The federal elections are over and there are sweeping changes in Congress. But the elections this year only proved one thing: Our government is up for sale. Undisclosed money poured in to political organizations, mostly Republican, at an unprecedented rate because big business and the wealthy see them as allies.
I sat down and watched the 6 o’clock news before Election Night and was bombarded by five political advertisements in a row. At the next break, there was an anti-Cuomo ad with no sponsor mentioned. It was an anonymous ad, which according to the recent Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court decision, is now legal. Many of these ads were outright lies and distortions. How does one recover from a public lie against you? You do not. The damage is done. A lot of money was used to destroy many noble and well-meaning people based on lies and bumper-sticker politics in this election.
We hear the cry of we do not want activist judges — judges who litigate from the bench — from the right whenever a legal decision is made that they do not favor. Well, let me tell you this: This Supreme Court is an activist court. It was wrong — 5-4 — when it stopped the vote counting in the 2000 presidential election, giving the presidency to George W. Bush. Later counting revealed then-Vice President Al Gore had actually won. But no, the court decided the election for us. Clearly and logically, a runoff in Florida would have been the best way to solve the counting problem there and determine our president.
It was wrong when it decided the Kelo case — 5-4 — dealing with eminent domain in Connecticut. Governments are now free to seize private property and sell it to private developers under the eminent domain justification. This decision sent shockwaves around the country. It said your property is not your property if the government wants it.
It was wrong when it decided — 5-4 — to allow businesses and unions to fund political parties in the recent Citizens United case. Money from businesses flooded the airwaves with partisan ads like never before and nastiness escalated as Election Day approached. President Barack Obama said the Citizens United decision was wrong and would corrupt the election process during his latest State of the Union address. The camera at that moment caught Chief Justice John Roberts uttering, “No, it won’t” in response to Obama’s statement. I wonder if Roberts is eating those words today. Look at what happened.
How can the United States, the leader of the free world, criticize other countries about their election processes when we have a pay-to-play, business-funded election process here at home? Most elections only see a slight majority of the people even vote. Now that the country has been bought, it is time for payback. Corporations are going to want a return on their investment. Those who sit on committees will undoubtedly reward their sponsors with favorable legislation as payback. If they do not, they will pay the price.
This country is no longer a country of the people, by the people, for the people. It is all about profit and money. We have turned the corner on what we are all about.