On Wednesday I spoke to the assistant to my congressional representative’s assistant encouraging her to be a co-sponsor of the We the People amendment. I prepared remarks because otherwise I tend to go on.
“I’m an elected official in my town, Randolph Vermont, and I work all the local elections. I also work in the public library where we struggle constantly against giant publishers who hold the ebook market under their absolute control, deciding prices and terms while also being the only game in town, not truly subject to market forces.
Nationally, public libraries are struggling under constant book challenges in public and school libraries. These challenges are frequently brought by centralized fake parenting organizations (in that the people who organize them may be parents but they are not usually parents of people in the schools and towns where they bring these challenges, they just find a local parent and tell them what to do) and are forwarding a dangerous white supremacist and anti-LGBTQ agenda while donating incredible amounts of money towards elections from school boards to Congress. It has to stop.
People need a level playing field so that we will truly live in a democracy and one person gets one vote and where corporate non-persons (that never die, that have special interests, that legally exist to accumulate capital, that *shouldn’t* have free speech in all cases) are suitably regulated and only enjoy privileges that are given to them by people and regulated by governments.
We are seeing, nationwide, situations in which a majority, a large majority, of Americans support or believe in a thing (abortion rights, legalized marijuana, the rights of our gay and trans friends and neighbors) but are having their voices drowned out by the “speech” of big money trying, and often succeeding, in influencing legislation via gerrymandering, fake grassroots organizations, and undue influence in elections.
And it’s a Vermont issue. Nearly one fifth of Vermont towns have passed resolutions at town meeting (over a decade ago) affirming that they feel money is not speech and corporations are not people.
Legal privileges for businesses, even non-profits, are subject to the political process already in place. Artificial persons should not have civil rights though the people who make them up absolutely should.
Money is not speech and corporations are not persons and people have rights over corporations which have the privileges we give them.
I work for my town. I believe in democracy. I want to live in a country where every person gets a vote and every non-person gets no votes.”