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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/12/11

Understanding Mitt Romney

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Mitt Romney offered a glimpse into his business perspective at the Iowa state fair, telling a group of hecklers, "Corporations are people, my friend." according to the August 12 New York Times on-line.   And, indeed, Republican presidential candidate, the Mitt Man, is in good company in this view.   After all, no less esteemed a body than the United States Supreme Court decided recently that virtually-unlimited corporate donations to political campaigns are a form of symbolic free speech.   Since only humans can really speak in recognizable language (leaving out dolphins, whales, and computers), it must be true that corparations are therefore people . Quod erat
as Tom Tuttle, my old professor of logic, would have said.

 But, wait -- there is a catch, one  my law professors would have noted: Corporations are not natural people , they are artificial people , i.e. entities constructed for specific purposes, primarily to carry out the proper and lawful business of the corporation.  When a parent corporation sets up a subsidiary, no doctor or midwife is there to tell it to push harder, nor is there any real need for a determination of the sex of the new firm.  This is not just nit-picking a fine distinction -- the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights does not grant, say, the Right of Freedom of Speech to artificial people -- even if our Supreme Court thinks that it does.   That is one more mistake by our highest court, or at least by the majority on the Supreme Court, until one or two more right-wingers leave.

 Still, one must put Mitt Romneys view that corporations are indeed people in perspective, as it had to come from somewhere.   Perhaps this arcane view came from the Mitt Mans Mormon principles, which until recently espoused that only Caucasian men could reach the top levels of the church, making them appear to be higher people than women, or other ethnic and racial groups.   And, in the view of fundamentalist Mormons even today, apparently underage girls are not quite people either, as they can be sexually abused with impunity -- at least until a few more cases like that of Mormon Elder Warren Jeffs are successfully prosecuted.   Jeffs is likely to learn the other side of sexual abuse in jail.

 It is good to know where the leading Republican presidential candidate, in some polls, stands on the Corporations are People issue -- indeed, that might make a great campaign slogan for the Romney campaign.   Undoubtedly, it would help keep that now-virtually-unlimited (thanks to our Supreme Court) corporate money flowing into his campaign.  Were the Mitt Man ever elected president (hopefully an unlikely prospect) and if he then got to appoint a few more Supreme Court Justices, well, who knows -- that noble Court might then find that only corporations are people, and the rest of us humans are merely serfs.   If one substitutes the aristocrats or gentry for c orporations, that doctrine was indeed popular during the Middle Ages.   Nothing like a return to feudalism -- this time corporate feudalism -- thanks to Mitt Romney.    Hey, we are already part-way there.


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Author's Biography Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)

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