Supreme Court Nominee Renders Us Voiceless

Big money drowns out our voices.

Big money drowns out our voices.

Most Trump voters supported him because they felt voiceless.

And the truth is that our government mostly listens to the moneyed elite and ignores the rest of us.

So why did Trump nominate Neil Gorsuch, who will likely add to the problem?

***

Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page are political scientists from Princeton and Northwestern who recently compared the preferences of ordinary voters and economic elites with nearly 2000 actual policy outcomes.

Finding? Economic elites have a huge impact on policy while the rest of us have almost none.

That’s because rich elites fund campaigns.

My experience with Congress

I’ll have to say that I meet with members of Congress to urge support for things like low interest loans and grants for College students or for job retraining, child care aid which enables women to financially support their children, and the Earned Income Tax Credit which ensures that no one who is working for a living is living in poverty.

Democrats almost always get on board. But it’s nearly impossible to get Republican support. Though they are beginning to support the EITC and I’m getting mixed messages on education — Trumps new budget looks bad on education but I’ve heard some positive things from some House leadership. We’ll see  what they actually do.

About the only time both sides agree on anything comes when big campaign contributions sway votes.

Republican appointees bolster big money in politics

Many have fought against the corrupting power of Big Money in politics (legalized bribery).

But unfortunately, Republican-appointed Justices almost always support unlimited money — which amplifies the speech of the rich — and drowns out the rest of our voices.

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will likely vote in lockstep, given a judicial record that is in line with those who voted to lift political spending restrictions on corporations and unions in the Citizens United ruling.

Why do so many ordinary citizens keep voting for Presidents who appoint right-wingers who usually side with the big guy over the rest of us?

Hearings start next week. Will Gorsuch stand up for our voices or support the inaptly named Citizens United ruling that bolsters the moneyed elite?

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 17, 2017, in politics/class inequality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. I mean it shows what a joke he is. How demeaning though, talking to WH press like they are kids though. The guy is a joke, but I found it funny because of how much it is like that and how absurd and incompetent he is.

  2. I thought I’d share this, because sometimes I think sometimes it helps to have a laugh of the cartoon that’s happening at the WH. Not because it’s funny, or it doesn’t matter, but I think to give relief and sanity amongst the ridiculousness going on.We all know how ridiculous trump is, but his staff is not much better. For example, Sean spicer who I can’t stand and many people can’t either. I know there has been stuff of him from SNL, but I thought this was funny from Trevor Noahs show. It’s like funny and scary how much it looks like his talking goes with edited clip of kindergartners. I don’t know, but I did find it funny.

  3. I had to share this too, because it reminded me of something I brought up to others in regard to how pathetic Trump is. As if trump bitching or bragging or caring about how many people showed up for his inauguration was enough to make you feel sick. Or his petty, stupid obsession, which I predicted, mind you. About “The Apprentice” Show that Arnold was taking over. I said I knew the dimwith would make a comment or pay attention to the show’s ratings and how it would be better if he was doing it. I mean it’s not like he has important presidential duties or anything. You see how seriously he takes his job here. I mean he tweets about his daughters business during a White house meeting like last month. But this here that I’m going to post, this is icing on the cake here.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-set…115155000.html

    Seriously? I mean I’ve seen enough to know how petty and insecure Trump is, plus crazy. But it’s like I can’t even joke about what he will do or what will offend him, because nothing seems out of reach with him. Jeesh a poor girl can’t even have an app mocking trump with kittens for crying out loud without a president too busy surfing the internet, than actually being at meetings or concerned about actual important stuff.

    ” a thin-skinned American president. Donald Trump has reportedly sent in the lawyers on a 17-year-old girl who made a fun web game about him.

    Kitten Feed was coded by a teenager from San Francisco called Lucy as a little side project just for fun.

    Players use a cat’s paws to bash Trump’s head around the page as Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” plays in the background.”

    The game sounds funny lol. But seriously the point she makes here though.

    So she played it safe and changed the website’s name, though she refused to take it down.

    “I was going to just let this go, but I think it’s, pardon my French, f*****g outrageous that the president of the United States has his team scouring the internet for sites like mine to send out cease and desists and legal action claims if we don’t shut down,” she told the Observer, which first reported the story.”

    • I’m amazed at what an insecure, petty President the people elected. Still can’t believe it. He doesn’t seem to get how ridiculous he makes himself look, Either. Totally backfires.

  4. Trump’s budget is certainly the very definition of running up his flag.

    Surprise, low income Trump voters, his flag does not represent economic gain for you, but it does in large quantities for the wealthy. For you, it represents much more pain.

