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Bye Bye, American Pie

June 14, 2012
Charles Laquidara · Kayak Talkin' , The Maui Weekly

The radical Supreme Court Decision of Jan. 21, 2010, which gave corporations the same rights as human beings, has changed America forever.

Until it is rescinded--either with an amendment to the Constitution or until struck down or nullified--I will no longer be involved in anything else on the political spectrum. This is the most crucial issue we are facing in my lifetime and one that must be addressed now.

We are nine-tenths closer to being an America different from the country we all know and have loved for generations. Any political donation I could possibly make, and any millions of dollars any 50 unions could come up with, are only "pennies" compared to the monies Super PACed from the Koch Brothers, Exxon/Mobil and Monsanto.

I will no longer donate to my favorite candidates, because most of them don't have a chance to win anyway, and I believe it is naive to think otherwise. Instead, I will contribute to organizations that can actually change things--but I am not optimistic. It would be virtually impossible to get 38 states to ratify a Constitutional amendment-- especially since American corporations are deciding what we hear on the radio, what we see on TV, and whom we should vote for.

This is in no way a conspiracy theory, a flying saucer sighting or a "Chicken Little" rant. I believe that my assessment is on target and that no semblance of a truly competitive, workable, two- or three-party political system (as we have known it) is in our future unless the Jan. 21, 2010, decision is reversed.

"The Dark Side" (whether from ignorance or agenda) will insist speciously that "Unions now have as much power and money to donate as the giant corporations; therefore it's an even playing field." Pshaw! Any attempt to try and compare all the union funds in the world against even one or two giant corporations' ability to spend millions is "math for clowns."

Moreover, the argument that minorities will soon be the majority and align themselves with the younger generation--and both will rise up and "right any wrongs" that may exist--is empirically not true. If any "Child of the Sixties" still feels that the protests and the songs and the toppling of a president were a big win for them, they should put his or her hash pipes down and take a look around. Unregulated, powerful corporations run by some of those same rocking ex-hippies now have the means to influence the minds of millions of Americans--no matter whether we are black, brown, red, 26 or 66 years old.

The choices of tomorrow will only be those supplied to us by corporations and the media they own. Liberals and moderates don't have much hope for any of their preferred candidates to win an election in the future--whether it's Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, or even a moderate Republican in a red state.

And if any non-extreme Republicans out there think that all this a good thing, Google "Richard Lugar."

Also, wait and see what happens when moderate Scott Brown runs against a more loyal "tool of corporate" in the 2016 primaries.

This opinion column is written by Charles Laquidara, who has lived on Maui for over 11 years. He worked at WBCN radio in Boston for 30 years as the morning-drive host of a show called "The Big Mattress" and is occasionally heard on Mana'o Radio here on-island. Email



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Article Poll

  1. No, I totally believe that Supreme Court decision must be overturned.
  2. Yes. Corporations are ruled by their stockholders and the shareholders don’t always vote the way their CEO's demand.
  3. Not sure, but who is Scott Brown anyway?