When the Supreme Court decided the Citizens United case, there was a great hue and cry from both Democratic politicians and the public. The Court had ruled that corporations are persons within the meaning of the First Amendment, and that they have the right to political free speech. Political free speech, in America, means the freedom to bribe candidates for office and elected public officials.
Political bribery is the means special interests and Big Business employ to ensure that legislators vote their way. That they get special tax treatment. That their industries aren’t too regulated. That they get sweetheart contracts from government. That consumers and employees do not gain enough power to impact business.
Political bribery is what makes the US a fascist country. Fascism isn’t stiff-arm salutes and goose-stepping troops. It is the merger of corporate and government power. And it is no more in evidence anywhere on Earth than in the halls of the US government.
So long as Congressional limitations on political bribery (known as campaign contributions) were in place, each party was the recipient of about the same amount of bribery. But with the Citizens United decision, Republicans now stand to receive billions more dollars than Democrats.
In response, many Democratic leaders urged the adoption of a constitutional amendment which would overturn the Supreme Court decision, in effect, returning political bribery to where it was in 2010, when the Citizens United lawsuit was filed.
As we were a fascist state in 2010, and corporations and billionaires controlled both parties back then as well, merely overturning Citizens United would serve no purpose except to make sure that Republicans don’t receive more money than Democrats.
Clearly, the move to overturn Citizens United is not in the interests of the people or the country. It is just in the interests of Democrats. Primarily Democrats who hold office.
It is time for the American people to demand an end to corporate and private control of government through political bribery.
Time to demand public financing of campaigns, so our elected officials will represent the interests of the people, not the interests of Big Business and billionaires.
For such a change in the system to come about, we need to have the states call a Constitutional Convention. There are two avenues for states to initiate the adoption of constitutional amendments. In one, individual states can pass legislation to adopt a particular amendment. If three-quarters of the states do so, the amendment becomes part of the US Constitution. This method is employed where legislators in the states propose the same language in each legislature. When there is no unanimity on language, the method to amend the constitution is through calling a Constitutional Convention. If two-thirds of the states call for a Constitutional Convention, the ball is in Congress’ court to call a convention for the purpose of adopting an amendment addressing the issue demanded by the states.
Corporate control of state legislatures is likely too endemic to allow three-quarters of the states to pass an amendment banning corporate and private campaign contributions to candidates and elected officials or for public financing of political campaigns. An alternative tactic for supporters of democratic rule would be to work toward calls for a Constitutional Convention in addition to attempts to pass specific amendment language. The threshold for success is lower by 4 states (two-thirds of the US is 34 states, three-quarters is 38 states) and the political reality is that legislators would be more amenable to the convention proposal than to a specific amendment, as the former affords more political cover.
The result of an amendment to the US Constitution banning corporate and public financing of campaigns would be to remove special interest pressure and influence from politics. Legislators would not be beholden to Big Business or Wall Street. Voters would have confidence that it was their interests being represented by their elected officials. By removing private funding, candidates would have no incentive to turn their backs on their constituents.
The control of the government by business would end. The ramifications of which would be immense! No more corporate welfare. No more sweetheart tax regulations. No more appointments of industry lobbyists and cronies to regulatory agencies. No more lobbyists. No more foreign policy controlled by arms manufacturers, aircraft and missile producers, or munitions suppliers.
No more climate deniers in government. Environmentalists would be successful in pressing concerns for the Earth and habitats, rainforests and endangered species, because capitalist exploiters of the environment will not be able to sell their mouthpieces to the voters. And elected officials will not be threatened with opposition or the cut-off of donations.
And an end to animal cruelty and exploitation by Big Agriculture, Big Pharmaceuticals, and animal entertainment industries would actually be a possibility. Voters could dictate governmental policies and legislation. Grass-roots activists and political organizations would have the ability to retake the US government from the fascist interests that have made political participation largely meaningless.
Most Americans are opposed to political bribery, corporate control of government, and special interest legislation and tax policy.
Most elected officials and political leaders support political bribery. This bold assertion is proven by the dearth of elected officials and political leaders expressing support for public financing of campaigns, the alternative to political bribery. Although 25 states now have some form of partial public financing of campaigns, not one bans corporate or private contributions to candidates. As of this writing, not a single Member of Congress refuses to accept private contributions.
Democrats overwhelmingly support public financing of campaigns, as do many Republicans.
As a practical political matter, it must be accomplished by liberal Democrats, who are unanimous in opposition to corporate political influence and bribery. And it must be fought at the local political level, where political bribery doesn’t reach. Bribes do not trickle down in politics. They stay in the pockets of the bought-and-paid-for candidates and legislators.
The battle to force a Constitutional Convention must be fought at the local level: in the precincts, in local political organizations, in county central committees, in liberal volunteer groups, in union halls, in school basements.
This is the defining political and social issue of the Age. It could mean the end of corporatism, the end of fascist control of our political institutions and the American government.
This could be the tool with which we save the Earth herself. Climate change is not only caused by capitalism and human enterprise, but efforts to stop and reverse it are blocked by business interests which control the US government, which in turn influences governments around the world.
This could bring an end to capitalism, to unfair labor practices, to exploitation of consumers, employees, an end to environmental degradation, an end to animal cruelty at the hands of Big Agriculture.
This one campaign could restore democracy to America.
It should be a priority of everyone on the political left, of everyone who advocates for the environment, for social justice, for human and animal welfare, for human and animal rights.
There hasn’t been a Constitutional Convention since 1787.
It is time to call one.
This is a fight we can win!