Everyone knows that democracy is for the people as the Declaration of Independence states, “We the People” except the recent Supreme Court case of United Citizens placed power in the corporations. In an effort to restore power to the people and wrestle it back from corporations, Senator Bernie Sanders (I. VT) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D. FL) proposed a new constitutional amendment on Tuesday to end unlimited and secret corporate funds from buying elections and our democracy. The proposed amendment is aptly titled “Democracy is for People” amendment. Citizens United overturned almost a century of political tradition when it granted corporations the same free speech rights as people and allowed Big Business to spend unlimited amounts to attack candidates and support causes.
The move to end unlimited and secret spending by corporations will not be won overnight. But so far, it’s slowly moving down the track with 11 states and the District of Columbia supporting a constitutional amendment. Senator Sanders in announcing the amendment explains its importance by putting it this way:
“What the Supreme Court did in Citizens United is to tell billionaires like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, ‘You own and control Wall Street. You own and control coal companies. You own and control oil companies. Now, for a very small percentage of your wealth, we’re going to give you the opportunity to own and control the United States government.’ That is the essence of what Citizens United is all about. That is why this disastrous decision must be reversed.”
An amendment originating in Congress must be approved by a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate in order to be submitted for consideration by the states. Ratification by three-fourths of the states is required to amend the Constitution. There’s no time like the present to start making inroads to restore democracy to the American people.
Poll after poll shows that most people think a similar amendment is a common sense approach to elections and democracy. Most citizens do not believe that large corporations should have the right to buy elections by spending unlimited amounts of secret funds in elections. And Senator Sanders is standing by the American people in proposing this amendment.
The right to vote belongs only to citizens and corporations are not citizens. So corporations should not be allowed to out buy our vote. With all the emphasis by Republicans on voter fraud, the use of unlimited corporate money in elections is the biggest voter fraud being committed on all Americans. And we don’t hear one word from Republicans about the voter fraud known as Citizens United.