Thursday, January 21, 2010
Vote or Die (Part 5)
You are now free to vote for choices put forward by corporations, and exercise your democratic rights. Of course, this has always been true to a significant extent, but any pretense to the contrary has been stripped away. Just as the First Amendment gives you the right to buy your own printing press, and compete with the consolidated, transnational media, it also gives you the right to campaign, or support like minded candidates, against those financed by enormous sums of corporate capital. There's a reason why the David versus Goliath story is so compelling: the giants usually prevail.
Sweeping aside a century-old understanding and overruling two important precedents, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.
The ruling was a vindication, the majority said, of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech. The dissenters said allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace will corrupt democracy.