PURGING THE DYSFUNCTION IN AMERICAN GOVERNANCE
Our inability to address unprecedented global scale challenges, like climate change, resource depletion, and human overpopulation, is driven substantially by the kind of pathologically unprincipled, opportunists that we elect to govern. Too many of those that end up with financial and political power come from the dark side of the human continuum.
People on the caring end of that spectrum are fed up with the political dysfunction driven by bankers, billionaires, and craven corporatists who seek maximum profit with no regard for consequence.
Solving the world’s problems is more about politics than anything else. We have lost control to a small cabal of plutocrats and plunderers, who use their wealth and power to buy politicians and the public policy they want. The success of the ‘corporatist agenda’ means more obfuscation, more obstruction, more denial of anything that serves the common good. Instead,we find ourselves caught up in a very ugly backsliding. The Trump government is about climate inaction, the blunting of environmental regulation, the repatriation of billions in corporate profits stashed overseas, and an elevated emphasis on war fighting and weapons.
Those whose lives are grounded in scientific inquiry need to become far more involved at the grassroots. We need their voices of reason and intellectual substance. We need them to engage.
We all have a stake in restoring ‘of, by, and for the people’ to our politics. Ending the dysfunction must begin at the most fundamental level. I agree with Naomi Klein, author of the book, This Changes Everything. A big part of a worthy corrective course lies in a Constitutional Amendment that says, ‘Corporations are not People’ and ‘Money is not Speech’.
No law has ever passed that gave corporations the same rights as flesh and blood citizens. The personhood they enjoy is built on corrupt legal precedent put in place by the judicial overreach of our Supreme Court. Our nation’s founders regulated Corporations as chartered, legal fictions. No law exists giving them, ‘human rights’. Their court imposed legal standing must be repudiated. A Constitutional remedy must come from the grassroots.
The same holds true for the definition of ‘money’. Here again, the culprit is conservative judicial activism. No law ever passed that declared ‘Money equals Speech’. The Supreme Court did that. In the world I wish for, having big money does not include the right to use it to buy our political process.
Professionally, my focus has been on renewable energy, but at the end of the day, what I wish for most is a 28th Constructional Amendment that says ‘Corporations are not People’ and ‘Money is not Speech’. Move to Amend [ www.movetoamend.org ] is an activist group focused entirely on just such an amendment.
Despite conservative success in the 2014 mid-term election, communities in five different states passed local initiatives supporting Move to Amend’s Constructional agenda, with 70% or more of the vote. When people are exposed to this brand of grassroots action, they respond. Move to Amend’s agenda is not liberal or conservative. It is based on life-affirming Constitutional principle.
Anyone not already engaged should take the time to inform themselves. If you are part of the vast majority on the ‘caring’ side of the human continuum, you have an obligation to the biosphere, and to living generations still to come, to be part of the solution. For those in science and technology, people that are accustomed to staying above the political fray, that means you. Move to Amend; ‘Corporations are not People’ and ‘Money is not Speech.’