Pandemic Exposes Citizens United Blunder

Opinion

We can now see the full folly of the US Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in favor of Citizens United. The ruling gave corporations freedom to anonymously fund elections through lobbyists and other agents. Corporations have provided countless billions in dark money to elect candidates who put corporate profits first. Our current crop of politicians must perform as corporations demand or they will not see election or re-election.

The pandemic should have been minimized months ago but too many pro-corporate politicians are tripping over themselves trying to prove that they are the pro-corporate candidate who wants to keep the economy open. Pro-chos politicians went with a divide and conquer mask versus no mask strategy. This is something corporations like since it complicates the issue and takes the spotlight off of themselves.

Corporations have gotten their way, their profits are first and pro-corporate politicians are doing their best to keep the economy open. However this allows the pandemic to gain hold and kill more citizens. Fear of the pandemic keeps citizens away from corporate businesses. Not having enough pro-public safety Federal politicians’ extends the pandemic, which shuts down the economy and tanks business profits. Ironically had Federal politician’s prioritized public safety many businesses would not now be facing ruin

To make things worse it is becoming increasingly evident that corporations have reached a new plateau in campaign funding. They no longer need to fund any candidate they only need to threaten any candidate who expresses any view they do not like. Lobbyists and other corporate agents gain favor with corporations by going after candidates who express anything that could lower corporate profits. This behavior is spread across all parties.

The US Supreme Court really screwed the pooch with their Citizens United ruling. Maybe companies who have no interest in gaming the system will speak out in greater numbers and join citizens to help bring some balance back to our broken campaign finance system. It is unlikely the Supreme Court will reverse their 2010 Citizens United ruling on their own.  However, in the past, the US Supreme Court has dropped hints to prosecutors to bring forth a remedial case.

The Citizens United ruling was the equivalent of giving a teenager a new sports car. The only difference is that we do not have a car in a ditch, we have a collapsed economy and 165,000 dead. It will take legislation to correct this but it would need to come from politicians who, all too often, were brought into power with corporate money.

Louis Rodolico is a resident of University and an Environmental Journalist.

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