    Lesson of the day:

    First – Voting for a wealthy Wall Streeter with a history of lying and cheating the less fortunate will not “make America great again”;

    Secondly – It is far better to vote with informed reason than with one’s emotions.

    Thirdly – Listening mainly to what one side says about the opposition is not educating oneself about the opposition–research all the candidates’ histories (what they’ve written and said on camera), how they’ve voted and where do they get their money (use http://opensecrets.org), and what they’ve done (access original documents where available, otherwise visit non-partisan sites such as http://govtrack.us/congress/votes);

    Fourthly – Learn what supply-side economics (trickle down economics) means! (suppress wages, cut taxes mainly for the wealthy, deregulate the Wall Street financial institutions by abolishing consumer financial protections.

    So, the key to it all is personal education, critical thinking and intellectual honesty.

    • I can understand desperate people voting for him.

      But it’s ironic that the Trump campaign won the Republican primary largely by shouting the truth that the Republican elite helps the elite but ignores the working class.

      And now that Trump is in power he’s doing exactly what he preached against.

      And trying to get people to stay with him by keeping them misinformed: stay away from mainstream media! Only listen to me, DJT!

      It’s a great way to manipulate people and has been used for decades by the far right.

      If someone tries to get you to not listen to a variety of perspectives I would be wary.

  5. When I look at the recent presidential campaign, I sense that the big political donations went to Clinton, both the Democratic and the Republican Party establishments were against Trump, the media did everything to elect Clinton as did Hollywood. Liberals are the establishment and the majority of regular people thought it was just time for a change.

    I think a wait and see attitude prevails among Trump voters.

    • Presidential elections are different because they get tons of free press.

      If you look at other issues, The study I cited found that ordinary people rarely get what they want.

      And I watched CNN constantly in the last weeks of the election because I figured that that’s where the undecided voters would go (Fox news watchers would vote Trump and MSNBC would vote Clinton).

      In the last couple weeks of the election all CNN could talk about was Hillary’s emails. No talk about evidence of Russia trying to mess with our election to help Trump. The weight was strongly anti-Hillary.

      And now if you look at what Trump is doing he is not helping working people, he’s helping the elite:

      * removing Trump voters from the health insurance rolls but giving the rich — and himself — a big tax cut

      * getting rid of Wall Street regulations. Expect Main Street to bail out Wall Street again

      * tax policy that helps the wealthy much more than the middle class

      * get rid of the EPA. Big oil will benefit while our air and water becomes poisoned

      * get rid of consumer protections that will aid pharmaceutical companies, etc.

      * education policy that harms the poorer sectors of society — no more school lunch, which is a problem since hungry kids are more likely to perform poorly and drop out of school

      * no more meals on wheels for the elderly. That gave them both food and someone to keep an eye on them everyday

      I could go on…

      But at least the wealthy get huge tax cuts!

  6. As if there wasn’t enough, what pissed me off and is so sad is I hear Trump and the jackass GOP are going to cut funding for school food services for poor families. This helps so kids don’t go hungry and are helped with lunch provided at school. And then the meals on wheels which almost every city has and I remember seeing on my cities news in the past years. How the charity and volunteer organization really helped the poor and elderly. And you’d see the smile on the elderly faces getting food which they might not be able to get for various reason.

    Maybe little money or disabled and hard for them to get around. Maybe they don’t have relatives and family close by to get them food. It’s Bs, not every poor family is a mooch or one having a ton of kids and smoking weed on the porch all day, jobless. But many trying their best and hard on their luck or just so many different things. I saw a stat and meme which showed what we are paying for, for Trumps wife to live outside of the white house and such taxes, yet the small amount for good stuff like this. And yet idiots will be brainwashed by fox news or such trump to think this stuff is draining our money or not needed.

    • Yes, Trump policy will harm people who aren’t well to do who are elderly, disabled or children. And that will hurt the United States when we have an uneducated workforce and more kids with unplanned pregnancies or kids in jail — it’s more costly to jail these kids than to feed them and educate them.

      It’s not these kids fault that they were born poor.

      Trump’s health policy will also kick out a lot of the working class. And disproportionately harm Trump voters.

      But Trump and the rest of the rich will get a big tax break.

      Yeah, Trump is quite the populist.

