SADA: The Sounds Of Opportunity Knocking

by Invino Veritas

In its beginning, the great empire of Rome was a republic. The Roman Senate, for the most part, stayed out of the affairs of the people. This worked pretty well for a while. But somewhere along the way, the empire changed its perspective and took up democracy. The Senate became involved with the affairs of the people. As human beings, we tend to be fairly cyclical in our nature, at least on a fundmental scale. Regarding this fundamental aspect, I can’t help but see a parallel between Rome and the United States. We all know what happened to Rome, and to say that the cause of Rome’s demise is because of one reason altogether is, well, rather foolish and naïve. Are we on a similar path? Maybe. But when I think of Rome’s similarities to our own empire, I can’t help but be reminded of an empire that preceded Rome: the Greek Empire. Much of what became inherently Roman was modeled from Greek ideas and styles. Why, even democracy is a famous philosophy and practice of the Greeks. Often, this brings me to one such Greek philosopher by the name of Aristocles, who studied with the famous Socrates. You may know Aristocles by his nickname, Plato.  Along with the classical great thinkers like Socrates and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to discover and formulate the foundations of what has become modern thought and theory. He also helped define some of the fundamental principles of logic.

I like to think that he and his contemporaries, like myself, seemed obsessed with truth.  One of his greatest contributions to the study of truth is the belief that reality and perception are principles separate from one another. In other words, everything is a shadow of its true form. What this means, in layman’s terms, is that only the original incarnation of anything can be perfect, and everything that attempts to reproduce the original is merely a copy and imperfect in some fundamental way. Every cherry pie I ate after the first one never gave me as much satisfaction as the first bite of the first cherry pie I ever ate. The second fish I caught never exhilarated me like the first fish I snatched from the pond. The first time the dog across the street bit me, I cried, and the second time he bit me… I bit him back. This fundamental belief has been adopted and employed by men and women throughout history to great effect. In fact, each of us may have instituted this idea and not even known or realized it!

When The United States was formed, it was intended to be a republic. Like Rome, it became a democracy. Today, we’re in the midst of another political shift in theory. The United States has become a shadow of its true form. In a short while, it will cease to be anything but an entirely new entity. But there is hope. As opportunities arise, we must be willing and able to recognize them. We must take not only an active part in the realization of these opportunities, but we must also be proactive in our efforts. We must have the initiative, because we will not be spoonfed our opportunities, and sometimes they will even need to be created.

This brings me to the recent efforts by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Sen. Sanders has presented a suggestion for amending the United States Constitution, and attached with this attempt is a petition open to anyone who wishes to sign it. This new amendment is called the Saving American Democracy Amendment (SADA). The amendment proposes the following:

1. Corporations are not persons with constitutional rights equal to real people.
2. Corporations are subject to regulation by the people.
3. Corporations may not make campaign contributions or any election expenditures.
4. Congress and states have the power to regulate campaign finances.

(Source: Sen. Bernie Sanders’ petition located here.)

For those of us who were paying attention some time ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations had equal rights under law and the U.S. Constitution as individual people. The problem with this “corporate personhood” is manifold. First of all, corporations are collections, not individuals. This creates a pretty straightforward fallacy, or error in logic and reasoning. This ruling assumes that the inherent rights and properties of an individual U.S. citizen are also the inherent rights and properties of a corporation. To illustrate better, it’s like saying that an acorn and a tree are the same thing. Does this make sense to you? No? Me neither. Secondly, the decisions of corporations are primarily made by a small group, a board of directors, who, in theory, direct the actions of said corporation in the best interest of the stockholders. (Chances are that the majority of the stock is held by the members of the board.) But the problem here is, once again, that some of those members of the boards of these companies are not citizens of the United States. Therefore, if a corporation in this country is in anyway, shape, form, or fashion, directly or indirectly controlled by non-citizens of our country, why would we want to give them the power to dictate or influence policy and legislation for us, the citizens? The very idea that this is happening in our country confounds me to an infinite degree; it makes no sense. It’s like a pig asking a crocodile for advice on how to find and eat truffles.

To be fair, some of you think about things before you make final decisions, and you should. If you are like me, you want to know what the implications and repercussions of such a resolution could be before it might pass. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: educate yourself first. Only then can you truly make an informed decision. Check out Senator Sanders‘ website, where you can find the petition, a video of his presentation of the resolution to Congress, and a copy of the resolution itself. I encourage everyone to sign the petition. As the site says, none of your information will be shared. Secondly, if the resolution to dissolve corporate personhood passes, I would expect the quality of election campaigns to greatly increase. This means a few things. For example, it means equal consideration, regardless of race, color, creed, etc., as the smear campaigns wouldn’t have as much funding. It also means that nearly all candidates would have (relatively) equal opportunity to compete for votes. (There will always be a few rich boys and girls with daddy’s wallet who show up to the party.) Furthermore, it would make campaigning more difficult, but that’s the way it should be — because candidates should have to earn your vote.  Just showing up to the party isn’t enough to warrant a dance with the hostess. Third and most importantly, it would increase the power of the people to make decisions that are in the best interest of the country and its citizens. This self-evident result would increase the weight of each citizen’s vote in elections. (Please feel free to leave some ideas for more repercussions to the resolution’s possible passing in the comments section below, as I am sure there’s a few more that I’m forgetting.)

For more information on Senator Bernie Sanders, SADA, or the petition, feel free to take some time, again, to visit Sen. Sanders’ senatorial website at http://sanders.senate.gov/. It’s time to return this country back to its principles of a country “for the people, by the people”, rather than for the corporations and by the corporations. Yes, corporations are comprised of people, but they are not people anymore than an apple is an apple tree. Dissolving corporate personhood would take the power of a trillion dollars of lobbying money out of the hands of lobbyists, and would give it back to the people. Yes, I said ‘a trillion dollars’. That’s one thousand billions. That’s one million millions. How much money did you donate to your candidate’s campaign last time? I bet it wasn’t a trillion dollars. Do you think you got your money’s worth?

Attempting to make sense of his universe, Invino Veritas bubbles outward from the chaos, sometimes submitting to its infinite whirl, and other times raging against its disregard for its own elements. His writings incorporate multiple styles and energies which can be found on his own blog of random things at http://musingsfortheinsane.blogspot.com/.

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