The Move to Overturn Citizens United is a Scam

in-politics

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!

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5 thoughts on “The Move to Overturn Citizens United is a Scam

  1. Animal Rights is pretty far down my list of pressing issues, but this post is so spot-on about so many things, starting with your definition of Fascism – I completely agree. Most of the time when someone says the US is fascist people scoff, because obviously we don’t look like Nazi Germany. But a big crux of fascism, especially in Mussolini’s Italy, was having corporations govern their own sectors. It was a mashup of government and corporation, a dismantling of the barrier between public and private. How Mussolini’s Italy not be compared to the modern US?…. The Democrats force us to pay taxes (yes, taxes, it’s what the Supreme Court in its decisions consider the Individual Mandate – a tax) to insurance corporations in order obtain a basic human necessity – Oh, the people want doctors? They can make monthly payments to insurance corporations. We’ve been essentially conscripted into corporate servitude. And the Republicans have decided that corporations need an unbounded ability to influence campaigns, nominations, and elections, and let’s not forget Republicans now think we need to publicly fund waivers for privately-held charter schools. And more about education being fascist, we’ve completely destroyed the boundary of public/private in higher education. Our public universities compete on the market for student consumers, advertising and throwing in perks and lavish on-campus amenities, dumping millions into sports teams to pull in more customers who will pay out of their own pockets the $40,000 in debt the government holds over them… public money that, in the private sector, goes directly to private universities. And of course JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs live in the Federal Reserve (it’s actually vice-versa, but the effect is the same), and Monsanto runs the FDA, and…. well I could go on, but I think you got the point before I started.

    I’m impressed that you actually went into deep detail about how to amend the issue. Nobody does that, ever. It’s always just complain about the issues, yadda yadda, we need to ask our overlords for more help.
    On that point what I’d like to add is that we need to address the overly-broad nature of corporate charters. Chomsky talks about this in a talk he gave about Madisonian Democracy (amazing talk, you can get it on YouTube). In the 19th century, when you got a corporate charter, it was to build this bridge, or to mine this mountain for this ore. Very specific. But pressure broaden what these charters would allow, so that come early 20th century, NJ went ahead and said Your Corporate Charter Can Include Everything, Whenever You Want To Add Something! Businesses flocked to NJ. Other states followed suit.
    We need to limit what corporate charters allow, to prevent conglomerates and mergers and acquisitions.

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  2. I will read Dennis Prager and you can read this Roland Vincent. He is very intelligent, so sometimes, I have to re-read lines of his blogs, to make sure, I get the message clearly. He used to be a church leader, but does not like animal sacrifice, that is promoted by God, in the bible. He tells progressive voters, to vote for Jill Stein in the non-swing states and for Donald trump, in the swing states, to elect Donald Trump. The only way to get a progressive party candidate elected, such as a Green Party candidate, is to elect a republican first. So,Trump in 2016 and a progressive in 2020. Hillary killed off Bernie and would kill off any other progressive candidate. Bernie Sanders tried to be a revolutionary party, within a counter-revolutionary party (Democratic). That never works, even though he came very close. As you can tell, the progressives are counting on the millennials to come around. That generation has the most people, but the boomers out vote them. Over 65, is the biggest age group, voting block, but this will change with time, as they die.

    On Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 12:01 AM, Armory of the Revolution wrote:

    > Roland Vincent posted: ” 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” >

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  3. gree about citizens united. Right on. But a constitutional convention? we couldn’t even get the ERA passed. I see no hope for this country. Especially if /when Clinton wins.

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    • The advantage of a convention is that multiple issues can be addressed, as opposed to a single amendment. Besides public campaign financing we would have the opportunity to abolish the Electoral College, establish proportional representation, prohibit the revolving door, limit terms of Congressmen and Senators, enshrine voting rights in the Constitution, expand classes of protected persons, end corporate personhood, establish women’s equality, end restrictions on Native Americans, etc. The more issues in play, the more opportunities to enlist affected communities.

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