Conflict Over Campaigning

November 5, 2012
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Politicians, our nominated officials who should honestly represent our political views, have transformed into CEO’s of the United States Government©, conforming to the opinions of American businesses. Corporations do not simply donate money to political candidates because they respect their beliefs; they expect rewards. This election alone, corporations have supplied Mitt and Obama over a billion dollars. These businesses are not your local grocery stores. They’re weapons manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and agricultural giants like Monsanto. Why would Obama support universal healthcare and Mitt increase military funding otherwise? Feeding on corporate donations, Mitt and Obama have surged to front of the media while supporting illogical plans. How about the few politicians who passionately defend their political beliefs because it is what’s best for the American people? They are left behind because no business is going to support that candidate who contradicts the company’s beliefs. In order to flip the power of our government back into the hands of the people, many have suggested restricting campaign funding by overturning Citizens United, a law that allows businesses to donate to candidates without limit. This is not the correct approach. Limiting business contributions to political candidates would directly conflict with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment. We should, instead, expose each candidate’s sponsors in order to educate voters, ultimately weeding out corruption.
Restricting corporations from donating to political candidates through Citizens United would interfere with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment, even though their ruling is absurd. The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech and expression to American citizens. This is our right as citizens of the United States of America. Floyd Abrams, however, has extended our right to American businesses and corporations so they can donate billions to political candidates through Citizens United. Abrams states that Citizens United provides greater freedom and does not lead to corruption. Nothing could be further from the truth. Floyd refuses to acknowledge that by giving businesses a stronger voice to support candidates, the politicians that businesses ignore are drowned out. The Supreme Court, however, has agreed to support this ridiculous assertion because it is philosophically correct (although not correct in reality). The court’s decision would be impossible to completely overturn. Even Monica Youn, member of the New York University School of Law, states that, “you can never underestimate an unwilling Supreme Court’s ability to dodge it [Citizens United getting revoked] through interpretive evasion,” Therefore, even though the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment is wrong, we cannot contradict the ruling and decrease corruption at the same time.
Instead of restricting campaign donations by overturning Citizens United, we should display each candidate’s sponsors to the public. Allowing everyone to see a candidate’s sponsors would largely eliminate the trend for politicians to draft their stances based on their sponsor’s opinions because they will be caught red-handed. Yes, politicians would still receive donations if we uphold Citizens United, but it gives the American people the power to choose. It should be the people’s right to know each candidate’s stance and why they take that stance. Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, along with Jamie Raskin, a professor of constitutional law, believe the only way to eliminate corruption in campaigning is to restricting corporate donations, while ignoring exposing who each candidate’s sponsors are. Overturning Citizens United would be nice, but would not work in reality because the Supreme Court will do everything in its power to keep the law. We have to face the reality that corporate donations, although corrupt, will not stop. Instead, we need to educate the people of the United States by exposing each candidate’s sponsors so we can make informed votes. Otherwise, we will continue to struggle against a stubborn court while money gets dispersed behind the curtain.

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ConstanceContraire said...
Nov. 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm
Oh my gosh this is the first time i have ever seen a teen ink article going againts the GMO monster Monsanto!
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