How could the Founding Fathers have foreseen the debate occurring now about what constitutes a voter? That question will be front and center in our conversations this summer.
I think the writers of the Constitution took it for granted that everyone knew that a voter is an individual citizen who casts one vote. At least everyone knew until the Supreme Court, in the case now called Citizens United, was convinced by power-hungry entities to let them buy elections. The Senate is slated to vote to overturn Citizens United later this year via an amendment to the Constitution.
Politicians, who depend on money to keep their job, will do anything they are told, including vote against the amendment that would make it simpler to run for office. They are spreading a falsehood that this is an attack on the First Amendment, when actually the vote would restore the First Amendment. Public Citizen says that the amendment “would amplify the voices of everyday people and elevate the power of actual speech.”
Sadly, money wields so much power and has dominated thinking in Washington so long, there are senators who can’t imagine a world where they can talk about issues instead of asking for money.