Friday, March 12, 2010

ToT: Corporations don't count as people

My good friend George Seaman posits that the expansion of corporate freedoms awarded recently by the Supreme Court is a danger that we should be able to see equally from across the political spectrum. He's right, we should. So why don't we?

I have to wonder whether a lot of people who identify with the right are enthralled by corporations in much the same way a battered wife continues to defend her abuser. They've deluded themselves that the abusers really love them, despite what all their friends tell them, and if they can just be loyal enough and do the right things, the abuse will magically stop.

You can't penetrate this sort of self-delusion by stating the obvious. George's argument is cogent and clear to those of us who already understand, but our problem is that a whole lot of us don't or won't buy it.

George sensibly asserts, "Most of us don't have to think very hard to find evidence of this kind of collusion in today's 'unfree' markets," but fails to provide any examples to back that statement and help lead unconvinced voters to water. "Presidents from Jefferson to Obama, and many in between, have warned of the dire consequences of elevating corporations to an equal footing with the people," true enough, but the people we need to persuade do not understand what those consequences are.

We have to more clearly articulate the very real danger inherent in giving corporate interests unfettered license to use their financial and propaganda resources to influence elections and public policy. Many, perhaps most, voters already think that corporate influence is so deep that this ruling won't matter. The predictable difference might be expressed as a little water in your basement once in a while against a flood taking the house away. But this is not an easy sell against decades of daily corporate propaganda. We must be persuasive, persistent, factual and elementary if we're to have any hope for change.

I got a chuckle in the comments from one that characterizes ol'-hippie George as a rightwinger trying to pass as a libertarian. It's funny, but also illustrative of how people can read all sorts of things in that not only aren't there, but are completely opposite of reality.

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