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Beware America’s Radical Right

September 8, 2013

Are consumers helping them influence American elections?

Stop the war on workers - Clear Lake, WAEver been accused of a dastardly crime that you didn’t think you had committed? Well, I have. Just recently, in fact, I got a letter and smack dab on the envelope it said I was doing something every day “to support the Radical Right.”

Huh? Yes, that’s what I thought. When I read the letter inside, the correspondent again implied that I was helping the forces of darkness on the Tea Party, evangelical, Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, completely wackoid right wing.

The writer mentioned correctly that I would be shocked by his accusation. He added that I might even be angered by it. Too true!

“Well, I’m sorry to tell you this…but you are supporting the right’s conservative agenda every day,” my correspondent explained. “Even though you think your actions could never go toward advancing their dangerous politics for this country [the U.S.A.], they do…without you even knowing it.”

Okay. Now I was getting curious and slowly getting over my initial shock and anger.

The letter writer was Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way, an organization that wants to overturn a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that gives “corporations the same rights as people to spend money on elections.”

Here’s the deal: Citizens United, a super right-wing lobby, pushed for the ruling and the conservative majority on the court accepted their view that Corporations should be considered individuals. When they won, it gave corporations and stupendously rich individuals the ability “to wield unlimited influence on American elections,” Keegan said.

So how am I to blame? Well, according to him, that influence “comes from the profits generated by the purchases of consumers.” Virtually every time I pay my bills, get gas or buy food, my “money is being used by Big Corporations to support the dangerous agenda of the Radical Right,” without my consent.

Keegan added that I “was giving them the resources they need to move this country backward…simply by going about your daily life.” He wants me to sign several petitions urging local congress members to back a constitutional amendment that would undo the Citizens United ruling.

Now, I realize that Keegan was exaggerating a little. Afterall, not many of us are able to stop buying the basic necessities of modern life to defeat the right. But I get the point enough that I’m tempted to sign the petitions Keegan included with his letter.

If you’re ticked off with the corporate agenda – their campaigns to unravel Obamacare, to establish right to work states (or right to earn less, as President Obama says), to unhinge public education, Social Security, foreign aid and whatever else they can destroy – then you might want to respond to Keegan.

Here’s his address: People for the American Way, 1101 15th St. NW, 6th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20005.

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