Birthday wish

April 28, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

I’m overwhelmed by the large number of folks who have taken the time to write “happy birthday” to a guy who rants so much on FB. My page is here – all readers of DI are welcome to send me a Friend Request. Thank you so very much. It is fun to think that I’ve just completed an ellipse around the sun. That’s a long way to travel. It’s great to be alive and it’s great to have a wide open future. I’ve got a lot I’d still like to accomplish and I’m not slowing down.

OK, since you haven’t tuned me out yet, here’s my birthday fantasy: All of us should make a LOT of noise in the coming year, making it our quest to CONSTANTLY remind politicians that we can’t have any meaningful discussion on ANYTHING at all until we ban private money from the campaign system. Thanks to the warped values of the Supreme Court majority, this will need to be a Constitutional change, so it’s time to get started. Therefore, please write and call your federal and state representatives and insist that they need to take steps to implement clean elections and to undo the damage of Citizen’s United and its progeny.

I keep thinking back to what I was taught in grade school about why the United States was supposedly special. Back then, it wasn’t because we had a big military or because Americans were somehow born special. It was because the founders crafted a system that made it possible for the governed to have a significant voice in their own government. We celebrated that with a national holiday, the Fourth of July. That dream is mostly gone now–we can see the steady stream of government actions where big money thwarts the will of the people–and it’s time to get things back on track. Please join any good organization that makes this quest part of its mission. Common Cause, Public Citizen and are possibilities.

Together, let’s shame our politicians into doing what they need to do in order that our national conversation and our national priorities are shaped by good ideas and not by money, certainly not by the big money of an elitist few.

Is this too much to ask for my birthday, that this country practices what it preaches?


Category: Corporatocracy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Tim Hogan says:

    Happy birthday, again! Was that grade school a Catholic school? We had the same lessons at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic grade school (now closed). Anyway, my thoughts on where we all are….

    Political Scientist David Easton defines “politics” as “the authoritative allocation of values.”

    Recently, there has been much ado about money and whether it is speech. Money is not speech, it is about the allocation of values. Necessarily, those with more money are in a better position to achieve any allocation of values in a fashion more amenable to their ends. Since 1980, a GOP sponsored proliferation of values has given America the worst unbalanced state of income inequality, more Americans in poverty and more wealth transferred from the Middle Class and working poor to the top 1% of wealthy Americans.

    The Roberts court has casually tossed aside 100 year old precedents, casually taken up issues abandoned by advocates and made the central decisions of cases based upon those abandoned positions and continued a wrong-headed and dangerous new precedent that “money is speech.” In doing so, the Roberts court has sealed the deal allowing corporations, millionaires and billionaires to have their values be most prominent and most represented in the values which are seen in politics.

    Money is not speech, it is a measure of value.

    Money is not “values” but has suborned politicians and courts to falsely equate the two in a fit of activism unseen before in the history of our republic.

    As long “money is speech” forces the allocation of values solely supported by corporations, millionaires and billionaires, we no longer have a republic, but a fascist corporate state or a plutocracy or some combination of the two.

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