Pledging allegiance to big money

  • Follow Letters

The unique notion passed to us by the Supreme Court that, in the political arena, "money is speech" seems to me to be at odds with the fundamental concepts of a democratic society.

Why should the voice of a rich man carry more weight, and be of more influence, in the choice of our leaders and lawmakers than that of any other?

In the past, this voice may not have had an overwhelming effect on election results, but now that candidates for public office must raise countless millions to be competitive, money is close to becoming the sole arbiter of political contests.

In turn, elected officials, to protect the needed cash flow, are obliged to learn and do the bidding of their major contributors to seek office and maintain it -- all this facilitated by the army of lobbyists quartered in our Capitol.

The success or failure of a candidate is increasingly determined by their fund-raising ability rather than by the worthiness of their candidacy.

The recent Supreme Court decision on corporate political contributions makes a bad situation even worse. I cite the caption of a cartoon in The Christian Science Monitor (Vol. 102, Issue 11, Page 33) in which a group of schoolchildren reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before an American flag are saying, "... and to the corporations for which it stands ... ."

Alas, the hands of Congress, which could remedy the situation, are bound by the Supreme Court, for almost any legislation limiting campaign contributions is now unconstitutional.

Perhaps it's time to ponder the possibility of a constitutional amendment that would, as they say, level the playing field.

James Hudson

Augusta

Comments (19) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 02/19/10 - 06:28 am
0
0
A Washington Post - ABC poll

A Washington Post - ABC poll found that roughly 80% of the American people disagree with the 5 to 4 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that that opens the door for corporations, labor unions, and other organizations to spend money directly from their general funds to influence campaigns. Specifically, 85% of Democrats, 81% of Independents, and 76% of Republicans opposed it.

Here is an opportunity for Americans of all economic strata and all political stripes to unite in the cause of restoring what James Hudson aptly describes as one of the fundamental concepts of our democratic society - equal rights in the political arena for all Americans not just the wealthy and corporate elite.

doubt-it
0
Points
doubt-it 02/19/10 - 07:05 am
0
0
80% of the American people

80% of the American people are wrong. Corporations are simply associations of people, therefore they should enjoy the right to free speech we all have. The real problem is the voters are too simple minded to make objective decisions upon viewing political adds. And spare me the whining of democratic politicians who claim this will lead to too much influence. It's their damn job to vote on legislation based on constitutional parameters. If there is undue influence look no further than your representative in Washington.

southernguy08
532
Points
southernguy08 02/19/10 - 07:24 am
0
0
Gee Jim, I guess the
Unpublished

Gee Jim, I guess the Kennedy's got into and stayed in office because they are poor and could relate to the working man? Give me a break...money talks and BS walks. Always has...always will. You think Obama doesn't enjoy that fact?

reader54
329
Points
reader54 02/19/10 - 08:16 am
0
0
It doesn't matter if it's

It doesn't matter if it's Kennedy or Reagan, Right or Left. The point is that we are all getting the shaft. I suggest that everybody take the time to read the Austin plane bomber, Joe Stack's Manifesto. It's the Big Boys, stupid!

deekster
24
Points
deekster 02/19/10 - 08:33 am
0
0
Right on "johnston"!!!!!!

Right on "johnston"!!!!!! The "love of money is the ROOT of all evil". Uncontrolled greed has caused our "representatives to spend all of their time "gathering funds" for reelection. This feeds the "lobbyist" who are "ex representatives". Which in turn feeds "government contractors" who in turn sell nails to the government for "a dollar each". All crime can be traced to power/money.

chascush
0
Points
chascush 02/19/10 - 08:45 am
0
0
It can’t get worse than with

It can’t get worse than with Obama. He had so much money they couldn’t spend it all but I guess that was ok. The democrats were going too all the black churches and black organizations taking money from people that couldn’t afford it. The democrats telling them when Obama was elected they would have no more worries. Obama received millions from credit card donations from foreign counties which is illegal. But I guess all that was OK because it was for the so called right cause.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 02/19/10 - 08:58 am
0
0
Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 02/19/10 - 08:58 am
0
0
The Supreme Court does not

The Supreme Court does not vote based on popular opinion, they vote based on the law and the constitution. The 80% who disagree are unfortunately, irrelevant to the law.

Dems stand to benefit more from this new ruling. Check out this study - http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topcontribs.php

Out of 100 corporate/union donors - only 10 of them lean republican, 28 are "on the fence" and a whopping 62 are democratic donors. Looks like the Supreme Court just gave the dems a huge gift to me.

SnidleyWhiplash
2
Points
SnidleyWhiplash 02/19/10 - 10:18 am
0
0
Wow - nice deflection away

Wow - nice deflection away from the whole truth.
Why do you think Republicans are *really* opposed to Obama's healthcare bill? Is it because they don't care about uninsured Americans? Is it because it'll lead to some mythical Socialist state? Nope. It's because true healthcare reform will have the net effect of the big insurance companies making less money. And we can't have the Republican's (and Dems) buddies in big business making less money, can we?
Both sides are bought and paid for by big business - if you refuse to believe that, then you're just not too bright.

dani
13
Points
dani 02/19/10 - 10:44 am
0
0
I prefer Red Skelton's

I prefer Red Skelton's "pledge of allegiance" by far. It is a sincere and caring American presentation taking sides with no one.

dani
13
Points
dani 02/19/10 - 10:34 am
0
0
Snidley..Have you given a

Snidley..Have you given a thought to the fact that insurance premiums are based on the amount of claims theyn pay? The higher the medical care, so goes the medical insurance cost.
Most of the "big insurance" profits come from automobile, life, & home. etc policies. I know the Democrat line is to blame something other than entitlement programs for the deficit, but don't people ever wonder about what they are hearing.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 02/19/10 - 11:16 am
0
0
snidley. Thank you for

snidley. Thank you for speaking for all republicans. After all, you must be quite an expert. And, for the record, you are dead wrong.

