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How Citizens United Killed the Gettysburg Address

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There is a more hideous side to all of the Supreme Court decisions which resulted in the Citizens United v The FEC decision, the 2010 decision that verified that corporations are, indeed, "people."

In his Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln called the government of the Formerly United States of America (which was almost as true during his life time as it is today) a government "of the people, by the people, for the people".   Now where did he get such a radical idea?   Do we think he tried to save the union, constitutionally or unconstitutionally as that may have been, to protect those homo sapiens who lived in The FUSA as well as corporations which were doing business in The FUSA?   He may very well have engaged his army in military action on behalf of corporations.   Nonetheless, he didn't mention them in the Gettysburg Address and they hadn't been anointed people at that time.   He surely wanted those who heard or read his speech to believe he was talking about living entities like himself.

His opinion that the government of the country was "of the people, by the people, for the people" was very well based in fact.   That fact was stated in The Constitution of The United States of America.

His idea that the government was a government of the people derived from several parts of The Constitution.   Although stated in the negative, it's quite obvious.

"No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen." Article I Section 2 (emphasis mine)

Does the currently seated Supreme Court truly believe that Madison and those who supported The Constitution would actually walk through the doors of a corporation, look around and say, "He's quite the corporation"?   In decisions made by any court, are corporations referred to as "it" or "he"?   Do corporations actually apply for human citizenship in The FUSA?   These two words make it quite plain that The Founders and Framers meant that the members of The House of Representatives should be derived from the mass of homo sapiens who are human citizens of The FUSA.

"No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen."   Article I Section 3 (emphasis mine)

It's equally obvious in the above quote that The Framers wanted senators to be human beings as well.   These human beings could only come from the people (unfortunately White male landowning people at the time, but people nonetheless) who are citizens of the country.

"No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected."   Article II Section 1 (emphasis mine)

Again, the words "citizen" and "he" make it clear that the president and vice president are meant to be human beings and come from the vast pool of possibilities that the masses provide.

It's quite possible that, as no real qualifications are given for those chosen to sit on The Supreme Court, the presently seated court might come to the conclusion that The Signers of The Constitution left open the possibility that their positions may be held by corporations.   However, no president and no legislature have thus far agreed with that opinion.

So, according to The Constitution of The United States, only people may be elected to office on a federal level.   If any state, in its constitution, has approved the election of a corporation to its legislature or governorship, it's yet to be made public.   So, Lincoln got the "of the people" correct, didn't he?

Let's examine "by the people".

This is a little trickier.   It could be argued that The Constitution doesn't provide for the people to elect its government.   When referring to the elections to federal office, The Constitution refers to "electors".   It does this in no more definitive a manner than when referring to the presidency.   Although there are those who love nothing better than to remind us that we are a "democratic republic" and not a democracy, democracy has been how the federal government has been chosen throughout the years.   As mentioned, the nation could hardly be considered a democracy in the early years as it prohibited what was the majority of its inhabitants to vote.   One could only vote if one was Caucasian and owned land.   That group consisted of a definite minority of the land's inhabitants.   However, as time has passed, The Constitution has made great strides in ensuring that the "democratic" part of our democratic republic has been strengthened.

First, the qualification of owning land was removed.   Then the qualification of being Caucasian was removed, albeit there still were parts of the country that placed roadblocks in front of those that were not Caucasian.   In 1965, those roadblocks were removed.   Of course, the blackest eye of all which was given to the country's march towards being a true democratic republic was removed in 1920 when women were granted the right to vote.

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Michael Bonanno is an associate editor for OpEdNews.

He is also a published poet, essayist and musician who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bonanno is a political progressive, not a Democratic Party apologist. He believes it's (more...)

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