Video: Debt Ceiling Malfunction – The Fulcrum
“We are under an avalanche. No one can hear us, and we cannot hear each other.”
This is my friend, David Trahan. He is a lumberjack in Waldoboro, Maine. He is also a former Republican senator in the state legislature and heads the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. Trahan and SAM represent the interests of 300,000 Maine residents who hunt, fish and trap in the state’s vast forests, rivers and lakes. SAM is also Maine’s leading advocate for the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Under an avalanche. Trahan talks about the 2020 U.S. Senate race between incumbent Susan Collins and her Democratic challenger, Sarah Gideon. In a predominantly rural state with a small population, billionaires, businesses, large unions and various front groups from Washington, DC and a few other cities have spent more than $ 200 million to bury Maine voters in a bombing to the relentless bomb of division, misinformation and fear. The dirty game was completely bipartite, and an overview of what Americans in each state face. Indeed, at $ 200 million, Maine didn’t even enter the Top five big budget senatorial elections.
Trahan became a leader in American Promise Constitutional Amendment Campaign to fix this problem for good. Like most Americans, he wants an amendment to the American Constitution so we can have fair limits on the amount of money anyone can contribute or spend on elections.
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Trahan was happy that Collins was re-elected. He has been supporting her for a long time. But the victory of his candidate does not make him less concerned about the future of America without this amendment to the American Promise in the Constitution. And he has high hopes that Collins can help make it happen, and, he says, for good reason.
Collins has long believed that the power of a few people to use their money to control elections violates the equal rights of all Americans.
She was a leader in the passage of the 2002 Biparty Campaign Reform Act which limited the ability of billionaires, corporations, unions, foreign governments and other entities to send large sums of money to elections through super PACs and “black money” channels.
This bipartisan law is now obsolete only because the Supreme Court overturned it – along with many other state and federal anti-corruption laws – by fabricating a wacky new theory on the First Amendment. The political operatives of business and big money have sold the court the idea that those with a lot of money – whether human beings, global corporations, big government unions or super PACs black money – have the right to “free speech” to spend that much. money because they want to take control of our government and our officials, no matter the cost to other Americans.
Money is freedom of speech? Are companies people? So say Supreme Court justices (none of whom have ever run for local office, and few have ever spoken with a jury of Americans at a local courthouse or State).
Americans don’t buy the “money is the talk” experience, and for one simple reason. After a decade in the laboratory of American democracy, the experience was a disaster for the country. No one who cannot afford the new price of admission for “speech” feels represented, respected or even connected with elected politicians and the government that results from the big money attack game. Almost all of us are now “under the avalanche”.
At the beginning of his career, Collins put the counter-argument to this “money is freedom of speech” theory. “Why should I [the big money] question, we are asked by those who are too eager to equate freedom of speech with freedom to spend. This should matter because political equality is the essence of democracy, and an electoral system driven by a lot of money lacks political equality. ”
How money is used in elections is central to the equal rights of Americans. All Americans, regardless of whether they are rich or poor, have the right to participate in elections, to be represented, to have the opportunity to be heard, and to debate issues and candidates. These rights cannot be bought or sold because they belong to everyone. As Trahan says, “Money cannot buy the deep love and passion we feel for the freedom guaranteed by our Constitution.”
It is therefore about equality, but as Trahan shows, it is also about freedom. Our freedom; the freedom of every American. When only the richest individuals, the largest corporations, or the most powerful unions or special interests are free, no one is free.
Freedom and equality. Too often we think that these are in opposition to each other. But freedom is our freedom, or it is not freedom. Freedom is not the same as individualism; instead, freedom stems from our equality as citizens and human beings in society, together.
If we are equal in the eyes of our Creator and our Constitution, our own freedoms must be reciprocal and related to one another. Freedom exists when citizens, who all have the same rights as everyone else, can debate, argue and compete, over time, election after election, decision after decision, in the different perspectives of what makes sound laws and standards. healthy in our society.
Unlike the judges, Collins learned this lesson in Caribou, Maine, his birthplace near the Canadian border, and over a long career in competitive politics and debate.
She and all New Englanders experience nearly four centuries of local democracy in city council, where all citizens of the community have the right to debate and decide together budgets and priorities; crime and security, environmental, zoning and trade regulations; and all the rest.
Collins once underlined this experience to explain everything you need to know about the First Amendment and money in politics. “Attend a town hall meeting,” she says, “and you will observe an element of true democracy: people who have more money don’t speak longer and louder than people who have less money.
The constitutional amendment favored by Trahan and so many Americans fast forward, with 22 states so far calling on Congress to act, and versions of amendment language competing in Congress to hit the two-thirds threshold. Legal experts, Business and civic leaders, health care and Faith leaders join the campaign. And a non-partisan and diverse panel of experts convened by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences endorsed the American pledge effort and requested the ratification of this constitutional amendment by July 4, 2026.
July 4, 2026. What better way to honor America’s difficult, bumpy, and hectic 250-year journey to freedom, equality, and constitutional democracy than by ratifying a For Our Freedom Amendment so we can pull ourselves out of it. avalanche and renew our promise?