The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Monday, April 14, 2014, 1:00 a.m.
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Only tool left is the ballot box

Conservative politicians mewling about their difficulty attracting voters remind me of the scene in the movie “Gladiator” where the emperor fusses that the people don’t love him even as he terrorizes their very existence. The latest travesty from the right wing of the Supreme Court declaring unlimited spending by the wealthy to buy politicians as an act of free speech is a new low. There is nothing about the Constitutional guarantee of free speech reflected in this bold move to hand government into the control of the wealthy and powerful. Everyone who took seventh grade civics knows that the first amendment protection of speech was written to forbid a reigning government from restricting speech criticizing it. That’s all.
This is a naked assault on the principle of equality and a giant step backward in the centuries-old struggle to end the suffering and deprivation of rule by the privileged gentry. The only tool left is the ballot box. We don’t have to tolerate them in office even if they have unlimited funds to spend on convincing us we should. But we had better get to work on that before that changes, too. A little carefully engineered gerrymandering, some manipulation of voting registration laws, a massive amount of mudslinging and we can commit the will of the people to the memory hole.
Historically, feeding the lust for power only makes it grow and tyrants don’t stop being tyrants. They have to be defeated or impeached.
Harold R. Pettus
Everett
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.