not all who wander are lost

not all who wander are lost

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Supreme Court

(So, I haven't blogged for several days. On purpose. I have been busy discerning, settling. A cycle; my learning how to be aware, present, and living with both conviction and humility. That Supreme Court ruling last week knocked me right off my tranquil tree. I needed some time to figure this one out. With my best foot forward...)

I heard about it first. From friends. I couldn't quite believe it was true. Next, I heard it on the radio. I had an actual physical reaction to the radio broadcast. My heart was racing, I was short of breath. How.who.why.....HOW. could this happen? Who would WANT this to happen? Right or left....I couldn't figure it out. I was all poised to do a VIDEO BLOG, or vlog as it is called because there was no BOLD bold enough, no italics slanted enough, no exclamation point big enough ! to express my confusion and concern. But, instead, I dug into it, as deep as I could go because I don't want to be partially informed. or pissed off. Rather, I want to be informed, I want to understand the issue from all sides, and then be forward thinking. Eyes set on goodness, remember? I strive for that.

So how did this whole case come about....

Remember Newton's 3rd Law of Motion? "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." Picture Michael Moore the filmmaker on one side of a teeter totter. And Citizens United on the other side of the teeter totter. Citizens United wanted to release Hillary The Movie during the presidential candidate race last year. The Federal Election Commission said they had to wait until the race was over. Releasing such a movie during the race was in effect putting lots of money against her candidacy. Citizens United sued the Federal Election Commission. Our case was born.

At a certain level this case is about the First Amendment, Freedom of Speech. People in support of this Supreme Court ruling say, "Government should not have the power to limit freedom of speech. Period. It's dangerous for government to have that power as it relates to ANYTHING because it is a slippery slope and depending on who is in power...." The intent was to defend freedom of speech.

However, and this is the problem, the INTENT of the lawsuit and how it shakes out for our individual reality going forward don't match. I don't say this lightly. I read the actual ruling (all Supreme Court decisions are available in their burdensome but informative entirety online). Look at what it means. Really look. The reality that the ruling creates is practically the opposite of the intended effect for the individual citizen. It takes power and voice AWAY from individual citizens. It gives corporations and unions the freedom and the power and the ability now to spend unlimited amounts of money towards a political campaign. Blatantly. Legally. Marketing a candidate. Buying a candidate. Even foreign corporations. Corporations, the richest entities in the world. It's a different game now.

Newton's first law of motion states that "An object in motion will stay in motion and an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an external force." So what now? Something needs to happen to temper this ruling. An external force. Can the legislators come up with a response that preserves freedom of speech but doesn't sell our influence and voice to the global corporate world? Once again, I put it out there....eyes set on Goodness. An image, an expectation that our elected and appointed officials in Washington will work together, listen to each other to fix this.

I was encouraged by the State of the Union speech last night. I hope that our government begins to function like the intelligent, creative, forward thinking team it has the potential to be. We need not all agree all the time about how to arrive...but we should keep moving together towards our highest good. Difficult and possible and we should expect nothing less.

Like precious dimes in the cup of a starving artist as you pass by. Much obliged m'am. Thank you sir. Your comments are always appreciated.


emily said...

Thank you for this post, ma'am. And the time you took reading through the ruling and modeling that kind of engaged behaviour for the rest of us.

What I come away thinking about after reading your post is the corporation and the individual. Has anyone else seen that documentary - THE CORPORATION?

It's awesome in it's diagrammatic nature and looking back at the roots. If I remember right the corporation is basically treated like an individual, etc. And that's what freaks me out. The snowball affect of the power of a corporation with cash and the legal protection to use it any way they see fit because by law they're accountable to their shareholders.

So freedom of speech...awesome, but as you point out, Sara, interesting intent, dire consequences.

I remember after watching the documentary thinking I wish we could go back, I wish we could go back and start that legal corporation business over again.

Thank you for the time you put into this one. I agree with Eva, it's good to have you back.

della said...

I too am impressed that you took so much time to think through and research the topic before your post. It was a rather unsettling ruling. I was a bit renewed when the President kind of 'called out' the ruling in his speech. This is a ruling that needs to be noticed, discussed and given a second thought. I know that the leaders of our country have a lot to do but this ruling could chanage the way we govern in our country and they really need to think about that. Thank you, Sara for your comments and call to action.

Moms said...

The problems with corporations is that they don't have a soul...just a board of directors whose mission is the bottom line.