July 11, 2014 By Jack Jodell.
“Corporations are NOT people, and money is NOT Free Speech!”– Commonly accepted modern truth and wisdom –
The American Republic, first proudly proclaimed in 1776, has undergone many changes since its birth. It has withstood challenges from both within and outside of its borders, from President James Madison’s successful victory over British invasion in the War of 1812, to President Andrew Jackson’s successful shutdown of the Second National Bank in
1835, to President Abraham Lincoln’s decisive victory over the pro-slavery and pro-secession forces of the Confederacy in the Civil War of 1861 – 1865, to President Theodore Roosevelt’s defeat of the robber barons with his trust busting efforts in the early 20th century, to the long overdue and much needed reforms enacted under President Franklin Roosevelt’s fabulous New Deal programs in the 1930s, to the Nazi and Communist threats running from 1940 – 1991 (under many Presidents, of both parties), to the Civil Rights and Great Society programs launched by liberal Democrats and President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s, and even others not listed here. In almost all cases, the forces of fairness, equality, and morality – the progressive forces of expanded individual social freedom – won out and carried the day politically, economically, and socially.
Beginning with the presidency of Ronald Reagan in 1981, however, and continuing to this very day, the forces of regression began to gain influence in American political, economic, and even judicial life. This has unfortunately resulted in a devastating reduction in income as well as economic and political power for the overwhelming 99% MAJORITY of our population! Reactionaries who neither fully understand our Constitution nor the sinister motives of the greediest 1% minority who wish to exploit them and reduce our economic system to feudalism have gathered within the extremist-laden Tea Party and are wreaking havoc. Also, that odious bunch has successfully infested and now controls the once great (but now fully disgraced) Republican Party.
Libertarians have always exerted some influence in the GOP. They have always opposed too much federal government regulation over private business, and have resisted government intrusion into ordinary citizens’ lives. But this influence over the GOP has now grown malignant and dangerous, as extremists like Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, Darrell Issa, DICK Cheney, and Rand Paul all hold powerful positions of influence or strong voices within this now reactionary Republican Party. Their aim is to weaken the federal government’s power by all means necessary to establish the absolute supremacy of corporations, the military, and the religious right. The losers in this ongoing and yet upcoming epic battle for the control of this country will be working Americans, artists, the religious left, peace activists, environmentalists, minorities, the poor, social libertines, women, and a huge number of the 99% MAJORITY whose incomes or political beliefs do not coincide with those of the greediest 1% minority.
On he very crucial Judicial slide, this downward slide can be directly attributed to the efforts of the late Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Originally a corporate lawyer (naturally), this misguided fool laid the basis for the creation of a most unjust Corporate States of America. Like many conservatives and virtually all reactionaries, this man was a paranoid who offered horrible, antidemocratic tactics to be used by conservatives to regain judicial and political control from liberals. Powell was very alarmed by the rise of the New Left during the late 1960s – early 1970s, and he also was obviously uneasy with the growing economic, political, and judicial power being attained by the middle class and poor of that era. He saw labor unions as being far too powerful and a threat to corporate profits. So he drafted a notorious memo, the Powell Memo, which was eagerly devoured and soon put into practice by conservative and reactionary Republicans. THIS ONE DOCUMENT HAS PROVEN TO BE THE MOST DANGEROUS THREAT TO OUR COUNTRY THAT HAS EVER BEEN CONCEIVED! It advocated increased and heavy conservative, business-friendly input into the nation’s educational system as well as its media, and the appointment of only conservative, business-friendly judges to all available judicial posts nationwide. The Republicans eagerly instituted this idea and put it into practice as widely as they could. Before long, they were actively opposing and even blocking the appointment of as many liberal or opposing judges as they could, Wealthy, conservative, government-hating news sources (like Fox so-called “News”) came into being and began a constant, endless stream of distorted, nonfactual, and even outright lying news stories to brainwash the public into supporting conservative political candidates who would consistently vote in a pro-corporate, anti-worker capacity. Before long, labor unions were under attack to the point where they all but disappeared from nearly every industry. Corporations began sending American jobs and even entire American factories and plants to slave-wage labor markets outside our borders. Meanwhile, here at home, worker benefits began to disappear and worker’s wages began to fall, all under the very false guise of needing to protect American jobs here at home by enabling the corporations to be more “competitive” on the world market. What utter absurdity! Corporations and their wealthy owners, boards of directors, and stockholders were even given substantial tax breaks and subsidies, despite the fact that many of them did not need the extra income and were actually illegally shielding their corporate profits from the federal government by hiding them in overseas tax shelters!
