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Proposed amendment to the Constitution in response to the “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision

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I hope you were as appalled as I was by the way the Supreme Court basically said “eff you” to democracy with their decision in the “Citizens United” case. Brave Senator Chuck Schumer and brave Representative Chris Van Hollen are doing their part by proposing a new law designed to blunt the effects of said decision, but I am afraid that nothing less than an amendment to our imperfect Constitution will have any effect — the Supreme Court can always strike down a law.  That’s why I, like so many others, have taken direct action by composing a bipartisan amendment to the constitution, designed to protect our democracy (I’m calling it the “Protect Democracy Amendment,” so my intentions will be clear). I’m not exactly sure how these things work, but I think that if enough people sign this proposition it will become an actual Constitutional amendment, in which case democracy as we know it will be saved.

WHEREAS, an informed citizenry is necessary to the perpetuation of our government as it currently exists,

WHEREAS it is in the vital interest of everyone that our government perpetuate itself as it currently exists,

WHEREAS it is self-evident that money is inherently bad,

WHEREAS it is also self-evident that when two or more people get together to spend money to influence elections that is inherently bad,

WHEREAS there is nothing in the First Amendment about the right of people to assemble, except the part about the right of people to peaceably assemble,

WHEREAS there is nothing “peaceable” about the influence of money on elections,

WHEREAS money is not speech,

WHEREAS even if money did count as speech in some twisted, mercenary world, it’s obvious that people cannot be trusted to spend their money wisely, that is why so many of them are obese now,

WHEREAS there is something in the Constitution about “the pursuit of happiness,”

WHEREAS the citizens cannot truly pursue happiness unless they have access to information that will help them make informed decisions about their government,

WHEREAS the citizens also cannot be truly happy if their faith in their government is shaken,

WHEREAS elected officials run the government,

WHEREAS it follows that therefore the citizens cannot be happy if their faith in their elected officials is shaken,

WHEREAS sometimes the aforementioned groups of two or more people who get together to spend money to influence elections spend said money to spread messages that could be construed as shaking the faith of citizens in their elected officials,

WHEREAS this hurts the citizens’ morale,

WHEREAS petitioning the government is confusing and burdensome to most people anyway,

WHEREAS we only have our citizens’ best interests at heart,

WHEREAS the government is uniquely qualified to ensure that citizens receive access to both sides of every issue – the Democratic and Republican side,

WHEREAS individuals can be tricked into donating their money to corporations during an election cycle, because corporations create a “noise machine” with which the government cannot compete,

WHEREAS sentiments that run counter to those expressed in this proposed amendment are inherently in opposition to the freedoms and liberties upon which this country was based,

THEREFORE be it resolved that this proposed AMENDMENT to the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES shall protect the freedom of citizens by limiting their exposure to spurious and/or superfluous information that might be confusing or detrimental to them when they are attempting to make informed decisions about whether to vote for a Democrat or a Republican. To this end, the citizens shall be freed of the burden of having to filter information from sources other than approved and completely unbiased news sources. Moreover, to ensure a properly-informed populace, it shall be the duty of every of citizen to watch at least six speeches each year given by the President of the United States, and an equal number of speeches by elected officials of the other major political party.

No television programs, newspapers, internet sites, or radio programs shall be compelled to convey information that runs counter to that which appears in the speeches referenced above, except in the form of commercials promoting said speeches.

Furthermore, this AMENDMENT shall create and establish a pool of money, funded solely by a tax on sugary soda drinks that people shouldn’t drink anyway, that would apportion money to candidates of the two major political parties – Democrat and Republican – based upon each party’s showing in each congressional district. To protect democracy, this will be the only money spent on elections.

Nothing in this Amendment shall be construed as in any way infringing on an American citizen’s rights as established in the Constitution.

Ricky Sprague occasionally writes and/or draws things. He sometimes animates things. He has a Twitter account and he has a blog. He scripted this graphic novel about Kolchak The Night Stalker. He is really, really good at putting links in bios.
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14 Responses to “Proposed amendment to the Constitution in response to the “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision”

  1. I think that if arguments against Citizens United are to be taken seriously, then the issue should be whether or not to eliminate representative democracy altogether. After all, if the median voter is persuaded automatically to vote for the candidate that spends the most on advertising, then it follows that the median voter either (1) cannot differentiate between policies or arguments or (2) does not possess an independent viewpoint. If that’s true, scientifically speaking, then there is no grounds for such an individual to have political civil rights in the first place, as his input into participatory democracy is meaningless.

  2. @ Ricky.

    Amen. This is a pernicious piece of judicial activism that needs to be fought tooth and nail until it is reversed. The court that decided one presidential election wants to let corporations do its work for them in the future.

  3. Oh man I wish I’d thought to use the word “pernicious” in my proposed amendment. That’s what it was — pernicious!

  4. At least you didn’t forget to make your sarcasm/satire so broad and obvious that the only way it could be responded to is with irony. And reality, too, of course. Mustn’t forget that. So many do.

  5. Booo.


    Quit arguing for the destruction of the freedom of speech!

  6. @ Parsifal:

    I am just about ready to give up on reality.

    @ Mike:

    Are you trying to silence me?

  7. That is one sweet biscuit. Usually, all it takes to torpedo knee-jerking oppo to the reflexive answer to this decision is informing the carpers that the “corporation” in issue is a not-4-prof. In any case, it is good to see a not-so-subtle reminder that whatever else is going on, these scurilous actors are just talking. If anyone objects to the content they can just declare why that is. Is that not sufficient? Move to China. Heck, even Russia is not gagging the opposition these days.

  8. That was just brilliant.

  9. @ Ricky

    Q: A corporation is what?

    A: A group of people.

    Follow up question:

    Q: Do you realize that you’re supporting placing a gag order on a group of people right before an election?

    Follow up question #2:

    When do you think we most need to allow everyone to speak their mind if not right before an election?

    Follow up question #3:

    Which group of people would you like to silence next?

    Every time a liberal slams this court ruling, we have to grease Pastor Niemoller’s coffin. Otherwise the friction from his rapid rolling over would cause a fire.

  10. Mike, either I am very confused, or you are misreading Ricky’s piece, which is making fun of the position that you are criticizing. Or you are being sarcastic… I don’t see how Ricky’s piece could be taken seriously.

  11. @ Scott

    “I don’t see how Ricky’s piece could be taken seriously.”

    You must not know or talk with the right liberals…

    I’ve met people who are still open communists, what, 20 years after the Berlin Wall came down?!?

    I can, and do, expect anything.

  12. @ Ricky

    If the piece was written in humor, I apologize, but I didn’t get it.

    Maybe it’s my over-exposure to the extreme left that’s to blame, but I’ve seen a fair bit of that stuff written in serious conversation.

  13. @ Scott:

    Thanks for not taking me seriously. My piece seriously, I mean.

    @ Mike:

    It’s not often I’m taken seriously. Thank you.

  14. @ Ricky:
    But very seriously, which brands of sugary drinks will correspond with their respective political party? I really like Mountain Dew, but I’d hate for the profit off that 99 cent two-liter to profit the darn democratic party. Also, do you count chocolate milk as a sugary drink?

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