Enough Already

There are many problems with the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. This one's personal. I'm getting several hundred end-of-the-world fund-raising emails each and every day. There are times when they're arriving faster than I can trash them. The emails are annoying. Their effects are insidious. Campaigns are now about fundraising. Period.

For people who govern themselves, political campaigns should illumine the opportunities before us and the challenges we face. At the end of a campaign, we should know more about our country, our fellow citizens and those who want to represent us. Instead we are awash in malicious advertising and name-calling.

America has plenty of challenges which can only be addressed through the political process. That process has been hijacked by money: the year 'round incessant need for office seekers to raise more and more of it and the relentless bombardment of the advertising for which the money is being raised. The resulting noise is drowning out the discussion -- the democratic dialog which is essential to self-government.

The only way to get back to a politics that works and get surcease from the non-stop bombardment of ads and fundraising pleas is to dramatically reduce the role of money in our political system.

The first step is to elect candidates who are responsive to and responsible to people rather than to money, candidates who are concerned about our collective well-being rather than the profits of stateless corporations.

The next step is for those people-responsive elected officials to do whatever is necessary to craft a Supreme Court which understands how corrosive money is to the political process, a Court which is not willfully naive about the corrupting power of money, a Court which will overturn Citizens United and McCutcheon. Meanwhile, these chosen candidates should pass a constitutional amendment explicitly and unambiguously defining a "person" as a "natural person."

Do not vote for a candidate who believes that corporations are people. Do not vote for a candidate who believes that money is protected speech. Our futures depend on it.