In 2010, the Supreme Court handed down one of the most destructive rulings in the high court’s history. The 5-4 Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission decision designated corporations as people and money as speech.
The ruling allows corporations to flood nearly unlimited sums into our political process, much of that funding remaining secret. In many cases, it’s impossible to know whether the company whose products you buy donates to candidates or a party with whom you totally disagree. Worse still, while “real” people are limited in the amount they may donate, “corporate people” are subject to virtually no limits, especially when donating to super PACs.
What does this mean to you?
Imagine yourself debating someone. You both put forth arguments, and the best argument wins. Now, imagine that same debate, but with only your opponent allowed a microphone and unlimited loudspeakers. Which argument do you think people will hear?
That’s what Citizens United has done to our politics. Candidates with unlimited funding overpower the media, while the candidate to whom you donated $30 goes virtually unheard. Citizens United has sold our political voice to the highest bidder.
From the Jan. 18-24, 2012, issue