Citizens United: A Rallying Cry to Fix Campaign Financing: For the Sake of Fairness
I, and every citizen of the United States, should be able to run for office, spending sensible amounts of money for direct campaign expenses proportional to the office being sought.
But currently there is a serious flaw in our process because our laws and culture allow for huge amounts of campaign spending in political races, small and large, all across the country. This money – campaign donations, political parties, and political action groups – drowns out the voices of the commoner, the working class, the everyday people. More often than not, this money skews the truth with hundreds of thousands of carefully scripted advertisements. Political campaign spending is out of hand.
We must take unfettered campaign money out of our political system. Our elections should not be controlled by the 1%, comprised of the ultra-upper class and large multinational corporations. It is wrong and undermines the founding principles that our nation has fought for in the last 240 years: a government for the people and by the people. I wonder what President Theodore Roosevelt would think of the campaign financing laws and the almost limitless corporate campaign spending today? Political campaign spending is out of control and no significant reforms are being proposed because many incumbents benefit from the status quo. Reform is needed to reverse laws where the people have little say while the power (spending) rests in the hands of a few, including giant corporations and extremely wealthy individuals.
Supreme Court decisions that have asserted that political campaign spending is a form of “free speech” and that corporations have the same constitutional rights as people – in Citizens United v. FEC case – need to be revisited.
Can this easily change? Campaigns require money, the greater the position the more money, but we must strive to make laws that let all voices be heard. Yet I know that there will be people, good and bad, who will influence politicians with campaign financing and bribes. Ultimately politicians must be honest with those who help them and truthful to those who vote for them.
As for voters, in order to be well-informed, we should question – and be skeptical, even – of campaign ads, and seek traditional sources of campaign news, and not just click on popular Facebook stories that have gone viral without vetting the news organization that produced the story.
Politicians, too, should be skeptical and wary of the expectations that come with accepting money. Do I need to take their money and then say and think what they want me to say? Or can I analyze each bill and law that comes before me and make the decision based on what I believe is right and good for all of us? No one can honestly debate issues and make decisions for the good of the people, if they are obligated to campaign support promises.
While much in our current political environment are “pie in the sky pipe dreams,” a few changes to our political system can turn the tide.
We must take the unbridled flow of money out of our political system.