It is now legal to buy elections in the United States. The working class cannot afford to spend billions of dollars in campaign donations to assist their chosen individual in his or her attempt to get elected into office. Here is the reason why the Supreme Court’s approval of Citizens United is bad for America.
The Republican Party is heavily influenced by the ‘one-percent in America.’ The wealthiest in our nation now own a party and can guarantee that they will vote for whatever makes them more wealthy. Now they can also buy elections by donating as much money as they wish to ensure elections end in a result which is in their best interests.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg believes that Citizen’s United was the worst decision ever made in the history of the Court. She believes it violates the very principles of our right to vote and destroys democracy. Ginsburg said that those who seek public office are well aware of the relationship between money and winning elections.
She made additional comments about female activists. She believes that she and her daughter were instrumental in change, but today’s women do not show sufficient passion to force change which would produce equality for women in all areas across our nation.
The McCain-Feingold Act was passed in 2002. It had two purposes regarding campaign contributions.
First it was designed to stop the increasing role of soft money. National political party committees were prohibited from ‘raising or spending any funds not subject to federal limits, including state or local races or issue.
Second; it put time limits for which broadcast ads could be run on television networks. Ads for a named federal candidate could be broadcast no sooner than 30 days before a primary or caucus, and no earlier than 60 days before a general election. It prohibited corporations and any unincorporated entities to use any corporate or union treasury fund to pay for the aforementioned ads.
Citizens United struck down McCain-Feingold with the exception of limiting foreign contributions.
Chief Justice John Roberts attempted to justify the decision in 2012; the vote was five to four, entirely along political lines. It was originally petitioned because of an unflattering documentary about Hillary Clinton produced by a conservative group. They wanted to broadcast it earlier than the 30 day requirement. This was the singular section of the document on which Roberts based the five to four decision, and eventually the repeal of McCain-Feingold. Roberts said that the group’s First Amendment rights were being violated.
What makes Citizens United a danger to democracy?
First; it is directly responsible for the creation of ‘Super-PACS,’ which are allowed to contribute unlimited money to political parties. There are more than 250 of them, and it gives corporations and individuals the right to donate any amount they desire, therefore ‘buying’ elections.
Second; it laid the groundwork for money laundering and ‘secret spending.’ The decision by five conservative judges claimed that ‘full disclosure’ of who or what organization was contributing to election campaigns would exist. It became just the opposite thanks to technicalities in the Citizens United brief.
Third; the voices of ordinary citizens are no longer heard. They cannot afford to create a Super-PAC.
Fourth; the Court equated money with free speech. The argument that the First Amendment right to express ideas and influence thoughts and minds through speech, and that money should be allowed to accomplish the same result is at best ludicrous. Our forefathers had no intention of such an equal status; their purpose was equality of people; money creates the great inequality.
Fifth; for many voters the 2010 decision by the Roberts court removed faith in our system. The Supreme Court of the United States was intended to be a non-partisan branch. Citizens United revealed it is anything but impartial; it’s bad for America.
Citizens United is a way for ten-percent of our population to control the votes of the other eighty percent. It must be overturned if everyone’s vote is to actually count.