"What?!? A liberal loves Citizens United???", you might ask after reading the title. Yes, indeed I do. Happy everlovin' birthday to Citizens United!
"Why? Why? Why?" you might ask plaintively. "That tsunami of special interest money into politics? How could that possibly be a good thing?"
It's About the Speech
For all you hardcore utilitarians out there, I'll cut to the chase. It forces public funding so the rich 1% of the folks don't drown out the 99% of poor folks.
You see, it used to be, "Oh, we'll just sell out and then we can get as much money as the rich Republicans" Now all the Democrats are feeling like... the Green Party? Well, welcome to our Green world! Great candidates, great ideas, un-bought, and un-bossed, BUT NO ONE KNOWS THEY EXIST. Mainly due to the fact that they have no money.
Now Democrats can spend the next 50 to 100 years trying to get a ridiculous Constitutional Amendment passed to say that money is not equal to speech so it can be regulated to death and banned, yada, yada, yada. Seeing as things were pretty corrupt and unregulatable before Citizens United, it's folly to think that things will be just peachy keen once we are rid of this pesky old Supreme Court ruling.
OR everyone can do what John Stuart Mill suggested in his 1859 classic entitled, On Liberty. The answer to erroneous, false, untrue, speech, or speech you just plain don't like, is MORE speech. The thinking is that unexamined opinion is dogmatic, so by testing the falsities against the truth the truth becomes stronger, better understood, more properly applied, etc. The falsities wither under the scrutiny. If not scrutinized they can fester and become wide spread dogma. Remember the Third Reich?
And since when is corporate money not able to be properly countered by "We the People?" Gee, the one percenters of the '30s opposed their own New York brahmin turned crazed socialist, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The New Deal was a corporate nightmare akin to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre for chrissakes.
It's about the free speech. Liberals love their corporate nonprofits for instance. They combine the sentiments of many. So since they are corporations should they have to have each member issue an individual statement because they are restricted from speaking with one voice as a corporation? Whether their goal is saving the whales, or instead becoming obscenely wealthy, wrecking the planet, and reverting the world back to the feudal system, they should still be able to speak, because at the end of the day they are just another vehicle for people to voice opinions and arguments.
And you know what else? Better sit down for this one: Transparency is not a universal good.
Remember the Federalist Papers? They were essentially the blog posts of the time, except they were criticizing the King of England and the government, and that could get you dead fast. SO the Founding Fathers quite prudently used pen names to hide their identities. Should nonprofit member lists of Greenpeace be given to the FBI? An FBI agent who's a friend, and who is also a Greenpeace member, thought that would be a bad idea (and this is not to say they don't already have it, but the point is still valid). And I tend to agree wholeheartedly. So, if you give money to the "Out" party, or candidate, you could get negative repercussions to this day, and that is bad for democracy.
I know this is a difficult concept to accept for this consumeristic capitalistic culture we live in today, but, "No. You should not be able to put the elections on Ebay." Every candidate needs to be heard. Get their message out loud enough and clear enough. It's called the democratic election process. Do not be afraid. Democracy does work. Try it. It's pretty neat. You'll like it. And at the end of the day our democratic federal republic, when actually functioning, is the best way for people to live together. That's what's government is all about. People getting along and doing things collectively that they could not do individually. And as John Stuart Mill argued back in 1859, free speech is a critical part for a democratic government to have in order to promote debate over public policy.
So the top priority of the new legislature reconvening this month should be to pass a workable voter owned elections program, like the bills previously proposed by Senator Les Ihara and Representative Kaniela Ing. If not, Monsanto, Chevron, the Koch brothers and their ilk, will decide things for everyone, if left to their own devices.