My vote doesn't count. Those four words one may typically hear whenever there's a coming election. Usually it's always a general presidential election since there are those people who seem not to consider mid-term elections as significant, which they are.
In any case leading up to the 2012 presidential election in an effort to combat disinterest in voters, which certain powers that be do count on that apathy, one did use the 2008 election as a prime example. Such as telling a person, "Hey Obama narrowly beat McCain by 14,177 votes in North Carolina, so of course your vote does count." Or, "Hey McCain narrowly beat Obama by 3,903 votes in Missouri, so of course your vote does count." That depends on which candidate a person wants to win. Mid-term elections have always been as significant as general elections.
And since there is that matter of significance, there are two significant dates in which the United States Supreme Court had reached decisions that could make the average voter even more apathetic or disempowered, and by making their votes less significant. Those dates are January 21, 2010 and June 25, 2013. So let's begin with the most recent date, the decision to gut the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
On June 25, 2013, with Chief Justice John Roberts presiding while backed with four other conservatives making it a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court had decided to take out Section 5 of the historic 1965 Voting Rights Act. Yes there hasn't been any documented tales of horror in recent years in this United States land of freedom, of individuals being savagely beaten as happened in our nation's history as the heroic Fannie Lou Hamer's of the world fought for all people's right to vote.
But the lack of blatant horrors visited upon certain individuals almost to the point of death in recent years, does not make Section 5 any less significant given the passage of time since 1965. And the events leading up to the 2012 presidential election, such as certain states limiting the number of early voting days, as well as limiting the number of hours within those limited number of early voting days, questionable voter ID laws, and illegitimate purging of certain registered voters are all evidences of this.
These evidences are now the recent tactics in this still brand new 21st Century in America, specifically designed to marginalize the voices of a segment of the voting population. To which also, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) have recently said in a press release on June 25, 2013 that they too are dismayed by the Supreme Court's decision to gut Section 5 from the Voting Rights Act.
And then on Jan. 21, 2010 again with Chief Justice John Roberts presiding also with a 5-4 ruling vote with a conservative majority, the Supreme Court decided in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that the government cannot stop corporate spending in candidate's elections. Which is essentially saying that corporations are people too, borrowing the words from a former 2012 presidential candidate. People do work in corporations. But does that mean corporations are people too? Well let's examine that.
Goldman Sachs, the investment banking firm traded on NYSE as GS, had received $10 billion from the U.S. federal government after the U.S. suffered the worst recession beginning 2008 since the Great Depression. That firm was founded in 1869, four years after the end of the American Civil War. That was 144 years ago. Which also means that given financial strength, especially now since leading corporations are sitting on unheard of record levels of cash, a corporation has the ability to potentially carry on into perpetuity.
Has any human being ever lived to 144 years? It is said that a woman in France had lived to 122 years. Japan always ranks in the top three of nations of the world in longevity. And as much as we Americans love to bash both Canada and France, Canada ranks about 13, France about 15, and yet we Americans rank sorrowfully about 50.
Unless you are a Vulcan from the popular sci-fi entertainment franchise of TV shows and films of Star Trek, only then do you have the ability to live on average over 200 years. But that won't work. Because then you won't be classified as a human being if you are a Vulcan living in the United States, given that Vulcans have green blood, are at the very least three perhaps four times stronger than an average healthy human being, and can amazingly go without sleep for about two weeks. Though given to being mostly an even tempered race, Vulcans are tough.
Corporations are made up of people, but given their juggernaut of financial power which also gives corporations the ability to live long and prosper to borrow a phrase from Star Trek, does that make corporations people too? Should corporations be granted the same rights as individuals to choose candidates, by allowing their use of money to be spent in a political campaign? Well the Supreme Court thinks so.
And so based on the decisions on Jan. 21, 2010, and on June 25, 2013, where does that leave the average hardworking American individual?