It’s actually pretty obvious what’s at the crux of our HUGE political divide. How the Right (and Alt-Right) and Progressive liberals (even moderate Dems) can look at the same 240 yr. old Constitution and come to entirely different conclusions. I just heard VP Pence conflate capitalism with liberty! How can the same founding documents be interpreted so differently? It’s one reason why the Supreme Court Justice picks are of critical importance. Current U.S. law is based on the 1976 High Court ruling that money is speech (plus 1979 amendments and other citations led to the 2010 “Citizens United” ruling. Details in the Amendment Gazette )
Everyone is shouting past the real issue– and each other– protesting, boasting or posting their own opinions, from the left, from the right. No one is listening! So if you want me to say it plainly, take a deep breath… exhale. Ready?
Under those rulings, money IS speech. Capitalism IS everything. We are living in Orwell’s 1984 and were even back then, under Reagan.
If you think corporations and other polluters can buy the right to ruin our remaining protected, sacred lands, and ruin our health with toxic chemicals and unregulated poisons in our food, air and water, then you probably agree with the “Citizens United” view of America. Many of us view those actions as immoral and inhumane. We feel morality means true concern and compassion for ALL– regardless of stature or ability to pay. You know, “Liberty and Justice for All” as in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Politicians like Pence and Senator Jeff Sessions (R – Alabama) who is nominated to be our next U.S. Attorney General say plainly, they will uphold and enforce our laws. Currently, that means money is speech and corporations can use unlimited amounts to buy and bribe their way into every aspect of our lives. In other words, money talks (literally!)
At the controversial Prayer Breakfast (Feb 2) Donald Trump assured the religious leaders that their churches and organizations would have UNLIMITED ability to “support” (give money through super pacs and donations) religious freedom. My jaw dropped when I realized they will use their deep pockets to buy the best attorneys, analysts and yes judges to make sure those laws remain on the books. I don’t believe that is what most hardworking Midwesterners and “Evangelicals” voted for. They want jobs, but even when it requires dealing with the devil? (Writer David Brooks nailed it with his “Republican Fausts” opinion piece in the New York Times this past week.) Maybe Trump really is the #AntiChrist.
Trump and Co. say they won the election “fair and square” (despite their own claims of a “rigged system” and Russian involvement.) The Resistance claims the election was stolen using dirty tricks like voter suppression, diversion tactics, outright lies AND Russian collusion. Both sides are now claiming high ground and “moral authority.”
I vividly recall when the original alleged Moral Majority emerged. I was a young reporter in the 1970s. After Nixon’s impeachment, there was right-wing backlash to hippies, women’s “lib” and all the liberal politics of the time. Fundamentalist Churches began urging their members to support and vote for certain political candidates (often picked by their new leader Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell.) Midwest and Southern “evangelicals” (as they’ve come to be called) were pushing back against abortion, emerging gay groups and feminism in all forms. This is when they discovered the real power of the pulpit and the almighty dollar. They gerrymandered districts, suppressed the minority vote and bought themselves a judicial system. Somehow they’ve convinced themselves that is moral. Me and 70 million other voters disagree. That is why protests continue. We are the majority and we have a very different view of what is moral.
Regardless what our ridiculous Republican-concocted laws say, giant corporations and mega Churches are exactly what our Founders did not want running this country. They crossed the ocean in rickety ships to get away from such oppression. But with a billionaire baby in the Oval, Faustian Bannon in his ear, and unlimited amounts of cash pouring in, it will take some savvy detangling to get us out of this mess.