The Common Good
June 2012

Citizens vs. Citizens United

by Vince Schumacher | June 2012

I wish Bill McKibben’s “‘And God Created ... Corporations’” (April 2012) could magically appear in the inbox of each state and federal senator and representative. A corporation is a soulless, incorporeal, supranational, immortal legal device for assembling, managing, and deploying wealth. We should be thankful that corporations do good things. They feed, clothe, house, and entertain us pretty well. However, a corporation cannot be expected to deliver the values that a human, God-fearing society needs.

McKibben exposes the essential flaw in the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. The tsunami of corporate campaign funding it enabled deepens cynicism about political leaders. Millions of Americans now see no point in voting.

I still see hope: People are active in efforts to “overturn” Citizens United with a constitutional amendment. Here in west Michigan, I have joined and support Move to Amend ( and its local affiliate, Move to Amend—Grand Rapids. We maintain that a corporation is not a “person” and should not share in the constitutionally guaranteed liberties that are meant for people. A friend of mine at church said, “We, as people, have God-given rights. Corporations don’t.” Yes!

Take heart, fellow Democrats and Republicans and independents! We will get through this, and democracy will be stronger. The revolution, now 236 years old, continues!                       

Vince Schumacher
Grand Rapids, Michigan

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