To the Editor:
I was truly disheartened by the results of the Wisconsin recall election. Not because I live in Wisconsin — I don't, or not because I know anyone who lives there — I don't. I am saddened because of the message that election is sending out to the United States of America and the World. I always believed that America is a country whose Constitution protected the rights of the majority as well as the rights of the minority. The message being sent around the world is that with enough money you can buy any election.
In January 2010 the Supreme Court ruled in the case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. President Obama commented on that ruling in his State of the Union Address: "Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well, I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities." He was correct.
As a result of this ruling, PACs and tax-exempt Super PACs have been established. These PACs and super PACs now have no limits to the amounts of money that can be donated. More concerning to me is that tax-exempt super PACs do not have to disclose where the money is coming from that's collected. Individuals and companies from other countries now can have a major say in our elections. We have no way of finding out who is buying our elections. This is wrong.
Joseph Goebbels was the minister of propaganda under Adolf Hitler. He was very good at his job. He said the following:
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
We now see a flooding of the airways, the Internet and the mail, with lies and half-truths. But if the people hear lies enough times, they will come to believe them. Super PACs have the money the pay for more ads than we have ever seen before regarding our political election times.
No individual will be able to win an election without the support of big money behind him or her. Our elected officials will know that if they vote against the "money's wishes," they will not win another election. They will have to follow the wishes of the money lenders who got them elected — not the people they were elected to represent.
Does the individual voter have the ability to make a difference? I wonder. I will still try.