On Money and Speech

(National Poetry Writing Month continues.)

If money is speech,
the government violates
my First Amendment rights
every April 15.

Money can’t buy love
or happiness but
it can buy face time
with a very busy candidate
who will smile and nod
as you lay out your plan
for America’s future.

I guess the Supreme Court
feels that the rich should be
unlimited in their ability to
donate to political campaigns
in the hope that they might
influence the electorate
so they can more effectively
shape policy to their needs
and drown out the objections
of people less fortunate
who have to live downstream
from their factories or
breathe the filthy air
from their smokestacks or
somehow try to make it
in society at a job
they offered you with
no benefits and no union
to fight for a better deal or
protect you if the boss
exploits you to make the
numbers look better
on the quarterly report
because he has a bonus
riding on said numbers.

These justices who think
money equals speech
know that their opinions
are worth way more than
my two cents
and yours
because even put together
you and I can’t buy
a pack of Juicy Fruit
let alone an election.

Call me naïve but
don’t try to convince me
that I should be grateful
for trust fund babies
who went to Exeter
then on to the Ivy League
before strings were pulled
to land them corner offices
at Daddy’s firm where they
took six-martini lunches
and middle class money
by the armored truckload.

Yes, our Supreme Court
feels these bankers and
venture capitalists who
call themselves Makers
but who have never, ever
made a fucking thing
(unless you want to count
a rigged political system)
deserve the right to
drop huge sums
in exchange for services
soon to be rendered.

We’re the Takers,
you and I, because
we take jobs at
companies they own
and we take time off
when we’re sick and
we take it for granted
that somebody in
Washington DC
might actually
take an interest
in our problems.

I think it’s time we
take the hint
the Court has given
and stop taking this shit
and start taking their shit.

We can start off by
taking the power back
and telling them to
take note that
in a true democracy
the President would
take a meeting with
the Common Man
before taking cues
from the CEO of Comcast.

The way I was taught
in public school and
at a state college
a real democracy
does not treat
speech and money
as the same thing.

In a real democracy—
the kind soldiers die for
and flags fly for
and all of us strive for—
speech is free.



About semiblind

Bringing you stark existentialism since 1981.
This entry was posted in anger, NaPoWriMo, observations, people, poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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