Part 3 of 5: What about Today?
The cable media is another mega-corporation, and one of the few super-corporations headquartered on American soil. But as some believe, they remain for ulterior reasons, i.e., to support the back and forth arguments of the republican and democratic parties. In other words, they serve a diversionary purpose. They are shameless in their lucrative take from political campaigns, the source of much of their revenue.
Consider the biased opinions of the Fox News Corporation. They reinforce the right-wing republican believers through 24-hour filters and lenses. Fox (Faux News) knows what their listeners WANT to hear beforehand. They simply feed and reinforce right-wing opinion.
Likewise, if you are enamored by NBC, MSNBC, ABC, or the other giants like Time-Warner/CNN you are fed the predisposition, “left of center” politics. These corporations too already know what their listeners want to hear. And like a new born infant feeding on a bottle, they feed them “news-spin” 24-hours a day.
On the other hand, if you are glued to the other media giant, Viacom, you could gorge on a steady diet of semi-porn material. One of their latest viewing is the act to twerk, “shake dat azzzzz!”
In either case, republican or democrat, corporate drives the bus. If you expect a ride on their bus, you must tolerate their news propaganda and political spin.
Beware however! The political food and yellow journalism they serve may be laced with homemade rat poison, i.e., 98% corn, 1% strychnine and 1% arsenic. It creates cynicism. It kills!
Let me ask you this. To the best of your recollection, when did Congress or the Court legislate against an American corporation? How substantial was that ruling?
With respect to corporations and the decision: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, (see my earlier installment) the dissenting word of Justice John Stevens was prophetic. He said the Court’s decision threatens the integrity of our elected institution. He said the United States Supreme Court’s decision removed long-established legal barriers preventing corporations and unions from spending unlimited sums of money to influence voters in political campaigns.
Previously, politicians had to prove that political campaigns were not unduly funded by corporations. But the Court’s ruling actually stacks the deck against people of independent political stripes. It enables corporations to buy (themselves) a private congress. How did we get here? Let’s examine.
Doubtless, the founders of the nation did not like corporations. They eschewed them. For over 100 years, corporations were given only limited “privileges” and not “rights” in America. Only persons had rights under the law.
The mischief began after the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1868. That Amendment extended equal protection under the law to all male citizens of the U.S regardless of race.
Because of the 14th Amendment, corporate attorneys seized the moment. They began to advocate for “corporate personhood.” And finally in 1886, the opportunity presented itself: The County of Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad (SPR).
The substance of that case was not so much “corporate personhood” but deducting mortgage costs on (SPR) vast holdings. But, as in all legal decisions “words” have meaning and consequences.
In that 1886 case, Chief Justice Waite said, “The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does.”
His single statement may have laid the golden egg for attorneys advocating corporate-personhood. He planted the seed-corn of corruption by recognizing, in essence, corporations as “persons.”
Intended or unintended, Judge Waite opened the floodgate for corporate attorneys, and set the course to thwart the noble experiment of government. And to think that less than 22-years earlier, Lincoln uttered his famous words, “for, of, and by” the people. He spoke to a grieving nation engaged in a great Civil War that spilled the blood of 620,000 of America’s best and brightest.
Many died to preserve Lincoln’s assertion: “That this nation shall not perish from the earth.” Instead the Court’s case of 1886 may have contributed and moved the country toward the January 2010 decision. firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Installment: Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail
Mr. Dawsey is retired from the Federal Government. He served 40-years in three career fields: Financial, Aerospace engineering, and Special Program Management. He lives in Salemburg and is the author of 5-books, his last is Mazzaroth: 12 Signs.