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stanleybmanly's avatar

To what extent does the Citizens United decision factor in the rise of Trump & Sanders?

Asked by stanleybmanly (22359points) March 16th, 2016 from iPhone

Does the public regard the decision as an indicator of a broken system?

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14 Answers

syz's avatar

I think Citizens United has a huge responsibility for Trump. That decision was the death knoll for an already damaged system.

I’m curious as to why you lumped Sanders in there?

stanleybmanly's avatar

You don’t think Bernie’s candidacy is also about a broken system?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Trump and Sanders are very loud about not taking advantage of the advantages to candidates provided by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which I think is admirable. Trump has pretty much paid for his own campaign and Bernie is all grass roots. Citizens United is a very unpopular decision as it exemplifies the corrupt system both proclaim to be running against. In this way, there very possibly would be no Trump or Sanders this far in the election cycle without Citizens United.

For those of you who might need a refresher on CU v. FEC:

“Citizens United didn’t just unleash corporate spending; it enabled the creation of a whole new vehicle for influencing elections: super PACs. These pseudo-corporations don’t have to disclose their donors and can spend unlimited amounts on elections, as long as they’re not officially coordinating with specific candidates (which has turned out to be a joke).”

”...the Court has taken a laissez faire attitude not seen since the anti-New-Deal Lochner era, hamstringing any efforts to curb the effects of big, dark money. The result has been not just a crop of establishment candidates propped up by billions of corporate dollars, but their radical challengers as well.

How Citizens United Gave Us Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump
Jay Michaelson
The Daily Beast
21 January, 2016

Strauss's avatar

This is the one area in which “The Bern” and “The Donald” are similar. There’s no doubt about how each one of them financed their campaign, and neither took advantage of the “dark” money referenced by @Espiritus_Corvus above.

ibstubro's avatar

Cruz received $15,000,000,000 from one family that has the single goal of electing “A leader that will stand up for Biblical morals.”

Trump is the voice of the frustrated working guy because, what the fuck else can he do?

I have to wonder. If politics was more closed to these idle billionaires if they wouldn’t seek out Bill Gates hungry for more constructive, philanthropic, uses for their obscene wealth.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@ibstubro 15 billion? You sure you don’t want to knock a few zeros off that figure? At that rate, I might just cast my bothersome morals aside, grab a Bible and run for something. I wonder what councilman goes for?

Jaxk's avatar

Frankly it doesn’t look like Citizens united has played much of a role in the actual election so far. It is much more likely that the media has played the larger role in all this. Anti Trump forces have thrown tens of millions at Trump while Trump has spent very little. Hilary has lots of big money behind her and Bernie has been able to stay quite competitive. The big money hasn’t really done much so far other than to provide another campaign issue. As if we need another campaign issue.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Man our Canadian Politics is so polite compared to yours.
Interesting to watch but that is all.

Strauss's avatar

At one time, a political debate was really a debate. Now, unfortunately, it’s degenerated into a round-table free-for-all interview.

ibstubro's avatar

Fifteen million, @Espiritus_Corvus.
Sorry, I was in a hurry and I thought zeros would look more dramatic than the word.
But still, from one family to one candidate.

Strauss's avatar

@ibstubro ~ dramatic effect achieved!

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Jaxk I think things like citizens united, corporations as people and money as free speech amount to a sanctioning of corruption by the highest court in the land. As the one branch of the Federal government still regarded with a smattering of respect, such pronouncements have a much deeper effect on our attitudes than I think is appreciated by the court itself. It is extremely difficult to find anyone aside from those directly involved in the lobbying/influence buying “professions” that does not regard the citizens united decision as the low water mark in modern jurisprudence

Jaxk's avatar

@stanleybmanly – I don’t want to derail the discussion so I’ll be brief. Corporations need to be able to buy and sell property, sue and be sued, and in many respects be treated the same as a person. What most see as a problem is the treating of cash as free speech. Citizens United wasn’t way out in left field as many would want you to believe. Yes it did allow more money into politics but the basic concepts were really quite rational.

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