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A Different Conversation

billionaire, Tom Steyer, candidate, president, election, campaign,

“Here’s the difference between me and the other candidates,” says billionaire investor-turned-presidential aspirant Tom Steyer. “I don’t think we can fix our democracy from the inside. I don’t believe Washington politicians and big corporations will let that happen.”

Of course, if this Democrat becomes president of these United States, that’s hardly the outside.

“For me,” Steyer continues, “this comes down to whether you trust the politicians or the people.”

Well, I certainly trust the people a whole lot more than I trust the politicians.* 

“If you say you trust the people, are you willing to stand up to the insiders and the big corporations and give the people the tools they need to fix our democracy?” Steyer asks. 

Which tools? “A national referendum, term limits, eliminating corporate money in politics, making it easy to vote.”

The toolkit’s a mixed bag.

Eliminating corporate money means repealing part of the First Amendment, and silencing non-profit corporations such as U.S. Term Limits, MoveOn.org, the NRA, Planned Parenthood, National Right to Life, etc., etc. 

Mr. Steyer also worries that, without reform, “We won’t be able to . . . pass any of the great plans proposed by the Democratic candidates running for president.”

We should be so lucky.

Still, here is another Democratic presidential candidate endorsing congressional term limits. And we do need a direct democratic check on Washington, the ability for citizens to initiate reforms such as term limits and take unpopular legislation to a referendum. 

I’m not sanguine that Steyer will get the policy details right, but as fellow Democratic candidate Sen. Kamala Harris is fond of saying, “Let’s have that conversation.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


* Constitutional protections for our basic rights, as in The Bill of Rights, mean we do not have to trust government, directly democratic or representative.

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billionaire, Tom Steyer, candidate, president, election, campaign,

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By: Redactor

3 Comments

  1. 2WarAbnVet says:

    Strike one – Steyer thinks the United States is a democracy. The Founders took great pains to ensure that it was not.

  2. gdp says:

    Eliminating corporate money does not means “Repealing part of the First Amendment and silencing non-profit corporations”; it merely requires recognizing that the “Legal Fiction” (a legal technical term, look it up!) of corporate “artificial personhood” does NOT mean that “Corporations have First Amendment Rights” — the “Citizens United” decision notwithstanding.

    Only INDIVIDUALS (or in legal terminology “Natural Persons”) are capable of having Natural Rights such as “Freedom of Speech”, because only INDIVIDUALS can have that attribute that philosophers call “Moral Agency”. Corporations are NOT sapient, sentient beings; they are mere ABSTRACT CONCEPTS that have been granted “personhood” via the mechanism of a “Legal Fiction”. Reifying a corporation as a “Person with Natural Rights” is to commit what logicians call a “category error fallacy”: Attributing to an object or concept a property that it does not and CANNOT have.

    Natural Persons posses Natural Rights, which the Founder recognized as Unalienable. Natural Persons can speak. Natural Persons can act as Moral Agents. Natural Persons can choose to organize for a common cause, and to exercise their Natural Rights in a coordinated manner. BUT A CORPORATION CAN DO NONE OF THESE THINGS, BECAUSE A “CORPORATION” IS A MERE ABSTRACT CONCEPT, AND IS “EMBODIED” ONLY AS WORDS ON A SET OF LEGAL DOCUMENTS.

    Time to reject the category error fallacy that the Legal Fiction of “Corporate Artificial Personhood” somehow `entitles’ the legal fiction known as “a corporation” to the same set of rights that a Natural Person unalienably possesses, and assert the fundamental principle that only NATURAL PERSONS have Free Speech — whereas “corporations” (or rather the managers who run them) only have _legal and contractual obligations_, not “Rights”.

    Moreover, denying that “corporations” have “Free Speech Rights” does not `silence’ nonprofits — it merely recognizes that ONLY NATURAL PERSONS CAN SPEAK. The nonprofit may be legally useful for financial purposes, but “it” is not a sapient being, and “it” can only say what some NATURAL PERSON says in “its” name.

    Time to stop pretending that the Legal Fiction known as “a corporation” is anything other than a legal fiction. One can start by being careful with one’s language, and always reminding the listener that when “corporate statements” are made, they are are being read by a CORPORATE SPOKESPERSON, not by “The Corporation” — which as a mere abstract concept not a sapient being has NO VOICE, and is incapable of saying ANYTHING. No more of this “The corporation said or did” or “the government said or did” — both statements are not only category-error fallacies, but are arguably even grammatical errors.

  3. John Steele says:

    Steyer also says he doesn’t feel rich. While wrting out the check for millions of $$ to try to get Trump impeached, what is he thinking? That the average Joe can write checks for 5 million at a pop..
    We have a Republic… NOT a democracy.

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