Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 20 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/1/10

Anti-Democratic Supreme Court Ruling

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   2 comments
Message mahdi ibn-ziyad

Last week an extremely dangerous setback on the long road to expanding American democracy occurred. A counter-majoritarian road block to several years of settled law restricting campaign spending emerged. The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is a horrible blow that marginalizes candidates who lack financial resources or personal wealth to enter or wage a serious campaign against those who have the resources to mount effective campaigns.

For the Court's conservatives to dare compare the money power of even the largest unions to Fortune 500 corporate giants borders on the criminally insane. Unions --- as the main representatives of workers in capitalist America, have never had equal power status with the ability of big business to ride herd over forever begging politicians via an army of money bag lobbyists. The money power of just one Fortune 500 giant is staggering. A recent Amy Goodman's Democracy Now program pointed out that Exxon Mobile posted profits of $85 billion in 2008. If that corporate giant only used 10 % of its 2008 profits on future campaign spending it would outspend all monies generated by Obama, McCain and all other candidates for political office in 2008.

In the face of this unequal power differential between corporations and unions it's hard to imagine why key AFL-CIO unions would argue in favor of Court's ruling. Labor reps have said that they are, as the Court majority ruled, for the extension of individual free speech (in the form of political opinions) to include groups wanting to monetarily support a particular set of campaign opinions. But the unions somehow forgot that free speech rights also depend, in part, on how much money is spent to defend and broaden those rights. Here again the unions and corporations are unequal.

There's another perennial problem here. As usual most black, racial minority and poor candidates for statewide and national office will be especially harmed, given the historical difficulty of attracting large corporate donations for such races. Typically, those minority candidates who do win significant corporate financial support are those who de-emphasize or detach themselves from the major issues of particular concern to minority constituencies. One of the main criticisms of President Obama by black congressional leaders is his seeming detachment from the oft expressed needs of his most loyal constituency

Now it's okay, for anti-democratic forces with the biggest bucks to deepen their control over democracy, while some main elements of labor sadly go along with the charade in the name of free speech rights.

Optimistically, it's also time for those who want to bolster democracy to get busy. Mass coalitions of labor, good government, minority communities the poor and others must join in united efforts to make the Democratic led Congress legislate antidotes to the Court's despicable ruling.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Mahdi Ibn-ziyad Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Dr. Ibn-Ziyad has demonstrated an abiding concern for racial justice, humanitarian and environmental issues and has been active as a member or leader (1988-present) in the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (Washington, DC), the (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Obama's Audacious Risk Taking Leadership

Deconstruct the Holy from the Festive Xmas Holiday?

Anti-Democratic Supreme Court Ruling

Bold Lies, Deceit, and the Poitics of Consequence

Letter to a Puerto Rican Friend

Don't Tie Camden's Economic Recovery to Pentagon Contractors

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend