Mitt Romney: Banana Republican in Chief
One definition of Banana Republic is “a country operated as a commercial enterprise for private profit, effected by the collusion between the State and favored monopolies, whereby the profits derived from private exploitation of public lands is private , and the debts incurred are public responsibility.” Based on that definition Mitt Romney is about to be nominated as the first, post Citizens United, “Banana Republican-in-Chief”.
Citizens United is the essential catalyst for America’s metamorphosis into an “exceptional” American Banana Republic as Romney might put it. Only a very few persons, namely those with the capability to buy an election, are affected directly by the Citizens United decision. Some, like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers are “natural” persons with multiple billions in “free speech” stashed in foreign banks and offshore havens. But others are corporations, “fictitious” persons at law, and there the issue is more opaque. Corporations are owned by stockholders who expect a profit. The biggest and best capitalized corporations are global in scope across every economic sector. Financials, Agriculture, Energy, Pharma, Defense, Automotive, and Telecom all depend on global access to foreign markets and international agreements. Even big box distribution companies like Wal-Mart, who source much of their products abroad and who have successfully squeezed out their smaller domestic competitors coast to coast, are affected by global markets and risks. By the way, the same corporations are currently withholding $2 trillion of “free speech” from investment in the U.S.. They’re risk takers who won’t take a risk and the job creators who won’t hire an employee. Nobody’s thinking small business here.
Practically speaking, global corporations and business entities must negotiate substantive agreements directly with foreign nationals, corporations, cartels, and governments whose interests routinely conflict with American interests in many political arenas apart from finance. Most global corporations have either direct or indirect foreign national representation on their boards of directors and throughout their corporate structures. All are owned by stockholders living across the globe with power residing in a very few individuals or funds that control the board of directors and pay themselves a king’s ransom. Who doubts that the interests of those corporations are aimed at protecting their markets abroad and aligning their interests with that of the host countries on frequent occasion?
Citizens United has opened the door to powerful foreign interests and the uber-rich who, through direct corporate control or through US subsidiaries, exercise powerful influence over more than the economy. Citizens United has literally empowered their active participation in American politics. Hell, as I see it, any clever foreign oligarch could legally and anonymously funnel unlimited funds into Carl Rove’s American Crossroads, assuming Rove wanted the money. Trust Rove to do the right thing?
So where are the Republicans?, When they’re not busy regulating uteri and ovaries, they are focused on restricting American citizens access to voting in virtually every state where they own the statehouse, ostensibly to respond to an imagined voter fraud problem associated exclusively with Democrat voter registration. Yet, with funds flowing in their direction, none show the least concern that under Citizens United, SCOTUS has empowered the uber-rich both in our country and abroad to wield outsized political power in United States elections through non-transparent PACs and corporation contributions. So I ask the question, what countries allow their internal politics to be financed directly or indirectly by undisclosed corporations, international entities, or any of the few persons capable of unlimited patronage?