“Democracy is rule by the people, after all, not rule by Goldman Sachs, Walmart or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” — Robert Weissman, president of the public-interest group Public Citizen.
That Democracy is rule by the people was once considered self-evident in this country, but that changed with the Supreme Court’s disastrous ruling in the Citizens United case. By a 5-4 vote, the Court overturned decades of political tradition and judicial precedent to find that corporations have a constitutional right to spend unlimited sums to promote or defeat candidates. To restore democracy in America, the Citizens United decision must be overcome. The sentiment to do so appears to be growing. More than 135 members of Congress (no Arkansans, unfortunately) have expressed support for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United. Arkansans should ask their elected representatives to stand up for democracy. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Thirteen state legislatures have called for adoption of such an amendment. Arkansas’s is not among them, of course. In the legislative session just ended, Arkansas lawmakers put partisanship above patriotism and voted to restrict democracy further, by making it harder for people to vote. A terrible thing, especially in a state with a motto such as ours.