No one who follows the American Political system would say that it’s under control now. 80% of Americans think the United States’ political system is out of control. One of the biggest reasons they cite for this lack of control is the amount of big money in politics. Critics of the power of the lobbyists and how elections are run point to European nations. Many European nations do not allow corporations or private individuals to contribute funds to politicians. The campaign funds used come entirely from the government. Unsurprisingly, corporations have a much smaller role in politics in these countries than they do in the United States.
The Citizens United Decision remains immensely unpopular whenever it is brought up. Even though the supreme court ruled in favor of maintaining the status quo, there are many people who oppose the decision. Attempting to get legislators to overturn the supreme court decision has been problematic. No legislator, large or small, wants to give up a significant portion of their personal income. Local, state and national politicians seem unconcerned about the continued poisoning of the well.
Few people plan to let the status quo remain as it is. End Citizens United, a grass roots political movement, wants to see governments act to render the United States’ Supreme Court decision null and void. At the moment, they are working on gathering enough signatures for a petition. Signatories must be Massachusetts citizens. 65,000 people are needed to bring the petition to the ballot in 2018. If they can get the necessary number of people to sign the petition, they can overturn the unpopular measure in one state at least.
If the ballot drive in Massachusetts succeeds, it may pave the way for similar measures in other states. The people are ultimately supposed to be an additional check and balance under the constitution. End Citizens United hopes people in other states will follow their lead. It may only be a small step in getting money out of politics, but as the author of the Dao De Jing said, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.