BiasBreakdown

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Ben and Jerry’s campaign to shut themselves up

Blessed with the moral authority that naturally derives from aiding countless women distraught from breakups gain weight, Ben of “…& Jerry’s” fame is using the fortune he amassed through his corporation to financially advocate for a Constitutional amendment while sending the message that corporate money should not be used to influence the political process. Yahoo’s The Lookout blog reports:

Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and one of the deep pockets behind the Occupy movement, says he is helping launch a campaign this summer to highlight the influence of corporate money in American politics.

Cohen and the Move to Amend advocacy group will distribute rubber stamps with anti-corporate election spending messages so that the politically minded can mark their dollar bills. The end goal: To secure a constitutional amendment saying corporations do not enjoy the same protected rights as individuals and that money is not a form of speech.

Cohen plans to put a giant stamping machine on a national tour in August to encourage “thousands of people to buy rubber stamps and stamp any currency that comes into their possession,” he tells Yahoo News. According to his attorney, this is legal, as long as the bills are still legible after the stamping. The Occupy movement tried the stamp tactic last October, defacing dollar bills with infographics that showed the income distribution in American society.

The Tea Party has consistently been derided as mindless zombies directed by the nefarious Koch Brothers dollars. On the other hand, all the money in the world can’t pull an original thought out of Occupy Wall Street, to the point where they literally need to be handed rubber stamps with pre-approved slogans. Not shocking that these people find themselves unemployed when even their protesting could be more efficiently handled by toddlers at a day care center. $100K in debt to “learn how to think”, and your skillset doesn’t include developing your own stale slogans, such as:

This round of stamps will include “Corporations are not people,” “Money is not speech” and “Not to be used for bribing politicians,” among other slogans.

Individual people using corporate money to say “corporations are not people”, and stamping messages on dollar bills, essentially speaking through the currency, to teach us that “money is not speech”. Makes you want to slap a bumper sticker on your car that says “Irony is not an adjective for spinach”.

As for the third example, a bit of thought reveals an inherent flaw in progressive logic. The slogan assumes, correctly, that politicians are a dishonest bunch especially susceptible to bribes. Having established that, why do progressives then insist on transferring most all power to central government, which is managed by those same dishonest politicians?

The amendment for which Cohen is advocating would reverse decades of Supreme Court decisions, which have extended free speech and other rights to corporations and have ruled that spending money is a form of protected speech. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision in 2010 held that corporations and unions can spend unlimited amounts of money during elections as long as they are not directly funding individual candidates. (This led to the rise of independent super PACs, which have poured millions of dollars into this election cycle alone.) The decision overturned existing campaign finance laws.

Ben, and Jerry’s, goal is to use their corporate dollars to fund perpetual adolescents who naively agree with the progressive vision of government. Others who choose the SuperPAC route simply advocate specific politicians who they believe agree with their vision. The distinction lacks much of a difference, as either way “the 1%” with the deepest pockets exercise outsized influence on the political process. And that set up is not all for the worse. While I appreciate OWS acting out for all to see the degenerative nature of progressive philosophy, their shielding of sexual assault and attempted bridge bombing are troublesome. Maybe Ben Cohen’s bankrolling will lure them back into civilized society. In the meantime, let’s not forget that the true currency politicians need is our votes. If United States citizens are now the types whose votes can be bought and sold by corporations, or tricked by clever SuperPAC ads, then we are surely getting the politicians and government we deserve.

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