Written by Carl Gibson for Reader Support News
If an immortal billionaire sociopath took an interest in politics, what sort of candidates or policies would they support? If there was such a person, their bottomless funds would draw the interest of mainstream national candidates, very likely to the detriment of the rest of us. If the immortal sociopath could donate vastly more money to his candidate’s election than the other 99% of us, candidates would logically advocate for policies similar to what the big donor wanted, even if that meant repealing child labor laws, banking regulations, allowing big banks to take more American homes, destroying the environment, or raising taxes on the 99% to cut taxes for the 1%.
Sadly, this has already happened. Thanks to the SCOTUS’ Citizens United vs. FEC ruling, multinational corporations can contribute unlimited funds to their candidate of choice. The 2010 decision essentially stated that corporations are people and money is speech, so a corporation donating unlimited funds to a campaign is, according to the John Roberts Supreme Court, a person exercising their right to free speech, despite that “person” lacking internal organs or a pulse.
Today’s Republican candidates for president have made no bones in adapting their platforms to pursue corporate donors.
Newt Gingrich has advocated for the repeal of child labor laws. He and Michele Bachmann also want to kill financial reform. Mitt Romney says he would speed up the home foreclosure process. Rick Perry’s “jobs plan” gives a green light for the oil and gas industry to pillage the environment for profit. Ron Paul wants to abolish the EPA. And, of course, Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” tax plan would cut tax rates for the 1% to a historic low, while raising taxes on working Americans.
Now, the people – the mortal ones – no longer have a voice in government, because we can’t come close to matching the billions of dollars corporations effortlessly contribute to the political process. And in this election cycle, the GOP has nakedly shown disdain for the 99% to court corporate cash. Rush Limbaugh, the de facto leader of the GOP, nauseatingly insists that these goons of the 1% are the candidates working Americans should support. I called in and reminded him that those who don’t have unlimited funds still deserve to be represented.
RUSH: No, corporations are not drowning out anything. It’s a free market out there, and you have to compete for whatever you gain and then you have to compete to hold it.
CALLER: I mean, I’d like to support my candidates, but maybe I’ll just scrounge around my couch for a few billion to, you know, make sure that my voice gets heard just as loudly as the corporations’ voices get heard every election cycle.
RUSH: Well, you gotta understand now, the people in corporations are just like the people outside the corporation. People make campaign donations.
CALLER: I can’t afford a lobbyist, Rush. That’s why I’m the 99%. That’s why everybody’s Occupying nationwide.
Rush’s “screw-you-I’ve-got-mine” mentality, echoed by so many GOP politicians, has been etched into the minds of their supporters, most of whom are in just as dire of a situation as ever thanks to dangerous Republican ideology that celebrates excessive, unrestrained greed. Regardless of party affiliation, most of us are struggling to survive in this economy. Our type of struggle is a foreign concept to Rush and his ilk, and they will never understand the plight of the 99%.
RUSH: Ted, if you could narrow this down – I’m serious – what really upsets you, as a human being? As you get up every day and go about your life, what is it that really has you unhappy or mad or what is it that’s got you all wound up?
CALLER: I’m really glad you asked that, Rush. This is what gets me mad, all right? I work two, three, sometimes four part-time jobs to pay rent and get by.
CALLER: And the more I work, the harder I work, the more I see my community fall apart, the more I hear our leaders tell us that it’s our fault, the more I see that –
RUSH: Okay, wait –
CALLER: – the results of our work go to the hands of a wealthy few.
Click the video… (at the top of the post) …to watch the dittocam footage of the exchange between Rush and I. Click here to read a transcript of the call.
Carl Gibson, 24, of Lexington, Kentucky, is a spokesman and organizer for US Uncut, a nonviolent, creative direct-action movement to stop budget cuts by getting corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. He graduated from Morehead State University in 2009 with a B.A. in Journalism before starting the first US Uncut group in Jackson, Mississippi, in February of 2011. Since then, over 20,000 US Uncut activists have carried out more than 300 actions in over 100 cities nationwide. You may contact Carl at firstname.lastname@example.org.