Move to Amend

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This article was previously published in the Wausau Daily Herald

Would you like to sign a petition to get Big Money out of politics?

We must stop Citizens United (the Supreme Court decision in 2010 that says that corporations are people and that money is speech and is protected by the First Amendment).

Move to Amend is the organization that has been working across the country toward a 28th amendment to overturn Citizens United. During the month of July, MTA is working in Wausau. I am one of fifty local volunteers.

Why am I doing this?

Recently I heard a story about a couple that moved to a new town. They were looking for a church to attend. They attended one church and no one spoke to them or welcomed them. After worship, the wife said to her husband, “That is not a friendly church. They need our help.”

Her response takes most people by surprise. Most people would think that the church had better shape up and become friendlier before the new couple would ever come back. However, the couple took the initiative.

In the same way, our country feels “unfriendly” toward many people. We don’t like the direction it is moving in. There is definitely too much money spent on elections. The money is from a few sources and can remain anonymous. A recent Supreme Court decision even allows more money to flood our election process, putting our democracy at high risk. The politicians can ignore the ordinary citizens. There is a great imbalance.

I am a retired teacher. We taught in an international school in Sao Paulo, Brazil and lived on the 17th floor of a twenty-story apartment building. From our large living room window we counted 100 other high rises that looked exactly like the one we lived in.

I remember one morning, looking down at the sidewalk, seeing a small group of street children, rolling up their cardboard shelter and heading toward the back door of a nearby restaurant for some leftover food.  Brazil, at that time, had too much money in the hands of a few people. Those people owned most of the land and money and political power. This huge imbalance created the social imbalance resulting in so many street children and other problems.

Another teaching job was in Kinshasha, Zaire (the heart of Africa, a large beautiful country, full of minerals, gold and diamonds). There we saw imbalance. A few people owned everything. Most of the people lived on almost nothing. Our international school was on a large compound protected with a tall fence.

Across the street was a Zaire Army camp, in the middle of which lived the “president” who took most of the money from Zaire. I remember seeing the parade for the “president’s” birthday. Eighty new luxury cars carried prominent people of the government. One day the national airliner used for regular international flights was not available. The president’s wife and her friends needed the plane for a shopping trip to Paris. There was great imbalance.

The people of Zaire were wonderful talented people. We had a barber, the gold jewelry man, the seamstress, the cook, the cleaner, the gardener, and other service people who came to our home on the compound to earn a meager living.

I see imbalance in our democracy. Fortunately, people in the USA across the political spectrum are saying Enough. We need to get Big Money out of our political system. Let’s get the system balanced.

That is why I am working with Move to Amend. Our democracy needs our help. For more information, call…715-675-6728.


By Virginia Kirsch