The 2014 general election is behind us and Speech has Spoken! 90% of all winning candidates spent more money than their opponents did. That’s a 9 in 10 chance of winning your elective office…if you spend the most money. And that’s after only 4 years of living with the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision which declared money to be the equivalent of free speech. Who knows what the percentages will look like in a few more years…when money talks…it pretty much gets what it wants.
I wonder what those Supremes were thinking? In their majority decision they stated that there was no reason to believe or assume that those who donate large sums of money to political candidates would do so in order to obtain political influence. So they were either being stupid, naive or disingenuous. After all, Who doesn’t know that money buys things? That’s what money does doesn’t it? And when it speaks it says…”How much?” and that’s about all it says.
So now here we are, America in the 21st century, with a Representative Democracy that is 90% representative of free talking monied interests and 10% representative of the rest of us, who, when we all put our own money together can barely manage to speak above a discordant whisper.
I think it’s sad that our political representatives can now be bought and sold on the open market …The Koch brothers just bought 5 more political “friends” this election cycle and I really have no idea how many “friends” they already own (excuse me: foster, champion, cultivate, nurture, feed) but I know it’s a lot plus they have 2 Supremes in their caring and supportive pockets…but what’s even sadder than that is the kind of representatives that we all end up with.
Our hallowed halls of government are now stocked with the kinds of folks who will do, say and believe whatever they are told to do, say and believe or whatever they think that their benefactors would be happiest with them doing and saying and believing…and all for money. And that makes them all opportunists, toadies, bounders, mercenaries, charlatans, speculators, fortune hunters,rascals, bullies, hypocrites, frauds, scoundrels and liars…or some combination thereof…doesn’t it?
We all work for money but when we work against our interests and the interest of others, or don’t even consider either, for money then who or what are we? Certainly not leaders nor legislators nor governors. What’s the point in following someone who is “in it” just for the money unless you’re getting a piece of the action too? And what piece of the action do Americans get if it’s not also attached to a corporate interest?
Is it any wonder that this current version of Congress will go down as the greatest “Do Nothing” Congress of all time…and the one with the lowest citizen approval rating of all time too! If you stand for nothing, and represent no one except yourself, then you might as well do nothing also…while you wait around for your greedy handlers to give you some instructions. So what’s to do except call each other names, block each others bills (they literally phone in their filibusters!) and form committees to investigate each others “scandalous actions” (what other kind of Congressional action is there?)
If money is speech then it has definitely spoken… and it has declared Democracy…dead!