In their latest effort to make America’s status as an oligarchy (sub-class plutocracy) official, the five Republicans on the Supreme Court have now decided that wealthy people will be able to give as much money as they want to political parties and groups of candidates. According to the New York Times, the Republicans ruled that:
Overall limits of $48,600 by individuals every two years for contributions to all federal candidates violated the First Amendment, as did separate aggregate limits on contributions to political party committees, currently $74,600.
So, rich people will now be able to give millions of dollars every two years to the political party of their choice, without going to the trouble of setting up supposedly independent political action committees. In addition, rich people will now be able to give millions of dollars directly to candidates every two years, so long as they don’t give any candidate more than $2600 for a single election.
The $2600-per-election limit wasn’t killed off today, but it will be eliminated as soon as the Republican justices gets their chance. That’s because the Republicans on the Court claim, in the Chief Justice’s words, that “there is no right in our democracy more basic than the right to participate in electing our political leaders.” And by “participate”, of course, the Court means “use one’s financial resources to elect and influence as many politicians as possible”.
It’s now official, therefore, that the most basic right in our democracy is no longer the right to vote, a right that should belong to rich and poor alike. Now the most basic right is to “participate”. Anatole France once pointed out that “in its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread.” In the same way, the law in the United States now allows rich and poor alike to give millions of dollars to the candidates of their choice and buy as much political advertising as possible, all in the name of freedom of speech.
Treat money as speech, discourage low-income voters from voting (as Republican politicians are doing in every state they control), and do whatever possible to encourage financial inequality (let’s get rid of the death tax!). It’s an amazingly clear agenda. Replace government of the people with government of the few and make sure the few are the rich!