LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Reverse Citizens United Supreme Court decision

The greatest problem that our nation has is to repeal and replace the Citizens United Supreme Court decision of 2010 with more democratic, less oligarchical provisions.

What the decision did was to eliminate the provisions limiting political contributions by corporations, labor unions and other organizations and to treat corporations as individuals. It has had the most drastic consequences of any action ever taken by our national government.

I just this week spent an hour reading the material online outlining the reasons given by the five Supreme Court justices in the majority who supported the decision taken and the opposition position of the four justices who voted in the minority.

There were seven points made by Justice Stevens who wrote the opinion for the minority which outlined the problems created by Citizens United. I encourage all interested persons to read the material available online that lays out the problems created by the decision.

To be as brief as possible, Justice Stevens called to the attention of the court and to us as citizens, the fear, the likelihood that Citizens United would open the door for undue influence by large corporations and millionaires and billionaires.

In the past week’s news the point has been made that the worst fears have been realized — that a handful of billionaires through their enormous financial contributions have made their way to very top tier of our national government. Their influence has become extremely visible in the formation of the Trump Cabinet, other key appointments, and the reported New York Times investigative report about the Prince family being able to maneuver to present a proposal to take over our military involvement in Afghanistan for a $10 BILLION annual payment to Erik Prince.

In other words, such a proposal would privatize the war and take governmental decision-making out of the hands of our elected officials and place that responsibility in the hands of the military-industrial complex, something that a general and president, Dwight Eisenhower, gave grave warnings about over 50 years ago.

It seems very clear to me — unless we, as a nation, pass a constitutional amendment reversing Citizens United, that the damage to our democratic nation will continue and will become much more serious.

Let us roll up our sleeves as concerned citizens and make that happen.

Tom Welch
Dover

 

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