A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the State of Vermont in which I recalled a conversation I had with my father when I was a little boy. We were talking about his impressions of the people who lived in the states within driving distance of us in Philadelphia, and he came out with this pearl: “If you’re not from Vermont, they don’t really want you in Vermont.”
I laughed when I heard it, and it’s certainly not true as a general statement, but I’ve come to see the point he was trying to make. Vermonters tend to be self-styled, much like the French, I suppose one could say; they don’t ask permission to be fiercely independent on the issues that concern them.
Thus it’s no surprise that Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who runs (of course) as an Independent, bravely leads the way on huge pieces of legislation, like health care, and my favorite, a constitutional amendment that would overturn the US Supreme Court decision “Citizens United.” Since this judgement in early 2010, corporations are protected by US Constitution’s First Amendment that grants live people the right of free speech. Now, corporations can spend as much money as they like to influence our elections according to their profit-making interests. Where you and I are free to spend $2500, Chevron can spend $13 billion (its cash reserve). Until this decision is put asunder, we Americans live in a democracy in an extremely limited sense of the word.
Here’s Sanders’ recent speech, an excerpt from which reads:
In my view, a corporation is not a person. In my view, a corporation does not have first amendment rights to spend as much money as it wants without disclosure on a political campaign. In my view, corporations should not be able to go into their treasuries, spend millions and millions of dollars, on a campaign, in order to buy elections. I do not believe that that is what American democracy is supposed to be about. I do not believe that that is what the bravest of the brave, from our country, fighting for democracy, fought and died to preserve.
In my view, Sanders has nailed it.
I urge you to support this legislation. More at MoveToAmend.org.