Americans know that the corrupting influence of special interest money is destroying our democratic process. And now that the Citizens United decision has thrown out campaign spending limits as abridgments of free speech, they want to know what they can do about it. Derek Cressman gives us the tools, both intellectual and tactical, to fight back.
Cressman points out that in fact there’s nothing inherently unconstitutional in limiting the amount of speech. We do it all the time—for example, cities control when and where demonstrations can take place, or how long people can speak at council meetings. Moreover, he argues that while you choose to patronize Fox News, MSNBC, The New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal, political advertising is forced upon you. It’s not really free speech at all—it’s paid speech. It’s not at all what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment.
Cressman examines how courts have foiled attempts to limit campaign spending , what a constitutional amendment limiting paid speech should say, and explains how concerned citizens can use an overlooked political tool to help gain its passage. Seven times before in our history we have passed constitutional amendments to overturn wrongheaded rulings by the Court—there’s no reason we can’t do it again.
Foreword by Thom Hartmann
Why We Must Fight
1 Enough Is Enough
2 If Money Is Speech, Speech is No Longer Free
3 Stupidity, Inequality and Corruption
4 Who Broke Our Democracy?
Ready for Action? – Let’s Go
5 Repairing our Republic
6 Magic Words?
7 Instructions for Mission Impossible
8 Halfway Home (read an excerpt from this chapter here.)
Epilogue by Miles Rapoport, President of Common Cause