Col. Bob Bowman on free speech and popular government

Colonel Bob Bowman has important things to say on behalf of popular government. Here’s one of his recent editorials. You can read others at his website. –t.h.g.

Restoring Free Speech

By Dr Robert M Bowman, Lt Col, USAF, ret

National Commander, “The Patriots”

The American people are more than angry, they are “P.O.d” and rightly so. How many times must our wishes be ignored and our clear needs be unmet before we say “Enough is enough!”

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the American people wanted an end to the Vietnam War, and yet it dragged on for years after our government KNEW we had no chance of winning. According to Robert McNamara, both he and Lyndon Johnson knew that as early as 1965!

In 1981 and 1982, 80% of Americans wanted a nuclear freeze, yet we never got one. In the late 1980s, the overwhelming majority wanted an end to nuclear testing (after all, Gorbachev had unilaterally ended testing by the USSR). Yet testing continued year after year. A clear majority wanted an end to the Contra war against Nicaragua, to no avail. Even after Congress passed the Boland amendment, cutting off funds for the conflict, Ollie North and company ran drugs and sold arms to Iran in order to continue their illegal war. In 1993 (and again in 2009), most Americans favored a Single-Payer National Health Program. Fat chance getting that past the insurance companies! In 2004 and 2006 and 2008, the people overwhelmingly voted for an end to the corporate wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan. But too many are getting filthy rich off them. We wanted relief for homeowners facing foreclosure. Sorry, the trillions go to the banks, insurance companies, and investment firms that caused the problem.

Yes, “Enough is enough!” But to whom do we say it? The best Congress money can buy? And how can we scream it loud enough to be heard over the din of lobbyist money and the constant drone of corporate “issue ads”?? We need a populist government that serves the needs of the people, not the greeds of the corporations. There is euphoria as we elect Barack Obama who promises us Real Change. But what do we get? Chump change! And just as our frustration is at the breaking point, we do the only thing we can think of to get their attention – we elect a (gulp!) conservative Republican to the Senate … in Massachusetts, no less! (Well, he sounded like a populist independent.)

Then the very next day, the Supreme Court drowns out the last tiny echo of our free speech by handing the ruling corporations a megaphone of infinite power. You think rock bands make noise? Just wait until the multinational corporations crank up their amplifiers in the next election cycle!

For years, legislators with a populist bent have been trying to perfect campaign finance reform, one of the key steps in separating big money from political power. Just over a decade ago, Granny D (Doris Haddock) walked across the country at the age of 90 for campaign finance reform. I will never forget her stirring address to the 1999 Reform Party National Convention (where I was drafted to run for President). She said “Corporations are not ‘persons’, and money is not ‘speech’.” Her point was that corporations have no Constitutional First Amendment right to spend as much money as they want buying up politicians and influencing elections. On January 21, 2010 the Supreme Court decided against Granny D and struck down key sections of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform law, opening the floodgates for big money to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens and perpetuate corporate control of our government.

For ten years, I have proposed a Constitutional Amendment restoring the intent of the Founding Fathers. It says “Corporations and other fictitious entities are not ‘persons’ under this Constitution, and shall have none of the rights and privileges thereof.” We the People were guaranteed Free Speech. Don’t let corporate money drown us out!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s