Citizens United and the Holy Ghost

What’s your take on the Citizens United case? 

My 87-year-old dad and his friends are continuing their weekly political discussions. At last check-in, the topic was labeling GMO foods.

discussion
Not my dad or his friend. They sensibly request that their identities be protected. Photo credit: Raul Lieberwirth, courtesy of Flickr.com

This time it’s the Supreme Court case allowing unlimited contributions to political campaigns.

For perspective: English politicians are limited to £30,000 per seat in parliament (around $45,000).

Here in the USA, the Koch brothers have budgeted $889 million for 2016. A super pac has piled up tens of millions for Jeb Bush. Hillary Clinton’s head fundraiser was tasked with raising $1 billion. The Las Vegas Sands has given $70 million to Republicans, Soros Fund Management $45 million to Democrats.

My dad (a practicing Catholic) writes to his correspondent:

You asked me why five Catholic Supreme Court Judges would reach an absurd decision that Corporations, which are creatures of legislation, are Constitutionally privileged “persons.” These characters were raised with a concept of a “Body Of Christ”: a group organism like a school of fish. It is a small step from fish on Friday to fishing for campaign money.

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Photo Credit: Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P., courtesy of Flickr.com

How do you think things will shake out with all this money flowing to campaign coffers?

23 comments

  • Your dad is a wise man. I don’t understand how some think donations don’t influence politicians. If someone gives your campaign millions of dollars, any proposal they toss your way for consideration is going to get a lot more thought. In fact, medical practices have stopped accepting even little things like pharmaceutical pens, mugs, and other trinkets for that very reason. (Though that’s a whole other story, and there is still a long way to go to clean that up, too.)

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    • I doubt anyone believes that campaign donations don’t influence politics. That’s what’s so strange about Citizens United. We are almost passively bumping along, witnessing the corruption of what we are supposed to hold most dear. Very glad to see the spotlight on pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, and how they can insinuate themselves into physicians’ decisions.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Six kids. My parents used to have us sing rounds at the dinner table when we got rowdy. Sounds corny, but it worked. Politics in those day seemed more straightforward. Of course they weren’t, but it seemed that way. Abraham, Martin and John.

      Liked by 1 person

  • It’s quite frightening however here in California the super pacs have tried to take over twice and been beaten back.

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  • The whole subject makes my teeth itch. Once I start thinking about the fundraising, the lobbyists, and the super pacs, I find I start behaving like a bobblehead doll–but instead of up and down, I’m side to side. It’s truly a giant and disgraceful mess.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Citizen’s United makes me nuts. I have been trying, since the SC decision was handed down, to figure out how any of those judges could reach such a preposterous determination. Thank your father for the explanation. I was born and raised Catholic. Until the age of 8 I thought I would become a nun. At age 9 I started thinking about the hypocrisy of Limbo and why a loving, forgiving God would condemn all babies who hadn’t had the good fortune to be baptized before dying (untimely) for a sin two other people committed. That doesn’t make sense either.

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  • Ha! Will never forget my dad gently telling 7-year-old me: being a nun is very nice, but you might want to have children. Still it wasn’t until middle school, facing the public declaration of confirmation, that my Catholicism lapsed. Limbo — one of the weirder concepts dreamed up by the Catholics.

    Citizen’s United makes great, farcical theater. Democracy? We’ll give you democracy!

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  • The Citizen’s United case has made it whole new ball game. I am afraid things will get a whole lot worse before people finally revolt. And revolutions don’t usually go well.

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    • It is discouraging. Maybe revolution is inevitable. Maybe not though. So much is changing so quickly. I’m still stunned by the courage of Edward Snowden. Are there more like him? Maybe we’ll cut the legs out from under the Koch brothers of the world. Money is only part of the equation.

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  • Well now it looks like the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Wise words run in the family.
    The day the money was allowed to run the show was the day we lost our freedom. Money is the root of all evil.
    Citizens are lazy and unless they can “unite” from their living rooms or on social media they are not going to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Corporate funded governance: the way of the world, with the U.S. in the vanguard. I side with Chris Hedges on all this, and he has written extensively on how it all came about following the rise of national media during WW1, along with its capacity to manipulate public opinion en masse. Of course, this could only be achieved at a cost, one met by corporations who demanded a quid pro quo in terms of favourable legislation. In short, businesses right the laws, and we call it ‘democracy’.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Politically we’re screwed. Right and wrong hasn’t mattered for a long time. Electing someone by what they “say” they believe in has been proven over and over to be bunk. All these billions of dollars raised to have a sham election when so much else it could by that make a difference. So sad.

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