(A public service message from a passing cephalopod)
Government of the people, by the people and for the people has perished from the earth and now lies decomposing in corporate boardrooms across America.
We can thank the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, which grants corporations the unlimited right to influence the vote. Our worst fears have been confirmed. Best Buy and Target, two of the nation’s largest retailers, are the first to take advantage of the Court's ruling.
Best Buy and Target have contributed $250,000 to the Minnesota Governor's race of Tom Emmer, a far-right Republican who supports an Arizona-style immigration law, wants to abolish the minimum wage, abolish abortion rights, and abolish gay rights. Emmer even gave money to a fringe group that condons the persecution and execution of gay people!
One would think such extremist and offensive positions would be of grave concern to mainstream retailers such as Best Buy and Target. Don’t count on it! In a statement on Target’s website, the Chairman, President and CEO, Gregg Steinhafel, says:
Target has a history of supporting organizations and candidates, on both sides of the aisle, who seek to advance policies aligned with our business objectives, such as job creation and economic growth.Bullshit! Read between the lines: Business objectives come first; profits come before human rights; profits before common decency; profits before principle; profits before people … these are the values of Best Buy and Target.
The stakes are far higher than one candidate in one contest in one state. Other corporations are waiting in the wings and watching … ready to jump on campaign bandwagons nationwide; and voters will be outspent and outgunned in every instance.
How can we push back? One way is to boycott these companies. Vote with your pocketbook; vote by cutting up your store credit cards; vote by returning store merchandise; vote by writing protest letters; vote by redoubling campaign contributions to the candidate of your choice; and vote on election day.
Without an angry consumer backlash, other corporations will learn that they can pour money into any election to buy the outcome they want — without paying a price with their customers or shareholders. We cannot afford to let Corporate America buy our elections and our conscience. Any other ideas on how to strike back?