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On January 21st, 2010 the United States Supreme Court delivered one of the most shocking rulings in the history of this country. Negating about fifty years of policy (and at the very least a decades worth of rulings) the nation stood stunned as corporation bans on political funding were lifted. Yes, you read that correctly. Not lessened or giving a bit more leeway but instead completely lifted.
So, what does this all mean? Well, before this ruling corporations were barred from campaign contributions in excess of a certain dollar amount. Without these limitations they are free to contribute an unlimited dollar figure. Alright, so you're saying big deal, why should I care what corporations contribute? Think about this.
Let's talk about the health reform we were all hoping our President would be able to deliver. Now these massive insurance companies can throw billions of dollars at a candidate, rendering the opposing candidate unable to compete. Sure, you say, but the people can still get out and vote for whoever they choose. True, but in the age of mass media, the candidate with the deepest pockets generally wins. Their image and ideas are blasted at us 24/7 and the general public, who unfortunately rarely do their homework on all the candidates, have this corporate funded candidates name engrained in their heads when they get to the polls.
Basically what it comes down to is that it's pretty worthless to get out and vote for the candidate that you believe has the right mindset and best represents your individual wants and needs because the mass population of voters will simply choose the candidate they remember. Corporations will own our governors, senators, mayors, and yes, even our President. When an issue comes up that the corporation is against, they can simply make the phone call to that candidate (who is more than likely going to be a corporate shill from the get go) and pull the trigger on knocking down any legislation that is not in their best interest.
This country was founded on the principle that the government is for the people and by the people. A major oil company, a massive insurance company, or any number of other giant entities will begin to control our laws, and in my opinion more importantly, the rights that each of us are afforded in this "free country".
Looking back to George Orwell's 1984, big brother was watching our every move. Look forward to War, Inc., a movie that didn't get much press yet had a pretty interesting viewpoint on societies and conflicts owned and controlled by corporations. There have been tons of books and movies made throughout the years that discuss the pitfalls that await us when business interests, not the people's interest, are put in forefront.
These are no doubt scary times we are living in, and as much as most of us truly love our country and want to see the best for its future and its citizens, it is now more important than ever to band together and stand up for what's right. Barney Frank was on The Rachel Maddow show the night this all went down and he hopes that the legislative branch will be able to pass laws preventing this downfall from happening as much as possible.
Corporations are already afforded many privileges. Being in complete control of our country, its citizens, the wars we engage in, whether or not we lend aid when needed, and so much more that I'm not listing, should definitely not be on that list.
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