      • The irony like you said is how people vote against their needs. I guess the elderly are more likely to vote republican. So the irony is you probably have many or some of those who used meal on wheels, who voted for trump and believe everything he says and condemn minorities and such. And then now they are seeing reality of what it’s like to condemn others and will feel the effect of trumps orders. It’s still sad, because there are many who didn’t vote for trump still and despite that, it’s wrong to do this.

      • Yeah. And Trump voters who didn’t like Obamacare but were helped by the Affordable Care Act (same thing).

        His campaign was largely about how elites screw working people. And now that’s what he’s doing. Except for some symbolic things that don’t affect many people, Like the Carrier deal — Jobs that will soon be automated as they move out of Mexico. No wonder he wants his voters to avoid mainstream media and only listen to News that makes him look good, like his tweets (or that he thinks makes him look good anyway).

        Listening only two new sources on the far right wing and removing ourselves from other voices, really limits us. It’s a great way to manipulate people.

      • Don’t you mean the former working class, now the unemployed class who successive governments have allowed their jobs to be exported?

      • I mean the demographic that fits with working-class Trump voters.

        Many of them still have jobs. Some have been made jobless as work has gone overseas or, more often, been automated. Some have been outsourced meaning they still have their jobs that they no longer have benefits.

        Others still have jobs but are struggling because of things like union busting “right to work (for less)” laws.

        It’s all a huge redistribution of wealth from the working class to the moneyed elite.

      • “Others still have jobs but are struggling because of things like union busting “right to work (for less)” laws.”

        You mean like how Obama gutted worker pay and benefits and the retirement fund of Chrysler auto workers in the bailout?

        America has lost control of its ability to tax the rich. Look at Apple, they have 250 billion in cash outside the US, so they can avoid paying tax on it. When the means of production is offshore, and the ownership is offshore via various tax havens, all the high minded desire to tax the rich is futile. At least Trump is trying to bring jobs back into the country. Don’t know if he’ll succeed, but Hillary’s stated dream of “hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders”, means the race to the bottom would be complete. No jobs, nobody to tax, but wonderful futile hopes of taxing the rich.

      • Wow, you are really misinformed. But then a lot of wealthy corporate elites give millions of dollars to people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to mislead people, To get us to vote against our own interests.

        That’s right, Rush and Sean get around $2 million dollars a year just for doing this — but it pays off.

        Now a lot of working have a history of voting for Republicans who only serve the interests of the elite — which was a major message during the Trump campaign. Sad that he is now doing what he complained about.

        Without help from the Obama administration (and actually the Bush administration too) GM and Chrysler would have faced massive job losses PLUS disruption to auto parts suppliers.

  7. Good question. I really think Trump’s core constituency voted for someone whose policies will hurt them. The GOP healthcare bill is a great example. But they bought into his bullshit. Will he be able to maintain that?

    • I’m concerned that Trump will end up hurting his voters in various ways. This being one of the more blatant examples. But also nominating the anti-labor secretary?! His tax policy helps him a lot more than his voters. Even his health care bill helps him a lot more than his voters since he gives him a huge tax break but will leave many of his photos without insurance.

      And I fear he will get away with it for two reasons.

      1) fake news. Combined with voters who will not listen to alternate sources. Then he can enact policy that helps him and hurt them and they won’t notice until it’s too late

      2) people often don’t like to admit when they have made a mistake.

      Now it could be that if they held him accountable he might actually help them. But that would depend on not doing 1 and 2.

  8. Let’s be rational for a second. The idea that the founding fathers didn’t want ANY restrictions on speech, regardless of how much money you have, is rather more plausible than the idea that the founding fathers had in mind that the government has no power to control abortion.

    If you think the bill of rights is wrong, then change it. It’s not the court’s job to govern. Agitate for fixing the real problem, instead of blaming judges who are supposed to just be interpreting what is in front of them.

    • I scored extremely high on the “rational” section of the GRE so you are in luck! (The GRE is the most common test taken for admission to grad school.)

      Abortion was not illegal when the founding fathers were creating the constitution. Nor was it illegal after the constitution was put into place. So they would be fine with abortion being legal.

      I believe in freedom of speech. But as I indicated in the title of this piece, unlimited spending for monied interests drowns out the rest of our speech. We are rendered voiceless.

      The fact that people don’t advocate in their own interests amazes me. Trump voters complained that they were voiceless. Wall, this is why. And yet they defend the situation that hurts them!

      And I do advocate against this problem. Take a look at my “About” page where I include this information: “I’m involved with various social justice groups, including … Common Cause (getting the corrupting influence of money out of politics).” I even include a link for others who would like to get active.

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