A Constitutional Dilemma: Free Speech for Whom? | Teen Ink

A Constitutional Dilemma: Free Speech for Whom?

February 8, 2010
By MalloryM SILVER, Arlington, Virginia
MalloryM SILVER, Arlington, Virginia
7 articles 21 photos 1 comment

As a concerned citizen I was greatly alarmed by the recent Supreme Court decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which let corporations donate unlimited amounts of money to political candidates. As a moderate I can usually see both sides of a situation, yet I find this completely unjustified. The conservative view point that this decision has increased freedom of political expression is to put it simply, false. By letting corporations donate unlimited amounts of money, how will any donations I the average citizen give make any difference in the political process? My funds are no match to those of giant corporations, there’s no competition on who would have more influence. By giving corporations freedom of expression they have stripped millions of Americans of theirs. And how is that in any way justifiable, in what system? The millions of citizen’s rights being violated outweigh the rights of corporations; the philosophical stand point on which the constitution was based on would never allow such a flagrant disregard for the rights of the individual. This simply cannot stand.

Can the decisions made in the McCain Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002 really be wiped away so easily, the reasons why it passed so easily forgotten? The Framers when creating the constitution did not want a despot or entity controlling the government, which is precisely why they created a federal system of government. Letting people with money control the political system by buying politicians votes is simply a travesty. Of course one might say the political system offers multiple access points, however multiple access points stand no chance against unlimited amounts of money. The original Act the Supreme Court destroyed was meant to protect freedom of political expression for the citizens of this country, to protect us from what the framers feared. It is because of this I am strongly urging Congress to turn over this decision. It is essential for the progress of the United States and for each single citizen of the United States who are relying on their representatives to stop this.

In a time of recession were many citizens are unsure of their future, the last thing the government needs is to strip faith in the political system. What the citizens needs is an inspiration, to know that changes can be made, that their voice matters. To move forward as a country, the citizens must have hope in the government; the government is a democracy, and a democracy is a government controlled by the people. This country cannot mend itself, cannot get back up without its backbone of support from its citizens. For the sake of the entire country and all those in it who are not strong enough to match a giant corporation with unlimited funds, we must try and change this decision.

As alarmed as I am I would not go so far as to say democracy is dead. Democracy is alive, in the simple hope that by writing a letter like this to my congressman I might still make a change. Democracy is alive in a single citizen’s last attempt in making a difference, to preserve the chance to make a difference. This article is not just a cry for reform; it is a cry for justice, and for liberty. It is a cry to uphold the social contract between a government and its citizens, a cry to keep the inalienable rights of the individual alive. This is a statement of America, of what it stands for, and what it could continue to stand for for years to come, if we fight this decision.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Mar. 8 2010 at 6:56 pm
StanHubertson, Oak Park, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 29 comments
They [companies] want to be treated as individuals so that they can donate as much money as they want, here's what you do: if countries commit crimes send they're CEOs to prison and watch them shut up about social responsibilty really quick.

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