In November's elections, the national media gave extensive coverage to a proposed "personhood amendment" to Mississippi's state constitution. This extremist, anti-abortion ballot initiative declared that a person's life begins not at birth, but at the very instant that a sperm meets the egg. However, extending full personhood to two-cell zygotes was too far out even for many of Mississippi's right-wing zealots, so the proposition was voted down.
Meanwhile, the national media paid no attention to another "personhood" vote that took place on that same day. This was a referendum in Missoula, Mont., on a concept even more bizarre than declaring zygotes to be persons with full citizenship rights.
It was a vote on overturning last year's democracy-killing decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the now-infamous Citizens United case.
A narrow, five-man majority had decreed that — abracadabra! — lifeless, soulless corporations are henceforth persons with human political rights.
Moreover, said the five, these tongueless entities must be allowed to "speak" by dumping unlimited sums of their corporate cash into our election campaigns, thus giving them a far bigger voice than us real-life persons.
Missoulians, of course, cannot single-handedly overrule the Supremes, but they can be in the forefront of a grassroots movement demanding a Constitutional amendment to reverse the Court's perverse ruling.
And that's just what Missoulians did, with a whopping 75 percent of voters calling on Congress to send such an amendment to the states for prompt ratification.
We can all be Missoulians!
People in Boulder, California, Maine, Vermont, Wisconsin and elsewhere are pushing such resolutions. For information on how to get your city and state to join in this call, contact wethepeoplecampaign.org/toolkit.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.
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