are now theirs, and since corporations don’t die, are theirs in perpetuity. The corporations, like the machines in “Terminator,” have awakened to subjugate and rule humanity and destroy our country from within, the only way it ever could be destroyed. Steps are already being taken to ameliorate this catastrophic decision that, for all intents and purposes, is the birth announcement of a fascist state, wherein large corporations and industry associations would control the government, not the people. Legislation is being proposed in Congress, a constitutional amendment is being considered and several states, whose campaign laws have been shredded by this decision, are preparing lawsuits to challenge the ruling. However, it is quite possible that none of these measures will be able to stanch the coming political bloodbath that will be the 2010 elections. The fight for the soul of our country has begun and only time will tell if government of the people, by the people and for the people really shall not perish from We the People’s America.