January 25, 2010

Move to Amend

Move to Amend, a project of the Campaign to Legalize Democracy, is brining democracy into the hands of the people in a spirit like that behind the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights, adopted two years after the US Constitution, was a concession to the people who challenged the power of the wealthy elite who had drafted the US Constitution.

Move to Amend draws on our right to call for the amendment of the US Constitution. Dave Cobb, the Executive Director, in collaboration with others, has done extensive research into how the power of corporations can be controlled. They have concluded that it must be done by amending the Constitution.

You can sign on to the following assertion to the government:

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:

1. Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

2. Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our vote and participation count.

3. Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate
"preemption" actions by global, national, and state governments.

Sign On

The first point untangles "free speech" from the principle of "one person, one vote." In as much as money equates to influencing votes, money in politics is contrary to the principle of "one person, one vote."

The second point settles a matter raised by the US Supreme Court in Gore Vs Bush. Following the 2000 presidential election, the U.S. Supreme Court appointed Bush and in doing so stated that the US Constitution does not guarantee individuals the right to vote for the US President. Hard to believe, I know, but it's true.

The third point establishes a principle very similar to "states rights," but applies to local governments. It prevents global treaties, often written by lawyers from transnational corporations, from treading on local community rights. If a local community wants to pass a ban on a pesticide, the amendment would allow it to do so. The local community could not be sued for infringing on the profits of the pesticide manufacturer as is now allowed under agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Cobb is crossing ideological lines by teaming up with Tea Party members to make this "move" a reality. Short of that, we are experiencing a teachable moment in history when people should pause and consider deeper civic concepts. Cobb asks us to think big and ask whether or not the time has come to move our democracy to the next level.

“I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of our country.” ~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan. November 12, 1816



libhom said...

This is a really good idea.

GDAEman said...

The Top 10 Reasons Corporations Are Not People... comic relief.

John Thielking said...

There are problems with having local and states rights trump national rights and global treaties. Chief among these problems is the passage of anti-immigrant legislation by states such as AZ. Just because national and international rights are often held or created by corporations doesn't all by itself make such rights "bad". I seriously question getting in bed with the Tea Party on this as they will surely hijack the agenda to make local anti-immigrant legislation stick, for starters. They would also likely atomize local abortion rights into a hodgepodge of local prohibitions that would overturn Roe V Wade at the local level.