court ruling

Letters to the editor/court ruling: April 13

April 13, 2014 

Goodbye, democracy

In all seriousness, who could possibly believe the Founding Fathers intended "freedom of speech" to include unlimited election campaign contributions by the ultra-wealthy and corporations?

Apparently five Supreme Court justices and our own senior senator, Mitch McConnell, a champion fund-raiser, expect us to think that they believe this.

Common sense tells us that their true motives can be nothing but to continue the consolidation of power into the hands of the ultra-wealthy and the corporations. Even if all of us can learn to ignore the perpetual blare of attack ads and vote in our own self-interest, those we elect, Republican or Democrat, will still listen to the money that they think they need to be elected.

Given the recent McCutcheon ruling, it will take a constitutional amendment to correct this travesty and implement elections financed only by public funds. This is sure to be a long, drawn-out process.

So in the short term, I guess we all just have to learn to love living in a plutocracy, watching the rich get richer and everyone else get poorer, and trying to remember what it was like to live in a democracy.

Chris Heinz

Lexington


Can't debate a dollar

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of speech is the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words. And the definition of inalienable is something impossible to take away or give up.

The definition of money is something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value or a means of payment.

Free speech then, is an inherent part of being human — much like our DNA. Money (coin) is man-made and has only been around for 11,000 years and it is possible to take it away from someone or give it to another.

I would like all Americans to take a dollar bill out of their wallets, place it on the kitchen table and have a frank discussion with it. Does the dollar bill answer or respond to any queries or statements you make?

In other words, does it possess the ability to speak? I have done this and can truthfully report, I have won every argument with old George.

I am having a very difficult time trying to understand how our Supreme Court can take a human trait and equate it to an inanimate object. Isn't this a slap in the face to our humanity?

If anyone has a good answer to my dilemma, please call me, I would like to discuss this with you. Try doing this with the coins in your pocket.

Robert Hoeller

Lexington


Hello, oligarchy

"Of the people, by the people and for the people" as recorded in Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address has been changed to "of the money, by the money and for the money" thanks to our Supreme Court.

The door to democracy is closing and while the door is opening for an oligarchy. The integrity of a political system is based on free and fair elections. Chief Justice John Roberts believes this ruling will not cause "quid pro quo" corruption or unduly influence those who have received large contributions. Are the justices so out of touch to believe this?

Most people feel the elected in Washington do nothing and care little for the concerns of constituents. Now that it is legal for candidates to be bought by the highest bidder, it is not a good portent for our democracy.

Cheryl Keenan

Lexington


All Americans will pay

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that limiting contributions to federal campaigns is unconstitutional, giving wealthy donors more freedom to influence federal elections.

It seems that this court has taken the "free" from the First Amendment's "free speech." It's spin on the First Amendment flies in the face of the very amendment that it proposes to protect. If one wants to be heard, one must have lots of money; ergo speech is no longer free.

The government is censoring people who don't have the money to speak loud enough to be heard. This ruling favors certain people who have political power and oppresses everyone else.

It will cost every American citizen. The economic trickle-down theory does not work in terms of aiding workers' pay hecks. However, it does work in terms of the cost of free speech. Corporate donations to candidates will eventually be recovered by corporations as they pass the cost on to the consumer by raising the prices of goods and services.

We know whose side this court is on.

Doug Fay

Bronston

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