Sunday, October 10, 2010

Citizens United Ruling: America's Path To Plutocracy.

The recent rash of negative advertisements against the Democratic Party's candidates around the country, by shadowy groups that are being variously funded by the American Chamber of Commerce, has shone a search light on the recent decision by the United States Supreme Court on the Citizens United case which gave corporations the same right as individuals when it came to campaign funding.

The Citizens United judgement which was decided 5 to 4 by the justices of the United States Supreme Court, gave corporations first Amendment Rights and allows them to spend as much money as they want to elect candidates for congress and the presidency. This being the first election after that landmark ruling, it has become an eye opener as to the effects that ruling can, and will, have on American politics going forward.

So far, this campaign season, the American Chamber of Commerce, which represents the corporations, has gone on a spending spree exercising this newly acquired right. According to official sources, the chamber has mapped out about seventy-five million to be spent electing Republican Party candidates. The Republican Party, says the Chamber, has "business friendly" policies which is why it's favored by them over the Democratic Party.

Recently, there has been an uproar about the sources of the funds that are being funneled into these campaigns by the Chamber. Rumors have been rife that monies from foreign entities, in the form of foreign corporations, have been among that being spent in the campaigns. Even President Obama has made his concern over this rumor known when he said, during a campaign stop last Thursday, "just last week, we learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign corporations" Mr Obama continues, "so groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections"

Mr. Obama's concern has been echoed over and over by other Americans, from cable news pundits to other concerned citizens about the possibility of foreign governments helping decide America's elections. This concern is real given that the Chamber has not been able to prove that the money it receives from its foreign affiliates, who are really corporations that are sometimes state controlled, is kept separately from the money it spends on election campaigns.

This is really very difficult to prove because while you might say those particular monies are lodged in a different account from the one you are spending from, you can't deny the fact that those monies are part of what makes you rich enough to be able to spend the large amount you are spending. Assuming you had $50million dollars, then took in another $50 million from these foreign  affiliates and spend your original funds on these campaigns, it's easy to see that you are able to spend your $50 million because you have a replacement for it. It's safe to say you wouldn't have spent your $50 million if you had not got the replacement, or at least, you wouldn't have spent it all at once.

The above argument makes the Chamber's defence, as was articulated by its chief lobbyist Mr. Bruce Josten, that the group has safeguards to segregate the monies from overseas affiliates from their other accounts, untenable. Mr. Josten said that they do the segregation in order to comply with federal law and avoid the foreign funds bleeding into political spending. Continued Mr. Josten, "We don't raise money from foreign corporations for our public affairs activities, I'm absolutely sure that we are in full compliance with all federal campaign laws"

That, of course, is true due to the Citizens United ruling that has paved the way for full blown plutocracy to be instituted in America. This is because the rich will find it very simple to take over government by outspending the other citizens through these corporations they own, and electing only those candidates who will do their bidding. And such candidates they have found, in large quantities, in the Republican Party which is why that party has benefited one hundred percent from the spending spree.

The fact that the Republican Party is the Chamber's chosen is also proved by the alacrity with which that  Party has come to the defence of both the Citizens United ruling and the American Chamber of Commerce spending. After celebrating the Citizens United ruling, they have come out in stout defence of the Chamber of Commerce spending, repeating the chamber's argument and accusing the Democrats and other concerned Americans of basically crying wolf.

The reality in all of this is that the rich with the help of the Republican Party, are in the last processes of turning America's democracy into plutocracy, a government by the rich. This plan that is about coming to fruition has been in the making over decades starting from the government of Ronald Reagan. It continued under George Bush senior with the Clinton set back in between him and the grand pubah, George W, who finally killed democracy in America. That Supreme Court ruling on the Citizens United case was just the icing on the cake which the party of the rich is going to take advantage of to reach utopia.

But, it's not too late for Americans to fight back. I've heard variously, and have even written about, how this upcoming election will be a referendum on President Obama and his achievements. And I say that Americans can really make it that referendum but in the form of a choice between what the Republican Party represents against what President Obama and the Democratic Party represent. It's not a difficult choice to make, all we need do is juxtapose the two ideologies and our choice will be clearer than the northern star.


  1. Well written article. It's crunch time this November when Americans need to prove to the rich that they understand all the tricks they're using to try and subvert our democracy.

  2. Great article, I think the Republicans and their sponsors are in for a shock come election time.