Corporations and money are a democratic design problem: Letter to the Editor


The fires and explosions of the Samsung Note 7 phone is an apt metaphor of the state of our nation’s democracy.

The phone’s sleek new look didn’t match its systemic flaws. Simply replacing the battery didn’t fix the problem. The issue is in its design, with a massive recall announced.

It’s the same with our democracy.

The dominant narrative of our democratic republic being the world’s best doesn’t match the reality of numerous issues, solutions, communities and constituencies ignored as the disconnect between what’s needed by individuals and what’s provided by elected officials continues to widen.

(Un)electing candidates or reforming laws don’t address the current democratic design problem – corporations and money possessing constitutional “rights.”

The solution is to recall through a constitutional amendment the concepts that corporations possess “personhood” rights and money is deemed equivalent to “free speech,” which would affirm that constitutional rights belong solely to human beings.

Hundreds of communities nationally have passed council resolutions or ballot initiatives calling on Congress to enact such an amendment – including 20 in Ohio. Citizens in three more Ohio communities will vote on this proposal next month.

This growing movement is worth joining and letting others know about – but please, just not on a Samsung Note 7.

Greg Coleridge

Cuyahoga Falls

Greg Coleridge is director of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee.

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