While at first glance,The United States Supreme Court and the reality television show Chrisley Knows Best may seem like two very disparate platforms, they are sadly very similar when it comes to eroding social justice.
To my great sadness, Chief Justice Roberts and his inhumane colleagues voted to remove financial caps on donors to federal candidates. Re-enforcing Citizens United, the Supreme Court has made it abundantly and painfully clear that money trumps democracy. The exceedingly misguided Chiefly On the Wrong Side of History Roberts tried to defend the 5/4 decision with a bastardization of the 1st amendment:
There is no right in our democracy more basic than the right to participate in electing our political leaders.
That would hold some truth if we had a categorically different distribution of wealth in the United States. Fortunately, Justice Breyer offered an unprecedented dissent from the bench that perfectly captures the many inequities this decision puts in motion:
…the majority opinion is a disturbing development that raised the overall contribution ceiling to the number infinity. If the court in Citizens United opened a door, today’s decision may well open a floodgate.
Well done, Justice Breyer. I’m at least grateful that four of the nine justices understands the power of money and how it ties into buying elections, continuing to disenfranchise already targeted populations, and fostering an increased cynicism in our election process.
So how does this have anything to do with the rather awful television show, Chrisley Knows Best? Sadly, this show is about how money trumps all! If you have enough money you can now buy yourself a television show and create more wealth while obtaining a bizarre and shallow status of “celebrity.” This vapid tv show is nothing more than an obnoxious display of conspicuous consumption, misogyny, and a reckless celebration of bad behavior. Are we really supposed to feel bad for a white 17 year old boy because his father put a boot clamp on his $100,000 Range Rover. Really? What does this say about us as a culture? While I am the first to admit that I enjoy what I call popcorn television, is there no limit to how awful the impact might be of pop culture?
What happened to a purported government that worked towards equity and removing barriers from voting? We don’t even seem to offer the pretense of equity and equality. Now we just have huge For Sale signs tagged to elections.
What happened to television shows that were amusing and didactic both? Shows like Maude, The Jeffersons, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show seem to have been replaced by the uber wealthy that can buy their own “Reality” tv show. What isn’t for sale now?
Call to action: Here I invite all of you to recommend ways in which we can both collectively and individually works towards social justice — work towards making the world a better place for all.