Trump’s claim that “we are giving them a big, beautiful Christmas present in the form of a tremendous tax cut” is spot on when applied to corporations and the super rich.
That’s it in a nutshell!
Very well put Gary; And the Republicans will continue to use the judicial system in the service of Big Corporations, Big Banks, Big Pharma, Big Energy. By 2020 there won’t be many centrist judges left,
much less any with liberal/progressive tendencies.
The We the People Amendment is dangerous and should be opposed.
It says artificial entities have no rights under the constitution and that legislators can control contributions, spending, etc of those entities. It also says money is not speech.
Move to Amend is an artificial entity. So is MoveOn, any political party, campaign or organization, unions, etc.
With no rights and their contributions and spending controlled by legislators then entities that the legislators like can be given privileges that provide an advantage
over entities they don’t like and there would be no standing to challenge this disparate treatment in court because the entities have no rights.
And individual citizens would have no standing in court to challenge as individuals laws that benefit Big Money contributors over small contributors because money is no longer considered free speech.
Giving away your rights is not a very good way of protecting them.
Rich people don’t create jobs and give raises to their existing employees (if they have any) just because they are rich. That’s a myth. Rather, successful growing businesses create jobs and higher wages/salaries. Do you see any Law Firms hiring on lots of employees just because they are rich? One growing and successful industry is the renewable energy industry. Well, it would be growing even faster and creating more jobs if conservatives beholden to fossil fuel industries weren’t actively creating laws to stomp out the renewable energy industry. The coal industry has been on the decline not because of “liberal” environmental laws. Rather, the coal industry has been on the decline because the steel industry who used to be a huge consumer of coal has been on the decline because there just isn’t the demand for steel like there used to be. We’ve built our bridges and skyscrapers and just don’t need that much steel anymore.
The pendulum’s right swing should be reaching its apogee about now…
Direct Democracy in religion
Your argument is entirely specious. Abolishing corporate constitutional rights does not take away the constitutional rights of people to freely associate in 501-c3s or unions, or in other forms of organization.
Long before money was declared a form of political speech, people have been donating to candidates and causes. There’s nothing in the We the People Amendment that prevents people from donating to campaigns, but there is direction to the states and Congress to equitably regulate campaign contributions, which would apply to all people, rich or poor. Corporations themselves would not be allowed to participate, while their CEO’s stockholders, workers, and consumers should be speaking in our elections–with equal voice. Money should not be protected political speech, it’s money for heaven’s sake and most definitely should be regulated in campaigns.
This country existed for 100 years, during which corporations did very well without Constitutional rights intended for human beings. We the People didn’t vote to give corporations human rights, and the founders didn’t even mention the word Corporation in the Constitution, so I doubt they intended them to have human rights. Our elected officials didn’t take a vote on Corporate Constitutional Rights either. So WTF?
This describes the state of affairs we have now. Only our elected officials are currently representing artificial entities (corporations) over natural entities (We the People). Corporations would be governed by revocable privileges, which would include access to the courts, so not having standing in court is a fallacy. But the ability of The People to hold corporations accountable for crimes and misdemeanors is of extreme importance, something the elimination of corporate constitutional rights would really help.
Further, the artificial entities are donating to multiple candidates in multiple jurisdictions in multiple states in both parties. Take the money out of it, and perhaps the electeds would govern based on the merits of the policy instead. Alternatively, one legislator may or may not like an entity, and attempt to legislate based on personal reasons. But the chances of the majority of legislators feeling the same way, goes way down without a money incentive.
Corporations belong in the economic sphere, and can do very well with clear and well articulated privileges. They do not need constitutional rights because they are not human beings, and they have no business governing because their only purpose is to make profits for their shareholders without regard for the environment, morals, ethics, or common sense.
The author did not suggest we give away our rights. Quite the opposite, Coleridge is encouraging We the People to assert our rights so our government really is by, of and for the people–not the corporations usurping our political power.
It says artificial entities- it does not say corporations.
The link you provided was decisions based on the constitution at the time of the rulings. If you change the constitution it may change the rulings- isn’t that purpose of the amendment in the first place to change the Citizens United rulings by changing the parts of the Constitution that the Citizens United ruling was based on?
