There have been a variety of responses to the Citizens United decision, including advocating the near impossible task of obtaining a Constitutional Amendment from the very people who benefit from PAC, corporate and other organizational money. There is an alternative that is more realistically feasible.

That alternative is wholly within our control, and not dependent upon legislation. If Americans start demanding accuracy and full disclosure from media and facts, solutions and details from candidates, money’s influence will be greatly diminished. Our failure to do this is what gives money its power to influence the outcome of elections. Change the paradigm and we facilitate the ability to make informed decisions in our democracy undeterred by PR and spin.

The current practice of most major media to regurgitate unfounded allegations, whether from candidates themselves or dueling surrogates, without any fact-checking or evaluation, misleads, misinforms and encourages candidates and their supporters to continue to obfuscate. If the media exposes such practices, instead of providing a platform to reinforce them, the practice of distortion will be minimized. Holding media accountable for the timid practice of equivalency, where both sides are aired as if equally correct (whether through opposing presenters or uncritically presenting both sides), will force presentation of the truth rather than a sham “balanced” offering. Finally, we ought to disregard PAC presentations altogether by recognizing them for what they are; one-sided and often erroneous propaganda.

Money cannot corrupt our democracy unless we allow it. We have to cease being willing recipients of generalities, attacks and falsehoods. If we demand more from candidates and media alike, the influence of money will be minimal in terms of democratic choice. This is entirely within the grasp of most Americans if we have the will to do so. We don’t vote on Constitutional Amendments but we do vote with our choices and influence on the media and candidates.

To learn more about what we can do to come together to restore the promise of our democracy, I encourage you to read America Adrift.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Exinnichone says:

    Samuel L. Jackson Says: ‘Wake the F**k Up!’

    Last summer, the legendary bad-ass Samuel L. Jackson took his talents to the realm of “children’s” literature by narrating the audio version of Adam Mansbach’s profanity-ridden lullaby, Go The F**k To Sleep.


  2. Larry R says:

    As you can see from my post #WakeUpAmerica, we do need to wake up to what is happening to our democracy.