Thursday, January 21, 2010

Growing corporate influence

According to The New York Times, the Supreme Court narrowly decided (5-4) to allow corporations to give limitlessly to promote or oppose political candidates during election seasons. The ruling overturned several past precedents of campaign finance set by the Court over the last century.

I have already spoken about the danger of expanding corporate rights to the point where they outweigh the rights of the individual. Free speech exists more to protect the minority opinion than to provide grounds on which majority -- and more importantly, moneyed -- voices can drown it out. Not to mention the fact corporations are not people and should not be extended the all the rights of personhood.

The Court sided with corporate interest, which has been a predictable trend under Roberts. Blurring the lines between politics and corporate finance is dangerous ground on many fronts. As far as I can see it, there is nothing to stop the few individuals at the top of an organization from using corporate money to advance personal interests, an unhealthy proposition for organizational stockholders and democratic interests in general.

The 2010 midterm elections should provide a glimpse into how this law will effect future elections, but the bigger tell will probably come with the 2012 general elections, given the scale of the presidential race combined with the "practice round" experience from 2010. My feeling as that we are treading treacherous waters and that, years from now, we may look back on this ruling as a landmark in the erosion of personal rights and a major step in the domination of the democratic process by the wealthiest voices.

1 comment:

  1. I'd say we're pretty well screwed, and this is just another example of it. Money and corporate interests are in control. All ay politicians ever want to do is, at best, let corporations do whatever they want and, at worst, help them do it.