As many in the media lambast the recent ruling from the United States Supreme Court, perhaps we should all take an objective look at what Citizens United v. FEC will mean to the future of politics. Will corporate
In a 5-4 decision last week, the highest court in the land ruled that corporations (for and non profit) have the right to free speech, be it political or otherwise. In the past, corporations were banned from “electioneering communication”, which, according to Opensecrets.org, is a broadcast advertisement that is aired within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election, mentions or refers to a federal candidate, and is aimed at 50,000 or more voters in the certain election. The dissent surrounding this ruling is that corporations will now flood television and radio markets with ads that support or oppose political candidates, in turn, influencing many voters. There’s a fear that oil and insurance companies may rally to the side of the right, yet special interests and unions may pony up cash for the left. Those in favor of the ruling believe that just because people have money and are incorporated doesn’t mean they should lose the right to use that money towards political free speech. The irony here is that “free speech” will come in the form of expensive commercials.
Regardless of what side you fall on the ruling, if Americans spent more time educating themselves on the issues, perhaps the commercials wouldn’t matter; as people would learn to form their political opinions on their own. Unfortunately, so many Americans have been seemingly asleep at the wheel. Will this ruling wake up many or are those already awake left to toil with the possible repercussions? Thomas Jefferson said it best, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free ... it expects what never was and never will be."