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Nov 26

If Political Spending Brought Down the Roman Republic, Is the American Republic Next?

An interesting article posted today on Slate discusses the dangers of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United, which allows unlimited campaign contributions by corporations and unions, in relation to what we know about the fall of the Roman Republic. In short, if Cicero and Cato were around today, they might very well warn us of the dangers of Citizens United.

To compare two examples of how modern lawmakers view the ruling, let’s first listen to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. At this year’s Washington Ideas Forum, she said the Founding Fathers sacrificed to create a “government of the many, not a government of the money.”

Nancy Pelosi: Stop Super PACS, Overturn Citizens United from The Atlantic on FORA.tv

On the other hand, the senior Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky spoke at a Monitor Breakfast last year on how Citizens United actually “leveled the playing field” and allowed more Americans contribute to the public discourse.

McConnell: Citizens United ‘Leveled Field’ for Campaigns from The Christian Science Monitor on FORA.tv

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