Nina Turner of Ohio and Frank Bruni of The New York Times

After listening to Senator Nina Turner talk about Everyday Person Authority, I am writing on that authority about my country. In a recent column in The New York Times, @frankbruni included two lines about the collateral damage to our identity and democracy during this presidential election that have haunted me.

Like so much of the past 16 months, each unfiltered, unedited, un-curated utterance on the campaign trail has become an adrenaline-soaked, attention-getting speech bubble worth millions to the networks. But it is a quote from executive, Les Moonves of @CBS, that is most disturbing and all too real:

“It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” 

Moonves is referring to the profits that CBS and all “news” media have reaped from coverage of the carnival that is our national election.  

“It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” 

And everyone is okay with that?

Since 2010, with the Supreme Court Citizens United v FEC ruling, the volume of the citizens’ voice has been on mute while high-decibel moneyed voices have blown out the speakers. In plain language: the uber-wealthy, corporations, and special interests were given the Constitutional rights and protections that were intended for human beings along with the right to spend as much hidden money in our elections as serves their private purposes.

Whether money is truly the root of all evil, it certainly has thrown our democracy off its foundation, and we citizens of all stripes and politics are outvoted NOT on what is good for human America, but on what is best for corporate America.  

To be deeply disturbed by this idea should not be dismissed as media bashing. It is to be a flesh and blood American – a human whose one voice and one vote cannot compete with a media megaphone. I was raised on Walter Cronkite, I start my week with 60 Minutes, and I have binged on The Good Wife. I have no quarrel with CBS. CBS is doing its job to serve its family: parent company and shareholding sons and daughters.

The irony of the family metaphor? CBS is NOT a person - no corporation can be endowed with human status vis a vis the Bill of Rights. These Constitutional rights are reserved for human beings. We the People are once again preparing to serve our American family with historic action. I am actually encouraged, because now, as at many times in our history when our country has had a rendezvous with destiny, Americans are stepping up in omni-partisan defense of our nation. The 28th Amendment is being handed up to elected officials by citizens and is a grassroots movement to secure the rights of people – not money, not corporations, not special interests – to govern America. 

Bruni ends his column, questioning an uncomfortable moment of truth: “… Do we care chiefly about promoting constructive discussion and protecting this blessed, beleaguered democracy of ours?"

The threat to democracy - human power in our own lives and citizen responsibility for our national destiny - has been a long time coming. The timer was reset on January 20, 2010 by the Supreme Court, and is ticking as the 80% of all Americans – Republican, Democrat, Independent - who favor an end to Citizens United are preparing a 28th Amendment to secure government of, by, and for… 

Once and for all.