Republicans don't want it because we don't want the government to gain even more power and we certainly don't want them touching anything to do with our medical care. Less Government = More Liberty & Freedom (Liberty & Freedom - something that is a foreign concept to many Americans these days)

Also, did anyone say both sides aren't bought in some way by big business? I didn't read where anyone said that. Do you just make crap up?

SnidleyWhiplash
2
Points
SnidleyWhiplash 02/19/10 - 11:38 am
0
0
No, I actually read and

No, I actually read and investigate the points that I try to make - do you actually read anything before responding, or do you just lay out the most recent right-wing talking points? You were pointing at the Dems, saying that they are more beholden to big business. My point was that both parties are guilty. Neither side should be touted as some model of responsible governence. To clarify - *YOU* may not want it (healthcare reform) "because we don't want the government to gain even more power..." but it doesn't matter what you want, or what I want. What our representatives in Washington want is to protect their buddies in big business, to keep the gravy-train of special interest money flowing. They don't give a damn about us.
Dani, does it really matter where the profits come from? Insurance companies make HUGE profits off of average Americans, and our representatives in Washington are doing their best to protect them.
And there's no way I can "speak for all republicans" - I can't think that narrowly.

dani
13
Points
dani 02/19/10 - 12:04 pm
0
0
Snidley, I have longed hoped

Snidley, I have longed hoped for more driver education to lessen the number of claims for auto insurance. (Auto insurance is a large expense in my family) It would also help if the body shops and wrecker services wouldn't raise prices when they find you are covered.
You will never stop greed and this is not limited to any political party . In fact, I doubt many of them even vote.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 02/19/10 - 12:34 pm
0
0
So you are saying the chart

So you are saying the chart is not correct? Please, do provide us one that shows that the majority of contributions from unions & companies are for republicans. Once the facts are presented to me then I will change my "narrow" viewpoint.

I also read and investigate before I post, thats why I linked you to a chart clearly stating my point. Unless you can show me otherwise, I stick my my point. More companies donate to democrats. The facts are right there.

Again, no one said republicans don't get them too, the dems just get more.

And here's another twist to the chart. This one lists the top 50 industries who give to political parties.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/mems.php?party=A&cycle=2010.

Only 2 out of the top 50 give more to republicans than democrats. Oil & Gas gives 60% of their donations to republicans & 40% to dems and automotive 53% to republicans & 47% to dems. In the other 48 categories the dems are on top (for now).

imdstuf
10
Points
imdstuf 02/19/10 - 01:52 pm
0
0
Corporations may be

Corporations may be compromised of lots of individuals, but they are not a democracy. They usually have one voice. The top cats in companies are looking for what helps their business interests, not the interest of individual Americans.

Unfortunately money and big contributions, having to generate millions for campaigns, is not new. This has been going on for a long while. Whether above the table or not, it will continue. Breaking up parties would help, as the the lobbyists could not just work the tops of each major party and let the money trickle down. They would have to try to contact each candidate individually and crack them. Some would still crack under the pressure of the pay outs, but it would not be as streamlined.

imdstuf
10
Points
imdstuf 02/19/10 - 02:01 pm
0
0
Well Dani, then our system

Well Dani, then our system truly is broken, because if you are not part of a group plan, most jobs, even good ones, do not pay enough for someone to afford a good individual health insurance plan. So either A) The health plans are over costly or B) the jobs here do not pay enough. There is a disconnect somewhere.

You are right about the greed, and the health industry and insurance industry are both parties to the greed, just like the body shops you mention.

If everyone took driver's education then the insurance companies would likely stop giving a discount for it. It is a good PR move while only a small percentage of the people take it. As for helping on the road, some of the worst drivers I know took classes. Once people get comfortable driving (me included often) we let down our guard and do not drive cautiously as someone who is first learning. Fear is a protector sometimes and once we lose that fear on the road we take little things for granted.

faithson
5531
Points
faithson 02/19/10 - 02:27 pm
0
0
The demo's recieved more

The demo's recieved more because they were the obvious party America was going to turn to in the last election cycle, after the Bush/Cheney debacle. The Corporations play the favorites. It has been reported that the Banks (the real big money) are now moving their donations over to the Repub's so they can get some influence on the Demo's move to 'regulate' their risk portfolios. You can't really look at just one campain cycle. The whole point of the matter is the amount of 'cash' involved in getting elected, repub or demo. Worst case in my mind is the amount of last minute fear-mongering that will take place on both sides to muddy canidates images in the interest of the 'corporate' guys, not you and me. All you who thought Matt Aiken was a shrill for the power brokers downtown, i.e. banks, newspaper, real estate, insurance etc., are in for a real treat when this 'new' money comes into play....

dani
13
Points
dani 02/19/10 - 03:37 pm
0
0
I think I will agree with the

I think I will agree with the soon-to-be ex-Mrs. Sanford. Elect a person to a high position and they begin to believe they have a giant "P" (for Power) on their chest. Power is the word, is the word,

doubt-it
0
Points
doubt-it 02/19/10 - 09:58 pm
0
0
Cain, your pretty song

Cain, your pretty song reflects more on the evil influence of the federal government than it does the corporations. How did the trains become so damn powerful? So goes the government budget. Oh, and aren't we all for government funded light rail?

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs