What ramifications will today's Supreme Court Campaign Finance decision have on politics, elections as we know them, etc.?I was horrified to hear of today's decision. I've always been uncomfortable...

What ramifications will today's Supreme Court Campaign Finance decision have on politics, elections as we know them, etc.?

I was horrified to hear of today's decision. I've always been uncomfortable with the interpretation of corporations as individuals, & although Justice Kennedy is arguing that this is a first amendment issue, I'm wondering what this will do to actual individual first amendment rights. Also, how can we ever trust any politician again? Will we ever see any kind of regulation in the future, or will our government be bought and sold even more than now? On the heels of this, I think it's interesting to note the attempt to dissolve the Consumer Protection Agency. Where are the rights of each American in the face of such power? No one can possibly compete with the financial backing of corporations, & they now have unlimited possibilities. Thoughts.....

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brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I think this is a disastrous decision, perhaps the worst since the Plessy vs. Ferguson case in 1896 in favor of segregation.  This will open the floodgates of corporate soft money in campaigns, money which already has a huge amount of influence, and will now drown out the public good and voter sentiment in favor of the wealthiest.  The previous restrictions to campaign spending were reasonable and democratic in nature.  This decision, however, was not.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

The very nature of most politicians enables them to easily hide things, so this decision might just shine more light on who’s doing what. With that being said, it is up to us as responsible citizens to educate ourselves on the platforms, agendas, voting records, histories, and etc. of those wanting our vote. Knowledge is power, and we can make ourselves more knowledgeable voters.

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I agree with the above poster in that as an informed voter we have to find factual information on  the candidates. That is most likely not going to come from a paid political ad. We have to look back at the past voting record of the candidate to determine what he truly believes in.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I dunno, pohnpei, the population as a whole seems pretty easily swayed by propaganda as it is. I don't see the situation looking very good in the future. The whole idea that this is a freedom of speech issue is just crazy. It is freedom of speech related to how much money you have. I'm just appalled by the decision.

I agree that we are swayed.  Seems like a judgement on us that we are.  And it seems a little wrong to ask the Court to save us from ourselves.

Having taught about this issue a bunch of times, I can see the logic of saying it's free speech (and the logic of saying it's not) so I can't get too angry.

I wonder if this will really give interest groups more power or if they've already maxed out on their share of the power and couldn't possibly dominate more than they do.

scarletpimpernel's profile pic

scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

To be honest, I don't think that the decision will have much effect at all.  Politicians and organizations are already so adept at hiding their corruption and financial backing that I don't think that it will change much about the way American politics functions.  Unfortunately, the average voter doesn't seem to care much about the truth; so what difference does it make who funds the ads?  If a person bases his or her vote on an advertisement rather than someone's voting record or past history, then he or she will continue to do so if corporations fund those ads.

Any sensible American has to admit that our government and political scenes are already corrupt and that votes on various issues are bought and sold every day (i.e., the Nebraska deal); so we shouldn't be trusting any politician as it stands.  The power to vote still lies with the voters, and that group has always been made up of the informed and the manipulated and always will be.

lynn30k's profile pic

lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I dunno, pohnpei, the population as a whole seems pretty easily swayed by propaganda as it is. I don't see the situation looking very good in the future. The whole idea that this is a freedom of speech issue is just crazy. It is freedom of speech related to how much money you have. I'm just appalled by the decision.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

My first thought is that now we have to be responsible consumers of media and ads.  There will be lots more ads, but they will have to disclose who's running them and who's paying for them.  That means that people will have to think hard enough to figure out what kind of agendas the people running the ads have.

What this ruling will do is give the interest groups more power to get their messages out.  But the ultimate power resides with the voters.  Will we be smart enough to see what kinds of axes the various interest groups have to grind?  Or will we get sucked in by their propaganda?

In a way, if we get sucked in by propaganda, we're not likely to be very good voters anyway.  If you rely on political ads to make your decisions for you, you probably aren't doing your job as a citizen.

So I see this as sort of a test -- are we good enough citizens to be worthy of the vote or are we idiots who will be swayed by slanted ads?

 

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

I wouldn't be horrified just yet. While the Supreme Court has made some great and poor decisions, there is no cause for alarm as of yet. Congress may eventually write new laws which may clarify recent rulings. It may be that corporations which are foreign owned but have headquarters in the US apparently able to fund election advertising, later cases before the Supreme Court may help to clarify that position as well.

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