In the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling the SCOTUS (not to be confused scrotum, no matter what Antonin Scalia looks like) ruled that corporations are protected by the 1st amendment. This means they can spend whatever they want on tv spots and newspaper/radio ads in political campaigns. They are “people” after all, and they now have a right to spread their opinions on whatever format they can purchase.
I, for one, welcome our new corporate overlords. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to spend as much as they want to say whatever they please? The concept of a corporation states that the organization is an entity, akin to a person, that can conduct business, disassociated with its owner or owners. This is useful in a lot of ways; if, for instance, your business goes under, you don’t necessarily have to go with it, because it is its own person and can stand or fail on its own. A corporation can also do illegal things in your stead, and as long as you are not involved, you don’t have any culpability.
With this “person-ness” in mind, and in light of the court ruling, I propose that we take the next logical step. As corporations are historically and economically people, and as their interests and speech are now unfettered in the political realm, I think it’s high time we allow them to run for office.
Just think, soon Starbucks could be running against Mike McGinn when he goes up for reelection. Microsoft wouldn’t have to exhort its employees to join various political action groups, it could run entire municipalities (other than Redmond, natch’) and 7-11 could… well, no one would vote for them anyway, so it doesn’t matter.
We won’t have multi-national or trans-national corporations, we’ll have corporate nations, cities and counties. Let’s bring the free market to politics, its invisible hand knows best.