How Corporate Influence Imperils American Democracy

“In a country that has made such effort to create a meaningful and open democracy, it is both wrong and simple-minded to refuse to grapple with all the mischievous effects of massive money let loose in politics, to just say it’s “speech,” and to walk away wiping your hands. It is both wrong and simple-minded to equate corporations, as political actors, with human citizens; they are very different creatures.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

This is a quote (p. 88) from Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s (R.I.) 2017 book, Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy. It is an extremely well-written and researched book on the subject. 

Of particular importance is his discussion of gerrymandering and the anti-democratic decision in Citizens United (SCOTUS, 2010). It gives us a clear, unvarnished example of how big money corrupts and influences our policies and politics.

A review of the Whitehouse book by the Center for American Progress provides some historical context of the “corporate capture of democratic government” and its’ amplification as a consequence of the 2010 Citizens United decision.