OPINION: Big money in politics

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A letter to the editor by Kelly Clark of Medford, NJ

Do your members of congress represent you? Or do they represent corporations, special interests, and the super wealthy? How do they spend their time? Is it having conversations with constituents? Or is it schmoozing at big money fundraisers? With an election just about two weeks away, now is a good time to ask the new candidates and the incumbents where they stand on money in politics.

The Supreme Court decisions in Citizens United and other cases basically says that money is speech and that corporations have the same rights as individual people. The problem is that money isn’t speech, it’s power. And the more money you have, the more influence you can wield over politicians and the policies on which they vote.

The only entities that have enough money to use this power are the ultra-rich, corporations, and special interests. The obscene amount of money thrown at politicians drowns out the voices of everyday people like you and me. This is not democracy, it’s plutocracy. Our government, as intended by the founding fathers, is broken and it’s up to us to fix it.

Historically, when the Supreme Court has made dangerous decisions, the people have risen up to challenge them through amendments to the constitution. In fact, over 40% of the amendments since the bill of rights have explicitly overturned Supreme Court decisions. Some examples are the 13th amendment which banned slavery and overturned the Dred Scott decision and the 19th amendment which granted women the right to vote and overturned the decision in Minor vs. Happersett.

There is already progress being made in every state across the country on ratifying a constitutional amendment that would get big money out of politics. Is your member of congress supporting the movement or fighting against it?

Now is the time for we the people of this country to take back the government from big money. It is time to ask candidates and elected officials where they stand on this amendment to the constitution. It is time to vote for those who will represent us instead of big money.

Money is not speech and corporations are not people. The government belongs to we the people and it is time for us to take it back! Google “Get Big Money out of Politics,” to find any one of several groups working to get this amendment ratified.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the author’s only.

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