Why Media Corporations Lie About Citizens United,
and How to Get Money out of Politics
By Wendy Joy Welsh
HelpUncleSam.org | September 12th, 2014
I don’t have to scream “Wake up!” Most people are aware that there is a problem with our government. The only people who don’t see a problem are so busy working that they just don’t have the time to notice that our standard of living has taken a nosedive.
Those hard working folks say, “Everything is fine. Just work hard and save.” Merely putting your head down and working hard is good advice when you are not at war, but we are at war. It is an old war. So old that a man born in 1469 wrote about it. Machiavelli wrote that a government is either created for the people or for the “the aristocracy. For in every city these two opposite parties are to-be found, arising from the desire of the populace to avoid the oppression of the great, and the desire of the great to command and oppress the people.” It is remarkable that someone from so long ago would describe the main conflict that we are experiencing today: the 1% oppressing the 99%.
We have won many battles in this war in order to have the lifestyle we enjoy today. During the Industrial Revolution, people couldn’t “just work hard and save” because the amount of money they received in exchange for their labor was not enough to live. They also couldn’t simply work more; they worked about 14-16 hours a day. Thanks to the workers of that time who stood up to fight the oppression our lives are better, but the war is not over. Today foreign labor is being exploited with “15 to 19” hour days and child labor. This is not only bad for foreign workers, but US jobs are lost to that exploitation. The 1%’s exploitation of foreign labor is making it harder and harder every day for US workers to “just work hard and save.”
The People’s Greatest Weapon
The 1%’s greatest weapon is money, and the people’s greatest weapon is their ability to form a group. Understandably, it would be in the 1%’s best interest to render the peoples’ groups powerless, and the 1% have spent a lot of energy trying to accomplish just that. With the conservative media-corporations they demonize the unions. The conservative Media paints unions as wasteful inhibitors that insist, “Only union-guys can pick up boxes or turn on lights.” To that I would say, “bad mothers exist, but that does not make mothering bad” and “we still have to be thankful to the unions for our 8 hour days and decent wages.” With liberal media-corporations they demonize corporations in general. The liberal Media insists that corporations are inherently destructive to the American people, but corporations are not just the 1%’s mega corporations.
The Red Cross, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, ACLU, NAACP, and most non-profits, churches, and unions are corporations. Corporations are a necessary legal fiction, For example it allows someone to join the Sierra Club, but not be liable for damages if the Sierra Club does anything wrong, and if a corporations does do something wrong, this legal fiction can be brought to court for damages.
Over the past few years, the 1% have been endorsing a way to get money out of politics that silences all organizations except their media corporations. They have created the catchy slogan “Corporations Aren’t People” which grows nicely in the anti-corporation fertile ground. Hope lives in those three words, a hope that we, the people, can finally tame the mega corporations. But taking away the rights of corporations will not affect the mega corporations. The mega corporations don’t need protection under the Constitution. With their money and lobbyists they are not only above the law, they write the law. With what power can the people gain control over the mega corporations when our means to collect together and mobilize is impaired?
Attacking unions and deceiving us is not a new tactic of the 1%. Speaking about the right-to-work laws in 1961, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. said, “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone… We demand this fraud be stopped.” Right now the citizens are being deceived by the “Corporations Aren’t People” slogan. It intends to undermine unions and non-profits. When Martin Luther King Jr. said, “freedom of collective bargaining” he was talking about the freedom of collections of people, and collections of people are legally considered corporations.
To fight deception we need knowledge. We will explore what the 1%’s goals are and what is at stake if they reverse Citizens United, or worse amend the Constitution to say that corporations aren’t people. Getting money out of politics is extremely important, so we will carefully examine how money influences our politicians and give options on how to get the 1%’s money out of politics in a way that doesn’t go against the fundamental interests of the American people.