Your Politics

Republican Hypocrisy, Campaign Funds and the Downfall of American Democracy

Apparently, corporate input into politics is okay provided it’s only for the GOP

Sen. Mitch McConnell. Photo: Getty Images

In 2010, the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case changed corporate influence in politics forever. After nearly a century of guidelines that prohibited corporations and wealthy donors from having outsized power in our democracy, the Supreme Court ruled that limiting corporate spending in politics was akin to limiting free speech — except the First Amendment and its protections of free speech were meant for actual people, not corporate entities.

Since then, we have seen political races whose candidates are raising mega money to the tune of billions, making it all but impossible for regular people to run for office. What’s worse, however, is that instead of being beholden to their actual constituents, politicians are now beholden to the CEOs and shareholders who fill their coffers. Republicans have been one of the biggest supporters of this shift in political giving, except of course when corporations decide to have actual opinions.

After Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp recently signed one of the most heinous voter suppression laws of our lifetimes — behind closed doors and away from the public — activists called on corporations like Georgia-based Delta and Coca-Cola to take action. Initially, those corporate statements were paltry at best, with Delta being the biggest offender and initially applauding the governor and the state for their action. This misstep was corrected, and following the new statements against state-sanctioned voter suppression, Major League Baseball decided to pull its All-Star game out of Georgia altogether. Enter Minority Leader Mitch McConnell into the chat, where the biggest offender to our democracy and progress altogether verbally threatened CEOs from getting involved in politics — wait, what?

“I find it completely discouraging to find a bunch of CEOs getting in the middle of politics,” McConnell said.

This is rich coming from a man who wouldn’t exist in politics today without the influence and suckling he does at the teat of corporate America. In 2003, McConnell personally filed a lawsuit against laws limiting the spending of companies in politics. In 2020 alone, McConnell’s PAC raised more than any other political PAC with a jaw-dropping $475 million from corporate CEOs and shareholders. So it seems he is totally operating on the Laura Ingraham tip, where he would prefer corporations to “shut up and donate” and keep their opinions to themselves. The hypocrisy here is staggering, but what else is new for a party that continues to gaslight the American people into believing their “big lie” about voter fraud and their rollout of hundreds of unnecessary and unconstitutional voter suppression laws? They want corporations to donate an unlimited amount of money while shutting their mouths while also voting to take away the voices and power of the American public.

Clearly, when you offer no policies, no future, and no popular platform to the American people, there is nothing left to do but lie and cheat. The Republican brain is a hollow and fascinating place where truth doesn’t exist and greed and power are rampant.

What’s funny is that we always tend to cite some of the most egregious times in our history to showcase just how terrible Republican movements have been over the last several decades. We have compared them to Nazis, Afrikaans in South Africa, and more — the thing about these comparisons, however, is that these 20th-century villains learned their heinous behavior by watching the United States and its treatment of Black Americans. As a country, we like to fancy ourselves as a beacon of democracy when, in fact, we have an entire party who poses a greater threat to our democracy than any outside terrorist boogeyman that has tried to control us by fear.

The reality is that we have often looked at politics as a place that people go because they want to make a difference while corporate America is where people go who want to make a buck — but that truth seems to be changing. Not to say that corporations have become our new beacon on the hill, no, but the reality is if money remains as embedded in politics as it has been, there is little place else for Americans to turn for leadership and real policy change.

Since Citizens United placed American democracy on the auction block, it’s only a matter of time until we reach our demise under the weight of greed. All empires fall eventually — especially ones built on a swamp, and there is no party that knows more about swamps than RepubliKKKans.

is the host of #WokeAF & #PMMood & co-host of the podcast #democracyish. She covers all the news and happenings at the intersection of politics and pop culture.

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