Future Generations Will Condemn Us For: Legalizing Bribery Through Campaign Finance
Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah sparked an internet meme with his op/ed entitled "What Will Future Generations Condemn Us For"? The challenge is to predict which widely accepted practices or institutions will be regarded as barbaric by future generations. Apiah argues future generations will look back in horror on our prisons, factory farms, and nursing homes, as well as our casual abuse of the planet. These are all plausible contenders.
Here's my addition: Future generations will condemn us for legalizing bribery by proxy through our campaign finance system. In retrospect, it will be obvious that billionaires and corporations debased the First Amendment by convincing us that money is speech.
Money distorts our politics at every level. Whether you have a future in politics depends on how good you are at raising money. At every stage, the system rewards people who are comfortable hitting up rich donors for money. This is a troubling bias. Fundraising prowess has nothing to do with being a good leader, but it's a make-or-break attribute for an American politician.
The money addiction skews pollitical priorities. Widows and orphans are never going to be players. Factory farmers have more money to spend on elections than blind veal calves and debeaked chickens. Prisoners don't have money, but private prison companies do.
A well-funded special interest group like America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) can strike fear in the hearts of legislators just by threatening to run a barrage of TV ads.
We're going to look back and realize that we could have done something about global warming if Big Coal hadn't bought the votes. We'll have a lot of regrets like that.
[Photo credit: Kevin Dooley, Creative Commons.]
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Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.
- At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
- See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
- There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.
- The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
- The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
- It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
Yes, a coup d'état.
- Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
- A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
- Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
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