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ETpro's avatar

If it's free speech, how come you have to be a multimillionaire or multibillion dollar corporation to afford it?

Asked by ETpro (34208 points ) June 27th, 2011

Adding to the outrage of its Citizens United decision, the US Supreme Court Corporatocracy today struck down an Arizona Law that allowed for public matching funds for candidates not independently wealthy or bought and paid for by those who are. An outrage to free speech, claim the 5 right-wing members of the GOP packed court.

How can the electorate take this country back from the oligarchs who plan to own it, lock, stock and barrel? What can we expect when billionaires and multinational corporations can spend unlimited funds to get their shills elected so that these water-carriers can then do their master’s bidding. How will that not lead to a typical banana republic organized around crony capitalism?

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15 Answers

obvek's avatar

in b4 the “freedom isn’t free” a**holes

Dutchess_III's avatar

what @obvek?

I’m following this ET. Not sure what to say yet…

wundayatta's avatar

You don’t need the money to speak freely. You only need it if you want to broadcast your speech.

So, should everyone be guaranteed the funding necessary to broadcast their speech? You know, like public funding of campaigns?

The only way the electorate can “take back” the country is by organizing. They have to go door to door to educate and recruit people to their cause. If you can’t do that, then what makes you think your message is more important than the oligarchs? They already did their organizing. They run companies that organize people so as to push for their interests. Why can’t others of us do the same thing? We don’t have money, but we do have sweat equity.

I am not sympathetic to campaign financing legislation. It entirely misses the point and it never helps. The point is organizing. If you do that, you can beat the oligarchs, but if you spend all your energy fighting over campaign financing issues, you’ll never make a difference.

jerv's avatar

@wundayatta It took me a minute to parse that, but well worth it. You are absolutely right.

Rich people and companies can buy airtime and ad-space, but they cannot actually buy votes. Now, if we could get people to think instead of just buying whatever half-truths get broadcast every 12 minutes on all major networks, if we could get people interested in facts and actually curious enough to look past the prominently presented, easily digested sound bites and actually look for truth, we normal people can use our numbers to overcome their dollars.

ETpro's avatar

@wundayatta I think probably not. Everyone should not be guaranteed the funding to broadcast their message. But I also than that the right to broadcast your message widely should not be reserved only to the very wealthy and large corporations. That is a blueprint for the end of al liberty and its replacement with a fascist corporatocracy, and that seems well underway in America.

Elections don’t always go to the best funded candidate, but there is clear indication that large differences in the campaign finances of two candidates weigh very, very heavily in election outcomes.

The problem is even organizing costs money. The Internet helps. If oligarchs piss enough people off, that helps. Maybe they will. I hope so, but I share @jerv‘s reservations about that. . We’re getting close to crunch time on the issue.

jerv's avatar

Sadly, guess who controls the internet. Even worse, there are proposed laws that worsen that situation as well, but that is a whole other rant, side from the fact that we may be letting our chances at change slip away, so we better act soon.

Ladymia69's avatar

Because this country is ruin on capitalism and is essentially a Plutocracy.

ETpro's avatar

@Ladymia69 I fear you are right, and that if the right has their way, it will only tilt ever further in that direction.

GracieT's avatar

@ETpro, I have several friends that would never dare to do anything that wasn’t first suggested and approved by the Republican party. These same friends almost all struggle to get by. I don’t understand how they seem to think that capitalism is the very thing that led to all of these problems in the first place. The rich are getting richer while the poor grow poorer.

ETpro's avatar

@GracieT The greedy among the rich can afford VERY good PR people to craft their bumper-sticker messages for them. Whatever the surface message may be, the real direction it leads in is, “Make the masters who pay this PR man MUCH richer.” Of course, that money has to come from somewhere besides the rich.

GracieT's avatar

I’m sorry! I just re-read my answer (a day later) I meant to say that I don’t understand how they missed that capitalism is the cause of the problem, certainly not the solution.

ETpro's avatar

@GracieT I don’t think capitalism per se is the resident evil. Laissez-faire capitalism is. Properly regulates, capitalism is the best system man have devised to this time.

GracieT's avatar

@ETpro, maybe so, but we are all people. Greedy, selfish people. Exactly which people are trustworty enough to properly regulate capitalism?

jerv's avatar

@GracieT Why do you think that American Capitalism is so screwed up? One side calls for regulations that get dodged and thus cause more regulations to be made while the other side thinks that The Invisible Hand is more powerful than God and thus consider regulation worse than blasphemy. While they fight, the market runs amok and eventually drives off a cliff.

ETpro's avatar

@GracieT Human nature is a problem that impacts ALL forms of government alike. Out founders were incredibly wise if setting up a system of checks and balances wehere no one portion of society or government has carte blanche., The same is true of regulation. Regulators keep business in check. But if their rules become too onerous, business calls on voters to change the rules. And it nobody gives, business flows away and economic losses force adaptation.

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