Sen. Bernie Sanders recently held a rally to speak out against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case, yet further evidence that he thinks we’re idiots.
One of the aspects of modern progressive thought to which I object most strenuously is its underlying assumption that the American people are like little children – so dangerously incapable of cogent thought and self-government that they require constant monitoring, guidance, correction, and protection from their own fatally-flawed decision-making.
The examples of this are far too numerous to mention, but one of the most recent – occasioned by much liberal teeth-gnashing – is the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, which reduces restrictions on political contributions from corporations and others. Opponents of this decision contend that this opens the door to a flood of corporate money into our elections, implying that our political system will then be bought and paid for by these interests. President Obama’s reaction: the decision will “open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign companies — to spend without limit in our elections.” And also: “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests.”
Let’s be clear about what he and some others are opposing: too much political discourse. They’re not opposing the influence of lobbyists in the halls of Congress, or the lobbyists who constantly visit the White House. Those are the ones, after all, who confer the most benefits onto the Congressmen and Congresswomen, and do the worst damage to the rest of us.
Instead, progressives are opposing the idea that folks with lots of money will be able to purchase lots of advertising directed at us, the voters, thereby somehow forcing us to vote a certain way. As is so often the case, the opposition to the Citizens United ruling is predicated on the notion that we, the voters, are too stupid to understand that (1) advertisements are paid for by people trying to make us behave in a certain way, and (2) most of the time, ads don’t tell “the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help them God.”
We are, in the eyes of too many progressives, a collectively slack-jawed, unthinking mass of malleable dimwits, bovine in our ability to be herded by the nearest huckster offering a handful of grain.
Whenever you hear Peter Welch, Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy, or anyone else objecting to the outcome of this Supreme Court decision, the following phrase should be added to the end of their arguments, and it’ll essentially be saying the same thing: “… because we in Washington are smart enough to recognize political deception, but you’re not.”