Corporate power has grown rampantly since then, to the detriment of all but the wealthiest 1% minority. The numbers of corporate lobbyists grew eponentially, successfully rolling back many needed regulations on banking and business which had effectively maintained economic equilibrium since the Great Depression. Safety standards in mines, pharmaceuticals, and other industries began to fall. Air and water pollution began rising, and deadly oil spills began to pop up more frequently. Yet short-sighted opportunists like Phil Gramm, DICK Cheney, and the notorious Koch brothers all kept pushing for, and were largely successful in, obtaining even more deregulation.
Arch-conservatives and government-haters like Dick Armey and Fox “News” teamed up to create and popularize the extremely destructive Tea Party. In the off-year congressional elections of 2010, this deadly force, acting much like killer bees, successfully got rid of large numbers of much more sensible and moderate Republicans by targeting them in primaries, and captured control of not only that wretched party, but also the U.S. House of Representatives. That year, Republicans also captured a lot of state legislatures and governorships, and immediately began redistricting and gerrymandering so as to ensure they would remain in power as long as possible. These relentless extremists also began to obstruct any effort made by liberals or Democrats to pass any legislation at all, effectively installing a de facto one party rule throughout much of our elected government. Seemingly overnight, they have destroyed our American democracy and have transformed it into a blatant CORPOCRACY. Nice going, Lewis B. Powell – what an absolute moron you have turned out to be! You were so worried that leftists would destroy our republic – look at the wreckage your cherished “conservatives” have wrought! Your efforts have ruined opportunity for average Americans; have created a record disparity in wealth; and have robbed us of individual freedoms by aiding the rise of a vastly overbloated military / industrial complex and “national security” apparatus. These are NOT healthy developments in our country: rather, they are destructive and antidemocratic by their very nature!
Once the conservative / reactionary types had established a working majority on the Supreme Court (effectively turning it into the Extreme Court), they began issuing a load of pro-business, anti-worker, authoritarian and activist decisions. They ignored past precedent and began twisting long held constitutional beliefs to fit their own narrow ideological mold. Their most sordid effort was the preposterous Citizens United ruling, which declared that money is free speech (though even a child could tell you that corporations are NOT individual people and spending money is NOT the same as exercising free speech)! This insane decision lifted almost all restrictions on campaign donations by corporations and the wealthy. In one fell swoop, this Extreme Court had destroyed the longstanding notion of “one man, one vote” and ensured that we will be plagued with a torrent of one-sided, pro-corporate political advertising for the foreseeable future. It also assured that our government will remain corrupt and bought-out in favor of big business. ,An equally sordid Extreme Court decision was the recent Hobby Lobby ruling, which basically granted corporations a right of noncompliance with federal statutes based on the corporation’s alleged religious convictions, as if these greedy, self-centered entities had any real religious convictions at all!Whatever became of the long-observed precedent of maintaining a separation of church and state? Obviously, this modern, activist Extreme Court views that time-honored practice and precedent as being outdated and wholly irrelevant…
But, my friends, I am happy to report that we in the 99% MAJORITY have not yet lost the fight to restore democracy in this country and get the money OUT of politics for once and for all time!
In reaction to these most flawed Extreme Court rulings in its history, a relatively new organization has sprung up to get these preposterous decisions nullified. It’s called MOVE TO AMEND.ORG, and it is actively advocating the adoption of a new Constitutional amendment stating that corporations are NOT people and that money is NOT free speech. I strongly urge you to visit its website at https://movetoamend.org and contribute to this noble and vital effort. For if you don’t do ,so, the America we all grew up with could very well disappear forever!
We cannot allow this reactionary, corporatist Extreme Court to succeed in its attempt to reinterpret the Constitution along radically backward-looking ideological lines! One thing we MUST do is VOTE this November and not only unseat all the Tea Party types, but also replace them with new, forward-thinking progressive candidates! Money and far-right, government-hating ideology MUST be removed entirely from our politics, and only WE, THE PEOPLE, can achieve this through voting and supporting Move to Amend.Org!
In the words of Thom Hartmann, “democracy is NOT a spectator sport; it depends on YOUR active participation!”