President Eisenhower sounded the initial warning way back in 1961. World War II had spawned a vast defense industry of unprecedented scope that had become alarmingly cozy with the US military and the Congress. Ike considered this so serious a problem he dedicated the entirety of his farewell address to laying out the dangers of such unwarranted influence. The courageousness of his speech is even more evident fifty years later. An outgoing president was shouting "fire". He saw a clear and present danger to our democracy. But sadly, the ears of the American people were deafened by a new prosperity larger than the fins on a '61 Desoto.
Unfortunately, the financial benefits of this military-industrial-congressional complex did not go unnoticed by other American industries. Influence in Washington was seen as the key to lucrative government contracts, tax breaks, subsidies, and favorable legislation. And as lead corporations began to cultivate and secure this influence, competitors were forced to follow suit just to maintain market share. And so began the rush to sponsor the campaigns of legislators, establishing a tightly-coupled, mutual dependency: much needed campaign cash for candidates, financially beneficial decisions for the corporate sponsors.
Since the days of Eisenhower, catalyzed by natural market forces and motivated by spiraling campaign costs, this dependency between Congress and the corporate world has become stronger and inextricably entrenched. Gradually, and under the radar of most Americans trying to make a living and raise their families, corporations have invaded and successfully occupied the Capitol, their presence now firmly and famously established on K Street.
But enough never being enough for the interminable engines of capitalism, the corporately-funded organization, Citizens United, petitioned the Supreme Court and won a decision removing all restraints on previously restricted corporate campaign spending. With campaign finance law thus dispatched by the high court, the movement to amend the Constitution to overturn this heinous decision was born. And over this past year the move to amend has gained considerable momentum, with national sponsorships ranging from the Sierra Club to the SEIU. It's time for all Americans, left and right, to get on board. Join the fight at http://movetoamend.org/, http://freespeechforpeople.org/, or http://democracyisforpeople.org/. And for extra motivation, play the video, "Stop The Money", and let the movement's theme song penetrate deeply into your brain!