There is a big difference between privileges and rights. You said yourself that privileges are revocable. The author and you are both advocating giving up our rights and/or taking away someone else rights.
“…something the elimination of corporate constitutional rights would really help.”
I agree with taking out the money, but not by giving away my rights to try to take away the rights of the corporations. If the amendment merely stated that for profit corporations are not people and do not have all the rights granted to individuals under the Constitution it would serve the purpose you seek without infringing on the rights of other organizations.
The author is not encouraging people to assert our rights.That would be telling people to stop voting for Big Money candidates and start voting against them. (Our right to vote).
But I am. see www.onedemand.org .
And this can be implemented and begin being effective in 2018 because it not only doesn’t require the years it would take to pass and ratify an amendment- it doesn’t even require legislation.
All it requires is citizen participation- citizens utilizing the rights we already have that were provided for this exact purpose.
Maybe we should try that before we give up our rights.
D.Harris, read the Constitution. Artificial entities are not mentioned. Therefore, they could hardly be given “rights under the Constitution”. Such rights or limits which artificial entities have are mandated by the US Congress (for instance, the rights of unions by the National Labor Relations Act, the Taft-Hartley Act etc) and/or state governments (for instance, for unions, right-to-work laws and for corporations their having the right to do business by state Charter). I think this addresses your rather incoherent middle paragraph.
Should you seriously wish to address the issue of “giving away your rights” you might consider the Patriot Acts and Section 1021 of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force. These acts permit the government on the mere “suspicion” (undefined) of “supporting” (undefined) a “terrorist organization” (undefined) to hold a US citizen indefinitely, without charges, without trial, in a military facility. “Support” could be interpreted so broadly as to include “protesting the war in Syria” thereby “giving aid and comfort to the enemy”. “Terrorism” also is a loose term: the water protectors at Standing Rock are called “terrorists”; environmental protesters are called “eco-terrorists”.
Moved this response under the proper comment. (Required to write something)
Corporations are artificial entities, and do include Unions, 501-c3’s, c4’s, PACs, etc.
Since this legislation does not affect the free association of people, the amendment would not affect those rulings. It would however overturn rulings extending back to 1865, when the Supreme Court first acknowledged that corporations were persons. Those rulings extended equal protection under the law to corporations (something women didn’t receive until 1971 in Reed v Reed), and granted other First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and Fifth Amendment Rights as well as Commerce clause related rights. Then came Citizens United.
The author and I are advocating abolishing corporate constitutional rights, along with hundreds of jurisdictions, both conservative and liberal, not individual rights.
The citation I posted shows the innumerable ways people are free to associate, and that these associations are legally protected. So the folks at Move On and Move to Amend, unions, and others are still free to organize together on the issues they care about, the individuals in those organizations are free to donate to campaigns as the law dictates. It is just the organization itself, not the people in it, that cannot donate to campaigns, runs attack ads, and so forth.
As a people we can decide if We the People are in charge, or if corporations are in charge of government. We can demand systemic fixes or we can waste time on half measures that do not address the fact that the US Constitution is a property rights document–not a human rights document–that property (corporations) now have many of the same human rights as human beings, along with additional commerce related rights making them basically super-citizens that never die, and can keep on rewriting the Constitution, as they have been doing for the last 130 years.
We’re not advocating taking away the paltry negative rights we now have. We are advocating renewing the power of those rights, by eliminating the giant megaphones at the table, who have no business in the people’s business in the first place.
Good luck with that petition! I’m not surprised Nader isn’t interested.
While you claim to be advocating abolishing corporate constitutional rights you admit that artificial entities is more than just corporations.
“It is just the organization itself, not the people in it, that cannot donate to campaigns, run attack ads, and so forth.”
And so forth includes not having any standing as an organization in court. You can’t claim your rights were violated if you have no rights.
And so forth includes the legislators controlling the contributions and spending of organizations so they could limit the contributions and spending for organizations they don’t like and provide privileges that give an advantage to organizations they do like. What good is the ability for individuals to contribute their money to an organization if the organization can’t spend it to advocate for the people of the organization? One man’s attack ad is another man’s advocacy ad.
And if you are supporting the amendment that says money is not speech then you are trying to take away my individual right to free speech.
You are right that "as a people we can decide if We the People are in charge."
