Monday, September 29, 2014

We Need To Steer Our Own Ship

Bernie Sanders talks about “Citizens United” in an interview with Salon. Like many in the political discussion, he claims that it is the root cause of political polarization, that it is catastrophic for American governance, and that this nation cannot be governed until it is overturned.

“Yes. I am not unconfident that it will be overturned. And I’ll tell you why, because the vast majority of the American people do not agree with the Republican leadership that buying elections constitutes free speech. Very few people agree with that. So it’s not just progressives like me, it’s not just moderates, it is conservatives as well. We just put up something on our Facebook which came from Barry Goldwater talking about the same issue.

So the bottom line is, I think the vast majority of the American people believe that we need real campaign finance reform and that billionaires should not be allowed to buy elections.”

He then proceeds to debunk his own argument and embrace the claim that I have made many times, which is that the voting public can render “Citizens United” irrelevant by simply ignoring the television spot advertisements that the money pays for, letting the rich bastards waste their money as much as they want to, and voting as informed citizens.

“The answer is yes, and I’ll tell you what makes me optimistic: Neil Abercrombie is a friend of mine, [so] I’m not happy to tell you this. Neil is the governor of Hawaii. He outspent his opponent by 10 to 1, and he lost his primary bid by 2 to 1.

If you look at Eric Cantor: Eric Cantor had so much money he couldn’t even spend it, and as you know, he lost his primary bid. If you look at Andrew Cuomo, he ran against a candidate [Zephyr Teachout] who nobody knew, who had no money. She won half the counties in New York state in the recent primary. [Cuomo] had all the name recognition and all the money and she had very little.

So I think what we are seeing now is a profound anger at the corporate establishment, at the political establishment, at the media establishment. I think people want change. So to answer your question, yes, money is important, I don’t deny it for a moment. But I think people are paying less and less attention to ugly, 30-second ads and are prepared to hear from people who want real change in this country.”

Add to that list Carley Fiorina, who tried to purchase a Senate seat and Meg Whitman, who tried to purchase the governorship of the state of California in the 2010 election. Neither one of them even came within hand grenade distance of succeeding.

We need to get off of our fainting couches over this silly legal decision, quit demanding that the government take care of this issue for us, and simply take charge of our own damned government, as the constitution and existing laws fully permit us to do.

2 comments:

bruce said...

Carly Fiorina ran against Barbara Boxer for Senate. It was Meg Whitman for Governor, both in 2010.

Jayhawk said...

Yes, thank you. So two examples to illustrate my point. Corrections made above.

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