Monday, February 28, 2011

Corporations are taking the power from citizens

Last year, the Supreme Court eliminated limitations on corporate funding to support political candidates – in other words, big companies can now spend as much money as they want trying to influence Americans. This ruling is founded on the idea of ‘corporate personhood.’ Corporations are granted the same rights as people, which was a legal decision to simplify lawsuits and allow the corporations to be legally sued. However, this shortcut is destroying our democracy. Giving this type of financial power to corporations is stripping it from the average citizen. Clearly, a corporation has more financial ability and influence than the average Joe, so eliminating their restrictions on political funding is giving them an even greater advantage.

It is senseless to make a connection that a corporation has the same rights as a person. A corporation is not a person. It is made up of people, who already have their individual rights and freedoms. If everyone within the corporation was in support of a candidate, they could individually show their support and fund contributions in alignment with the Constitution.

The result of removing corporate limitations is not an increase of freedom for the individuals involved, but an increase in power and influence for the company. Now, major companies, such as oil companies and insurance companies, can use their influence and paychecks to shape elections. And who’s to say everyone involved with the company is in support of this politician. Those who do not would be stripped of their voices through the corporation’s decision.

This change is going to have a negative impact on the upcoming election. It is predicted that an increase of support will be shift to conservative candidates, as the liberal viewpoint typically rejects this change. If a liberal candidate does accept excessive corporate support, I think they will receive a negative response from their supporters.

Ultimately, I think this change will give corporations the ability to fix elections. Money is a powerful tool, and it will be abused in the upcoming election. More money to a candidate means more publicity, so corporations can propel any candidate they choose into the public light. This is bad news for democracy.

Kirstin Cook
Communication Studies
Wilkes 2013

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