Tag Archives: Citizens United
The RIGHT To Vote?
Unlike the Rights of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of freedom of religion and speech, and the right to assemble and redress grievances, the Constitution does not specifically define the Right to Vote. It does describe the process of voting but does not specifically define it as a Right. It seems the founders took the Right to Vote for granted. This ambiguity in our Constitution for such a fundamental and essential function has been a cause of much contention in recent years. Continue reading
Is the U.S. Truly a Democracy or Republic?
So often we Americans refer to our nations as a Democracy. But this is not entirely true. If it were a true Democracy everyone would vote on every law and there would be no need for a legislature. The United States is closer to the true meaning of a Democratic Republic as it is a hybrid between the two concepts. Our founding fathers cleverly took the best of both concepts to devise what they hoped would be a perfect nation. To keep it honest they created three branches of government and divided the power equally among them with checks and balances to limit the power of any branch from overwhelming the others. They also devised elections to be held frequently enough to make it difficult for any one person or group of people to become too powerful. Yet over the years and centuries legislators and those in power have found workarounds in the power limitations designed by the founding fathers. Continue reading
More Consumer Power to Realize Our Dreams
The U.S. seems to have strayed from Dr. Martian Luther King’s “I have a dream…” in the 1960’s to only the very rich can afford to dream in 2010 after the Supreme Court rulings on Citizens United and in the 2013 ruling on McCutcheon. It is bad enough that the almost powerless middle class and the powerless poor have progressively less purchasing power and almost no political power but the extremely rich are now able to lend their enormous wealth towards further influencing votes and our legislators to rule over the nation in their interests. Continue reading
Free Expression by Personal Wealth
Last week, on April 2, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in McCutcheon v. FEC that a single donor can give up to $3.6 million in one election cycle, money that political parties and other political organizations, PACs, and Super PACs can now funnel into aiding individual candidate who still have campaign limits as well as to ballot initiatives. This is a 30 fold increase over what an individual could previously contribute. I have a larger problem with large political contributions being a 1st Amendment protected free expression. Protected free expression implies expressions publicly expressed without consequence. In order to protect the expression of donations as in the 1st Amendment there must be something needing protection. Continue reading