To restore the people’s sovereignty over government and its creations, empower our representatives in state and federal office to limit the corrupting influence of money in politics and policy, and prevent the U.S. Supreme Court from elevating artificial entities over the people who allow them to exist, we propose the following amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In all instances wherein the words “person,” “persons,” and “people” appear in this constitution, such words shall be construed to define living human beings only.
“Money” is defined only as legal tender for the purpose of settling all debts, public and private. Congress shall make no law recognizing the free flow of money as an expression of speech of any kind, or as an expression of any of the rights enumerated in this constitution.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article and to regulate federal elections by appropriate legislation.
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The consent of the governed may not be a new idea anymore but it is just as hated by elitists today as it was in 1776. The American Founding Fathers understood that government was a two-edged sword, capable of securing the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but also a magnet for the corrupt and manipulative; it could be a force for justice and liberty or for oppression and servitude, or both. The tacit approval of slavery in the original ratification of the U.S. Constitution is proof enough of the inherent paradox of government.
There can be no doubt that a group of thoughtful men who were still basking in the glow of victory–over not just a corrupt British monarchy and even more corrupt Parliament but over the most visible instruments of their oppression, the East India Company and other crown corporations–would never have presumed to believe that the definition of the “governed” would come to include artificial creations of government just like the East India Company. Yet, to read the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court in decisions from Citizens United v. FEC back to the infamous Buckley v. Valeo, among many others, the East India Company would enjoy privileges in modern American law that its shareholders wouldn’t have dreamed of obtaining under British law in the 18th century.
It’s not just for-profit corporations. The non-profit advocacy and think tank industry is afforded the same set of constitutional rights. Even unions are considered to be given the same wide latitude (though they have many more restrictions than other non-profits under the Fair Labor Standards Act). As a result of the decades-long agenda of a politically-minded Supreme Court, all artificial entities can avail themselves of a wide range of constitutional rights that make them virtually impervious to the will of the people. This Court, pretending that the systemic corruption that every thinking American understands is as obvious as the noses on our faces somehow doesn’t exist, has whittled the definition of corruption down to such a narrow extreme that a bill would practically have to have a kickback provision written into it for the Court to view it as a crime.
This cannot be left to stand. It cannot wait for one or two Supreme Court Justices to retire. All the Justices, “liberal” or “conservative,” who have been appointed to the bench over the past four or five decades have been more “pro-corporate,” more “pro-money-as-speech,” than the Justices they replaced. This isn’t a right versus left issue. It’s an elites versus everyone else issue. The sooner we all come to that conclusion, the sooner we can put this gilded age behind us and get back to the business of making America an example for the rest of the world to follow, not because we have the strongest military, but because we have the most common sense, the most neighborly decency and the best free enterprise system the world has ever known. Corporatism isn’t free enterprise, it’s crony socialism, and it will bankrupt us and doom our children to poverty if it isn’t stopped.