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The Hightower Report

The Foreign Corporation Vote; and Forming a Beer Party

By Jim Hightower, Fri., April 30, 2010

The Foreign Corporation Vote

Having decreed that corporations have a free speech "right" to spend unlimited sums from their massive corporate treasuries to elect or defeat candidates in our elections, the Supreme Court's five-man corporatist majority has opened a colossal can of worms. One of those worrisome squigglies is this question: Does the court's newly fabricated political right extend to foreign corporations?

In their ruling, the answer from the five judicial monkey-wrenchers was ... silence. How sly. With no explicit ban to rule out foreign corporate money, the justices have implicitly ruled it in. After all, argue apologists for this constitutional perversion, a corporation is a corporation, and its official domicile is irrelevant in determining its political rights.

So, not only have the Supremes magically endowed all inanimate corporate things with the human ability to speak, but they've also granted corporate "persons" more speech than actual people-people have. Start with the fact that the court's ruling equates our freedom of speech with the freedom to spend money – a plutocratic contortion of democracy that gives the most speech to those with the most money. American corporations alone have trillions of dollars they can draw from to shout down the voices of us mere humans.

But it appears that Toyota, Unilever, Deutsche Bank, Bin Laden construction company, and thousands of other foreign entities can also add their trillions of dollars to drown out the democratic voices of real Americans. Interestingly, foreign humans are banned from spending money to influence our elections – so the court has decreed that corporate foreigners have superior rights to human foreigners.

To help reverse this Supreme insanity, link up with the grassroots coalition called Move to Amend: www.movetoamend.org.

Forming a Beer Party

Would you have tea with me?

I'm talking to you authentic tea bag folks – those who are not corporate-funded, Republican Party spin-offs and those whose minds are not nailed shut by a simplistic, anti-government, laissez-fairyland ideology. Let's talk. You tea-partiers who are fed up with Washington and the leaders of both political parties – hey, count me in! And the target of our anger doesn't stop there, does it? Politicians are the face of our problems, but we all know that behind those faces is the real power that's stomping on us: Wall Street banksters, corporate downsizers, the 13,000 corporate lobbyists swarming our government, and the political consultants and media yakkers who exist only to segment and divide us.

Let's talk about it all – the whole corrupt insider system of moneyed elites who are systematically destroying the middle class and perverting the political process to shut out the voices of America's workaday majority.

Let's discuss this Big Theft, but most importantly, let's figure out what to do about it. Whether you call yourself conservative or progressive, what can we do together to decentralize and democratize our country's economic and political power, putting America back on its historic mission of trying to build a nation of, by, and for the people?

Another organization has suddenly sprouted across the country that might help get us together. It's called the Coffee Party – not meant to counter the Tea Party but to engage it positively. Check it out at www.coffeepartyusa.com.

Who knows – maybe we can all merge into a Beer Party! Beverage preferences aside, the important thing is for ordinary grassroots Americans to reach across false divides, see what we have in common, and start acting like the bosses of our government, our society, and our mutual destiny. That's what it really means to be American.


Don't miss Jim Hightower's upcoming appearance as part of a day of panel discussions and festivities celebrating his "Swim Against the Current: Highlights From the Jim Hightower Archive," on exhibit through July 31 as part of Texas State's Wittliff Collections. Sat., May 1, 1-7pm. Texas State University, San Marcos, www.thewittliffcollections.txstate.edu.

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