Democracy in Crisis


Megan Kelly

Who really runs the White House?

Spencer Mullen, Staff Writer

       The 2012 presidential election is only a few weeks away. Democratic nominee and incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney are neck and neck, and it seems that whoever wins will win by a small margin. However, enthusiasm for the presidential election in our country is at a record low. Only 17% of Americans are happy with the direction in which our country is headed. The Democrats blame previous president George W. Bush for our country’s problems, and believe that Mitt Romney will make things worse. The Republicans blame Barack Obama, and believe that reelecting him will cause further destruction to America. This November, whether we keep Barack Obama as our President or not, it is foolish to believe that America’s problems will be fixed unless drastic change comes. It is not wholly Barack Obama’s fault that the country is in the shape it is. Nor is it George W. Bush’s fault. It is the national government that has failed the citizens of the United States, not the actions of one person in particular.

            Two years ago, the Supreme Court made one of its worst decisions since its genesis. During the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, the Supreme Court decided that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. Basically, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same rights as human beings, and that money equals free speech. Even worse, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could pour an unlimited amount of money into elections.

            Contrary to Mitt Romney’s belief, corporations are not people. While people have many priorities, such as family, love, or morality, corporations have only one priority: maximum profit. Corporations are made up of people, but the people’s desires come second to the wishes of the corporations. Unlike humans, corporations are required by law and by the free market to make the most money possible for their shareholders.  As Bill Moyers said, “I’ll believe that corporations are people when Texas executes one.”


Both parties take campaign money
What’s the difference?

Americans are concerned about issues such as the economy, healthcare, the environment, and the national debt. But because corporations spend millions on the political campaigns of candidates who will favor them, the citizens have to take a backseat to what the corporations want. Oil and gas companies have convinced the government to block laws that could benefit our environment. Manufacturing companies have made agreements with the government that ship jobs overseas, making it harder for Americans to find jobs. Insurance companies were the first to speak out against health care reform, and the national debt has greatly increased because of bailouts and subsidies to giant corporations. 

            However, it is not too late to change this trend. A new constitutional amendment is being pushed forward that states that corporations are not legally people and should not be entitled to spend money to alter the outcome of political races. Studies have shown that 85% of the people in our country believed that corporations have too much control over the government, but if that sentiment never turns into action, then our democracy will remain in crisis.