, Gloucester, MA

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Letters/My View

November 7, 2012

Letter: Momentum against 'Citizens' United' ruling

To the editor:

When I was a kid back in the 1950s, many of the shows in that “golden age of television” were westerns. Gunsmoke, Rawhide and Maverick were some of the popular ones — but my favorite was “Wagon Train.”

The star of the show, Ward Bond, played Major Seth Adams, a Union veteran of the Civil War. As the wagon master, he guided a long wagon train through the dangers and unforgettable adventures of the trip westward. Crusty but affable, the indomitable Major Adams saw them safely through to the end in California.

Every day, Major Adams would saddle up, lift his hand in the air, and holler: “Wagons, Ho!”

Isn’t this is a recurring theme in our country’s history? Each generation saddles up and rides off into an uncertain future surrounded by dangers. Many people across our country today saw the dangers big money given in secrecy would pose to our democracy. And now, with the hindsight of just a few days, with an exhausting election thankfully over, many more see these dangers.

What has all this money bought us? How many of us are interested in buying these products — endless attack ads, robocalls, and mailings? How many of us are fed up with it? How many of us would gladly go through this process again?

We now see exactly what all this money has bought us: it has cheapened our democracy. The Supreme Court decision Citizens United, opened the doors to a Hurricane Sandy flood of cash that has devastated the democratic process.

Is this what we want for America? Just who, exactly, benefits from all this? Can anyone truthfully answer that the beneficiary is our democracy?

On Election Day, people in this congressional district people rejected this vulgar corruption of our democracy, as did the cities of Chicago and San Francisco. In September and October, citizens in Rockport and Gloucester did so, and in July the Commonwealth of Massachusetts voted, overwhelmingly, to make Massachusetts the eighth state to go on record against Citizens United.

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