Personhood: a Horn of an Inigma

Posted: February 6, 2010 in Politics

I have been reading and watching with great interest the brouhaha over the recent Supreme Court decision to grant corporations (and unions) the right to donate unlimited funds to political campaigns. I could say I am ambivalent about this; or I could say I am taking the position of Devil’s Advocate. Either way I am prompted to comment.

An extremely informative column in today’s edition of the Kitsap Sun by Rob Woutat adds fuel to the fire. The most enlightening statement as far as I’ve read (through paragraph five is regarding an 1886 Supreme Court decision that grants personhood to corporations.

Now, it has been my understanding for quite some time that corporations have been considered persons by Supreme Court dictum. But to read that this happened in the 19th century is news to me! As much attention that has been given the issue for many years, I would have thought it was a more recent turn of events. Are the minions of the political thought de jour as ignorant of the source of the level of status corporations as I have been in the past?

A clue to the answer to that question would be in the many commentaries expressing indignation over the Supremes’[1] decision. You might even say it’s a classic example of an example of the sky is falling. Excuse me for using such a cynical term; but really, should we have been that surprised at this decision? The only surprise for me, considering how old the former decision was, is this issue hasn’t been adjudicated long ago. Haven’t corporations (and unions) been fighting their restrictions to campaign financing forever? So now they’ve gotten their way. What’s to be done about it? I think efforts for legislative relief is a waste of time.

What we citizens of this great country need to do is declare war on corporate influence that is not in our interests and man the barricades! Make sure your friends and neighbors of like mind help get the word out and vote against narrow corporate interests.

We Americans have gotten lazy. Way too many of us don’t vote much less get politically active. We expect our elected officials to correct every wrong by legislation. I don’t believe it will work this time. The Supremes have spoken and any laws that attempt to turn the tide will die in the courts. It’s time we got off the dime and made sure the evils of undue corporate influence don’t rule the day.

One very essential element in the fight for the public interest is an informed electorate. Help influence everybody to pay attention to legitimate news outlets; and second-guess those faux news outlets that create false facts. Articulate loud and strong against ditto-headness. Encourage your associates and anyone who will listen to think for themselves and develop critical reasoning skills.

But if we ignore our duty to militarize the people and let corporations rule then we get what we deserve.


[1] This term was used often by Molly Ivins in her columns.

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