Rev. Rich Lang
Citizens United could drown democratic ideals, but challenging corporations will keep justice afloat
Troubles. We’ve got so many troubles. It’s like we’re on a ship sinking into the ocean. The lifeboats are gone. The water is dark and cold. We know there are islands of safety but we can’t see them. And we wonder whether we can last long enough for daylight to come so that we can find a safe shore.
One of our big troubles is the rapid eclipse of democracy by the forces unleashed by unbridled wealth. When billionaires decide to rape and pillage the Earth, only a massive movement, composed of people who struggle for economic survival, can keep the moneyed class from a full-spectrum dominance of life. Only a united pushback by concerned citizens will work, a pushback that sets limits on acquiring wealth and seeks to place enforceable regulations on the ability of corporations to plunder the planet. Only when we unite to revitalize democratic governance, one that is truly by and for the people, can we stay afloat long enough to survive.
Ashley Sanders is coming to Seattle to help us organize an alternative. She doesn’t want to see us overwhelmed by the waves. She doesn’t want to see an end to American idealism. Ashley is a spokesperson for the National Move to Amend campaign.
She says that the 2010 Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United opened the floodgates for unlimited amounts of money, organized by an elite minority, to overwhelm the foundation of the democratic process. She believes that only a constitutional amendment can permanently reverse this disaster.
She says a lot more than that, too. Ashley is on a mission — perhaps gifted by the spirit of God, perhaps inspired by the rivers and rocks and trees, the air we breathe and the water we need — to restore democracy before our dream of freedom, liberty and justice for all drowns.
On Sept. 28 Ashley will headline a community forum called “Creating Democracy and Challenging Corporate Rule” at 7 p.m. at the University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 N.E. 43rd. The evening will be a coming-out party for a newly gathered coalition that is seeking to join with 200 other nationally affiliated chapters across the country in a quest to reverse Citizens United.
We all know that we’ve got troubles. But if an elite minority can unite to attack us, so, too, can the vast majority organize to resist them. So too can the majority unite to swim against the flood that’s been unleashed.
The question facing us is: Will we dare to live heroic lives in the midst of stormy seas?
I don’t know the answer to that. But I do know that, come what may, I want to be with those who swim against the current, and, in the words of folk singer Bruce Cockburn, “Gotta kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.”
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.