I'll be brief, and here's my brief: until this week's Supreme Court ruling on corporate election funding, we could all choose to close our eyes and pretend that our country was not for sale to the highest bidder. Now, though, it's legal.
By what stretch of the judicial imagination vast corporations wielding billions of dollars become "people" I am unable to say. But what I have been saying for years now, first in "The Bush Diaries" and now in "The Buddha Diaries" is official and surely undeniable. We live in an oligarchy at best, at worst a simple plutocracy. Who can any longer deny this simple truth?
It has been the work of thirty years and more. We thank President Gerald R. Ford for John Paul Stevens; we thank Ronald Reagan for Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy; we thank George Bush Sr. for Clarence Thomas; we thank Bush Jr. for Samuel Alito and Chief Justice Roberts--the five wise men who hold American justice in their hands, and now apparently American politics, too. The Court that cynically--and disastrously--gave us George W. Bush now hands us the corpse of democracy.
These men, I've heard it said, pay homage at the altar of the US Constitution. Did the framers of that supposedly sacrosanct document see democracy thus? I like to think not. But now, as I see it, the form of government that the founders foresaw is a thing of the past in this part of the world. I trust it will raise its head somewhere in some other unlikely place, but who knows. The world is an increasingly weird and uncomfortable place. It may be time for a definitive eulogy.
Have a great weekend, friends!