I've been receiving many "Changes to Your Terms and Conditions" notices from my credit cards lately. I scan them, briefly, get the gist, and file them. These recent additions to my files have been actually quite heartening. They are basically a collection of "This is the crap we can no longer do to you".
They include changes such as, a 'finance' charge is now an 'interest' charge, and payment over the minimum due will now be applied to the higher interest rate balances as opposed to those of lower interest rate first. My favorite thus far is, "You will not be charged a fee for spending over your credit limit unless you agree to allow us to do so." What the...?
Now, I am the first to grumble about all that hasn't happened since the great repudiation of Republican insanity in the elections of 2006 and 2008. But I was actually feeling like there may be a hint of daylight here. A sign that a bit of corporate oppression was losing out to the rights of the people. I was ready to give proper praise for Congressional work in favor of the masses. Then the Supreme Court put me back in my place. My long-standing, angst-ridden place.
Apparently, legislation such as this is ENOUGH, and the corporate world can take no more of it. Their patience has worn thin. The people are on the verge of catching a tiny break. Economic Darwinism is being improperly stunted, and the rules of nature must be set straight once again. So, to the rescue come the Five Horsemen of the Apocalypse of Democracy.
If the appointment of George W. Bush in 2000 wasn't enough; if corporate ownership of voting machines wasn't enough; if you thought there was a shred of democracy left to be cherished,.. you may be left wondering in the next few years... "What the hell happened to my country?"
The same five justices that routinely side with corporate interests over the interests of the people have decided that this will indeed be a fascist nation, and it will be so according to the law. Corporate speech is equal to individual speech. Corporate rights are equal to individual rights. And these are both understatements by far. If money is speech, then corporate money will speak far louder than that of the people. And corporations have the ability to live forever, unlike we the lowly people. Immortal rights. Gods of American capitalism. America by and for the corporations.
So, be prepared for the coming elections in 2010. An onslaught of corporate money is no doubt going to flood the races. Democrats and Republicans alike are guilty of playing the roles of corporate whores. But if the need for election finance reform wasn't glaringly clear before, it will explode into our consciousness in the near future. Senate and House seats, State and Federal, are up for sale now more than ever.
Fighting against big money interests for the betterment of the bottom 95% will become increasingly difficult. But the fight must be had. If bigger money continues to equal greater speech then our democracy will soon be completely bankrupt.