Americans have long been opposed to the notion of candidates buying elections. But we’re just one step short of unfettered vote buying.
In 1976, while upholding a law which set limits on campaign contributions, the Supreme Court made it possible for candidates to spend unlimited amounts on their own campaigns. In essence, the Court ruled that money equals free speech.
Then in Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission, supported by the GOP, a conservative-leaning Court ruled that corporations had the rights of people, unleashing massive expenditures of corporate money in support of candidates through PACs and Super PACs.
Soon, the Court will decide yet another case, McCutcheon v Federal Elections Commission, which is being supported by the GOP in order to remove limits on direct campaign contributions to candidates.
The good news is that this may well spell the demise of PACs and Super PACs. The bad news is that multinational corporations and billionaires such as the Koch brothers will able to funnel billions into campaigns for candidates who promise to be subservient to their demands.
When that happens, the needs of ordinary Americans will be further overwhelmed by big money. The wealthy and powerful already control most of the lobbyists, and therefore, the political agenda. Imagine what will happen when they can actually buy elections.