When I started this blog I swore that I would tell stories about my son and keep my opinions to myself. But that was before I had the opinion that a corporation is not a person.
There, I’ve said it. I am of the opinion that a corporation is not a person.
A person is a person.
Somehow, I like saying that.
You can’t be on the Internet very long before figuring out that a lot of people have a lack of money on their minds.
You don’t even have to be on the Internet. You just have to have a kid.
“Dada,” Nick said to me last week, “Do we have enough money?”
“Dada has a job,” Nora said. “We’re very lucky.”
I can’t say I found medical school enjoyable, but I’m not complaining about having a job.
MONEY IS NOT SPEECH
Monkeying with the Constitution is not a thing to be undertaken lightly, which is why it’s not an easy thing to do. Constitutional amendments have sometimes had effects unintended by their framers, witness Prohibition and the rise of organized crime.
But I can’t look at the economic cliff we seem to have ridden the train off of without recognizing that the country I now live in is not the same as the one I grew up in. Not when banks can foreclose on un-mortgaged homes.
You heard it here. Home owned outright, paid for in cash, no mortgage, deed free and clear. Foreclosed on anyway by some bank.
Banks sixteen-trillion, taxpayers zero. Something is seriously out of whack.
Enough, I thought. What is needed is a restoration of balance. Which is why I like the sound of the proposed Amendment above.
I like the sound of, “The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.” And “The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.”
What all this language means is that Congress can make laws limiting campaign spending, and no court can declare such limits in violation of free speech.
“Money,” says the Amendment, “is not speech.” Speech is speech.
Picking Nick up from a play over with his friend Jay the other day, I found myself in a conversation with my friend Eduardo, Jay’s dad.
Eduardo is a Libertarian.
Libertarians generally believe government shouldn’t mess with people, except, I suppose, to secure the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
“What do you think of this?” I said.
I showed him a copy of the proposed Amendment, which I just happened to have in my pocket.
He read the last part aloud: Nothing in this amendment shall be construed to abridge freedom of the press.
“That’s cute,” he said. “But the whole thing is backward.”
“What do you mean?”
“You can’t stop the money. Money will always find a way. It’s like Prohibition trying to limit booze.”
“What do you suggest?”
“Limit government. The reason the lobbyists are too powerful is that government is too powerful.”
Then he gave me a book to read about twelve Supreme Court decisions that messed everything up by giving the government too much power.
This is the problem with getting into a discussion with a Libertarian. He gives you homework.
WE THE PEOPLE
What I needed was to talk it over with Nora, who is smarter than me.
I went home and showed her the book.
“So we’re supposed to let the corporations do whatever they want?” she said. “Just get the government out of their hair and they’ll be fine? What does he think, it’s the government that makes them greedy?”
“Yeah,” I said. “How are poor people supposed to protect themselves from rich people?”
“It’s not that,” Nora said. “How are honest people supposed to protect themselves from dishonest people?”
I thought of a book I used to read to Nick, the line we’d to say over and over to each other. And I knew what it was I liked about this Amendment.
“Yeah,” I said again. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:
Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss. He meant what he said and he said what he meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent.
Citizens United (i.e., Billionaires United) vs. Federal Election Commission (i.e., the rest of us):
Move to Amend. Try democracy here.
Exercise your rights! Just Add Father is listening. (Add your thoughts by clicking a few lines below below, where it says comments or add one. I always respond here.)
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