To the editor -- the Keene Sentinel
Please Don't Let Corporate Money Drown Out Our Voices!
We may soon be confronting the consequences of a Supreme Court decision in a case heard last week. In Citizen's United vs. the Federal Election Commission -- the controversial case would allow corporations to use their immense wealth to loudly promote or attack candidates through unlimited expenditures on ads.
As someone who believes strongly in civic participation, the idea that a corporation -- which the Supreme Court has called an "artificial entity," and that is made up of individual shareholders and employees with different political beliefs and managed by a very small group who are guided by the need for profit and fiduciary responsibility rather than social responsibility or what is right-- could be allowed to spend directly from its massive corporate treasury on ads for or against a candidate is truly frightening.
A corporation is not, nor has it ever been, a person with voting rights. Corporations are not our neighbors, they cannot get married, they cannot die, and a corporation has never been a constituent member of "We the People." But in this crazy country, the Supreme Court has consistently supported first amendment rights for corporations. One wonders how important democracy is to the Supreme Court when compared to the capitalist economic system
However, a decision in favor of unlimited corporate contributions would seem to go against the wishes of the American voter in the last election. Barack Obama sailed into Washington on a wave of change; over 40% of the hundreds of millions of dollars raised by Obama came from small donations he received from millions of American citizens. To suddenly decide that those voices should be drowned out by the massive accumulated money of a single "corporate person," runs counter to the very ideals of a representative democracy. Perhaps this will be proof that contributors get the best government they can buy, and we can stop fooling ourselves about democracy.
Charles F. Weed
28 Damon Court, Keene