Have we lost our democracy in America?


Timothy Egan ventures an answer to the question above:

How did we lose our democracy? Slowly at first, and then all at once. This fall, voters are more disgusted, more bored and more cynical about the midterm elections than at any time in at least two decades…

You can trace the Great Breach to Justice [Anthony] Kennedy’s words in the 2010 Citizens United case, which gave wealthy, secret donors unlimited power to manipulate American elections. The decision legalized large-scale bribery — O.K., influence buying — and ensured that we would never know exactly who was purchasing certain politicians.

Kennedy famously predicted the opposite. He wrote that “independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” That’s the money quote — one of the great wish-projections in court history. But Kennedy also envisioned a new day, whereby there would be real-time disclosure of the big financial forces he unleashed across the land.

In his make-believe, post-Citizens United world, voters “can see whether elected officials are ‘in the pocket’ of so-called moneyed interests.” Ah, transparency…

[L]et’s not fool ourselves. We Americans have long boasted of having free and fair elections. Thanks to this Supreme Court, they are neither.

Read all of Egan’s argument HERE.



  1. Democrats have lots of rich people, unions, and some corporations on their side. Republicans have lots of rich people and other corporations on their side. And even after all that wealth is thrown into the pot, both parties and all money giving entities still have to selectively give out money to select candidates because in the end, their funds are not unlimited, and elections still pose a investment risk.

    In other words, the system works just fine.

  2. Steverino

    We became a plutocracy when Bush was appointed president in 2000.

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