Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls
from: althouse.blogspot.com

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vermont leads a quiet revolt

It has been heartening to see people in Tunisia and Egypt risk their lives to assert their freedom. Here at home most Americans don't yet feel the need to take over the streets en masse. Many of us do feel our rights and liberties are being eroded, by the overwhelming force of corporate money that has flooded our political system. An important step to restore a voice to ordinary citizens will be to overturn the disastrous Citizens United decision handed down a year ago. Here's what Christopher Ketcham tells us they're doing about it in Vermont:

In Vermont, state senator Virginia Lyons on Friday presented an anti-corporate personhood resolution for passage in the Vermont legislature. The resolution, the first of its kind, proposes "an amendment to the United States Constitution ... which provides that corporations are not persons under the laws of the United States." Sources in the state house say it has a good chance of passing. This same body of lawmakers, after all, once voted to impeach George W. Bush, and is known for its anti-corporate legislation. Last year the Vermont senate became the first state legislature to weigh in on the future of a nuclear power plant, voting to shut down a poison-leeching plant run by Entergy Inc. Lyons’ Senate voted 26-4 to do it, demonstrating the level of political will of the state’s politicians to stand up to corporate power.

The language in the Lyons resolution is unabashed. "The profits and institutional survival of large corporations are often in direct conflict with the essential needs and rights of human beings," it states, noting that corporations "have used their so-called rights to successfully seek the judicial reversal of democratically enacted laws.”

Thus the unfolding of the obvious: “democratically elected governments” are rendered “ineffective in protecting their citizens against corporate harm to the environment, health, workers, independent business, and local and regional economies." The resolution goes on to note that "large corporations own most of America's mass media and employ those media to loudly express the corporate political agenda and to convince Americans that the primary role of human beings is that of consumer rather than sovereign citizens with democratic rights and responsibilities."

Denouncing this situation as an "intolerable societal reality," the document concludes that the "only way" toward a solution is the amendment of the Constitution "to define persons as human beings.”

Let's hope this daring movement from the Northern Woods spreads like wildfire across the country!

1 comment:

mlee33 said...

Good for the Green Mountain Boys! Maybe all that maple syrup makes you smarter?