I am not for one to take my cue from a rap song especially from one that that has a controversial subject like the "Sweetest Girl" song. But somehow this chorus line kept ringing in my head recently after the Supreme Court decision on campaign finance.has left a LOT of citizens shaking their heads.
“The government may no more restrict how many candidates or causes a donor may support than it may tell a newspaper how many candidates it may endorse,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in the majority opinionn.
So this is basically become a PAY & PLAY democracy. The Supreme Court's decision was based on ensuring the protection of the First Amendment i.e. Free Speech. But as described by this article there is strong reason to believe that the judges are out of touch with reality.
Even though this ruling will affect a few HNW (high net worth) donors, here are specific reasons why this is really really bad for our democratic process:
a) The Golden Rule - the man with the Gold makes the rules. Agree this is a bit of an oversimplification but as the above article quoted, the person with the most money gets to "buy the most free speech that is often enough to drown the opposition".
Exhibit A - All GOP candidates flying to Las Vegas a few days ago to court Sheldon Addleson (including the apology of one Mr. Christie).
From Jon Stewart Friday April 04th Episode: I would respectfully like to approach the bench, and remind the Court that when the media refers to Sheldon Adelson as a super-donor, they're not talking sperm.
b) More money means more lengthy primary cycles. As much money can be given to campaigns that much will be taken by them. With no more limits there there is a possibility of a huge list of candidates who could all be potentially well financed and drag the primary out.
c) Refer to my previous post on One Percenters. This ruling has a lot of unintended consequences. A major one being the impact to income and wealth distribution. More money buys more speech which in turn buys more money and the wealth continues to get concentrated within a small slice of society.
It is going to be very interesting to see how the 2016 elections play out especially from a spending perspective. How much super PAC and lobbyist money will be spent and how will that influence the electoral process remains to be seen.
Maybe the answer is with how our Supreme Court works?
- Why do Judges have to be partisan? and if that is the case why aren't Libertarian or Progressive judges ever nominated.
- Why do we need appointments for life which results in these judges who are not in step with the times? (yeah yeah I am aware of the obvious reasons).Obviously none of that is going to change anytime soon.
As stated in the same Jon Stewart episode........
JEFFREY TOOBIN (4/2/2014): Basically, it gives people who have a lot of money at their disposal the chance to spread their influence even more widely. If you have a million dollars now, think how many chunks of $5,200 that makes. It's a lot. You could write a lot of checks.Yep! Lots and lots of $5,200 checks. The last great hope of preserving our democracy from the corrupting influence of money is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Maybe like the Legislative section our Judicial section also needs a reboot. I for one am hoping to win the lottery cause I badly need the "speech" to stop the idiots from teaching intelligent design in our school curriculum.