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Jim Chattin, Devils Lake, N.D., Published August 31 2013

Letter: Trust and big business

Most conservatives and all tea partiers hate big government because it interferes too much in the lives of individuals and big business. It has, in their view, become so overbearing that any effort to make it smaller and weaker would be a blessing. To this end, they spend every waking hour denigrating government.

Alternatively, they must believe that big business – big energy, big pharma, big banks, big agribusiness, Wall Street, etc. – can be trusted to keep making money and creating jobs, to keep the country running as it should.

It’s obvious that big government has held them all back, they claim, with oppressive regulations and taxes. Not only should regulations and taxes be pared away but the legions of federal inspectors should be shrunk to nothing because, as we all know, they are not necessary since big business is always honest, never cuts corners for the sake of profit, keeps its workforce safe and pays it fairly and respects the environment.

Conservatives and their corporate allies have thus set in motion a solution to all this “federal meddling.” It is accomplishing this by quietly “buying” the U.S. government, a hostile takeover so-to-speak.

Democracy’s key liberty is the individual’s right to vote. However, since the Citizen’s United decision a few years back by the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, corporations can throw piles of money into the federal election process. You may not care about this, especially if you are naïve enough to think that lots of money can’t buy an election.

Soon enough, campaign funding for congressional elections will be dominated by private, anonymous corporate cash, a president will be elected (or “bought”) and subsequent Supreme Court justices will be appointed who will compliantly allow corporate America to do whatever it wants. All three branches of government sold. The individual’s vote won’t mean squat.

Obviously, conservatives and tea partiers think this would be great because big business is ethical, and fair and big government only stands in the way. Who needs individual liberties when corporate monopolies should prevail? Who needs a robust and effective federal government when we can all trust a “United Corporate America” to do the right thing?

Our democracy is being sold to the highest bidders.