And we can use the tools provided (our votes) to show we are in charge by not voting for Big Money candidates and start voting against them to create and demonstrate demand for small contribution candidates.
If you can’t understand basic democracy it’s no surprise you can’t understand the danger of the We the People and other proposed amendments to overturn Citizens United.
What sense does it make to wait 10-20 years or more to change the Constitution with all the inherent risk of the proposed changes when all we have to do to solve the problem in a few election cycles is change the way we vote?
If this amendment becomes part of the Constitution the Constitution will mention artificial entities and declare that the artificial entities have no rights.
What I’m acknowledging is that all artificial entities are corporations, I’m not admitting to anything; I had nothing to do with it.
Before corporations got their first human right in 1886 and including that case, corporations were sueing. They had standing in court; if they didn’t have standing in court, they couldn’t have sued anyone or anything, and the Courts wouldn’t have had impetus to give them human rights in the first place. This claim is patently erroneous.
You seem unable to grasp the difference between yourself and the organizations you support. You have rights as do all people. When you come together in groups as people you still have rights. Why on earth does an organization need rights, when rights are maintained by the individuals? The only reason organizations need rights is to screw with the political system, a purview of the people.
Yay! No more attack ads! Folks will have to spend more than 30 seconds deciding who’ll they’ll vote for, and can manage 30 minutes of viewing TV without being inundated by misinformation, which is what attack ads are.
It doesn’t matter how many time you say this amendment will take away “your” rights, it won’t, unless you are a corporation, and then you will still have individual rights. Money is only speech in an election if you aren’t a person. You are a human being with a voice, free will, and a wallet who can say what you please, support who you want, and donate to whomever you wish. What part of just exercising your rights–without a corporation doing it for you–do you not understand?
Democracy 101: We the People are the sovereigns of this nation, not the political parties in thrall to corporations and their CEOs. The political parties have spent the last decades gerrymandering districts so that the parties are choosing who wins–not the voters–the same parties that have made it impossible for third parties to rise up, and the same parties that are directly responsible for Trump. How you can defend perhaps the most broken campaign finance system among industrialized nations in the world is mind-boggling.
Democracy literally means the people rule.
1570s, from Middle French démocratie (14c.), from Medieval Latin democratia (13c.), from Greek demokratia “popular government,” from demos “common people,” originally “district” (see demotic), + kratos “rule, strength” (see -cracy).
Your view that millions of Americans will sign a pledge, then write themselves in if there’s no small donor candidate, is kinda sweet. I mean this is the same mean-spirited electorate that made Donald Trump president. We’ve got a better chance of amending the Constitution than that idea working, yet you still have faith that your fellow Americans will just wise up after years of party propaganda. I point you to the Green Party, a party that has been struggling, since 2001, in this nation with small donor candidates, a group with a budget (miniscule as it may be), and a communications network. It is basically an organized group of people doing to some degree what you suggest, with barely an iota of success–in 17 years. Move to Amend is now in year 8 of a ten year plan, and on course. I’m willing to bet they hit their critical mass before that petition does.
CD has advised me to take this comment offline because I hit their limit of responses to a single poster. So this will be my last response. I do admit I’ve used your analysis as a jumping off point for others who may possess your opinion, simply because it is shallow, ignores history and thus draws the wrong conclusions. You may be truly naive (hang out here and you’ll get a crash course), or a troll, mormon, or a just a white guy lost in the morass of social change, but whoever you are, it you want to hold your own here read Zinn’s History of the US, before you continue on these pages. CD posters are a pretty educated group engaged in deep thinking.
You are admitting that all artificial entities are corporations. That was my point.
You keep talking about previous rulings made when the Constitution did not contain anything about artificial entities having no rights so they had standing. If this amendment becomes part of the Constitution that will change.
Money is only speech in a election if you are not a person? As a human being with a wallet I do have the right to donate to whomever I wish. When money is no longer speech (part of the amendment and not limited to corporations in the amendment) I no longer have that right.
So citizens not voting for candidates that do not do what they want the candidates to do and voting against those candidates will not work?
You do realize that you are saying democracy won’t work, don’t you?
“Move to Amend is now in year 8 of a 10 year plan.” So this is on course? You have two years to get the amendment passed and ratified.
The 10 year plan needs to be amended to a 30 year plan.