Ice cream isn’t the only thing worth screaming about — although it’s right up there at the top of our list. Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, has taken his frustration with the corruption of money in politics and channeled it into an ingenious campaign for a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
Since he left his job as CEO of the Vermont-based ice cream company in 1996, Cohen has taken his marketing know-how into progressive politics and in 2012 began Stamp Stampede — the manufacture and sale (at cost) of rubber stamps to be used on paper currency — all perfectly legal — to spread the word to rid government and politics of outside corporate and anonymous cash. There’s a wide assortment of stamps — “Not to Be Used for Bribing Politicians” reads one message, “The System Isn’t Broken, It’s Fixed” is another.
“Every stamped bill will be seen by an average of 875 people,” Cohen claims “and will help grow the movement to #GetMoneyOut of politics. Stamp 5 bills a day for a year and that’s a million eyeballs.”
We’re already making big waves. So far, 16 states and over 500 municipalities have passed ballot initiatives calling on Congress to propose a constitutional amendment that says: 1) Money is not free speech and 2) Corporations are not people. Over 150 congressmen and President Obama say they would support an amendment. 80 percent of Americans – Democrats and Republicans – think there is too much money in politics. But change won’t happen if we sit back and let other people do the dirty work.
This holiday season, Cohen proposes using the stamps as stocking stuffers. Check them out at Stamp Stampede. Maybe, as he suggests, “We can create a stamping tsunami to cleanup Washington and restore our democracy.” In which case, we suggest, the ice cream’s on him.