Corporations can’t speak, feel joy, raise children, eat or feel pain. They are abstractions that exist on paper and that are run to fulfill an objective, provide a service and that all too often aggressively cater to the self-serving priorities of its executives or boards. They employ people, many of whom are hard working, underpaid, and responsible for delivering services that when executed well can inspire consumers and solve their problems. But one thing they are not and will never be is living, breathing , vulnerable human beings. But if you were to look at the laws that are on the books with regard to who exactly is allowed to express their political opinions by spending money on their favorite candidates it isn’t clear that some parts of the law and some policy makers necessarily understand this. Fortunately there are organizations that have risen up to create solutions to the root problem that has allowed wealthy people and large corporations to have a problematic role in politics. One of these organizations in the political actions committee End Citizens United.
The organization End Citizens United was formed to combat the problems caused by a landmark decision made by the US Supreme Court in 2010 when the court ruled that spending money donating to political campaigns was an activity that could be protected under the same rules that guarantee free speech and that as a result the government was not allowed to prevent organizations like corporations from exercising their rights to “free speech” by preventing them from spending money supporting political campaigns or opposing political campaigns.
The outcome of the Citizens United vs F.E.C. case was the idea that corporations could be seen as “people” under the law. Obviously the First Amendment exists to protect the quality of life of actual human beings and to allow them to enjoy freedom as long as they are not hurting anyone else. The suggestion that an artificial entity like a corporation could ever have or should have the same rights as a living breathing human being is a frightening one. It is frightening because some corporations choose to carry out actions that actually work against the quality of life of actual human beings such as wage theft or developing and distributing products that might have harmful substances in them. If corporations are not allowed to participate in the political process (and it should be noted that they often do through hiring lobbyists that work on Capitol Hill) they probably will not lose very much. End Citizens United was formed to work against the aftermath of the Supreme Court decisions which has allowed wealthy people and corporations to shift the political landscape in their favor often to the detriment of everyday people and citizens.