The conventional wisdom is that the 2012 election changed nothing. We disagree. For consumers, this election may mark the end of a long decline in consumer rights – provided we act.  Let us tell you why:

1)  Money can’t buy everything: The pro-business Robert’s court literally opened the floodgates to unprecedented corporate spending in the 2012 elections. Armed with the Citizens United decision, Corporate America tried its best to buy the elections. It did not work. The big lesson of 2012 is that when citizens are actually united, vote and get involved they can turn back exceptionally powerful, moneyed interests.

2)  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is safe. Had the GOP regained control of the Presidency and the Senate, they vowed to defund the CFPB which can now continue with its much needed mission to strengthen consumer rights. This includes the elimination of arbitration clauses in financial services contracts.

3)  Elizabeth Warren wins a Senate Seat in Massachusetts: Ms. Warren set up the CFPB and was slated to be its first director. When the GOP threatened to block her appointment, she ran for Senate on a platform against the corporate takeover of America and the erosion of consumer rights. Her unapologetic voice is needed in Washington.

4)  Voters reject hypocrisy: The GOP has a powerful message of less government, the importance of separation of powers, the right of state’s to determine their own laws and the role of the judiciary in saying what the law is, rather than what it should be. Except, of course, if it involves a corporation. In that case, a 5-4 pro-business majority of the Supreme Court can allow unlimited corporate expenditures in elections, Congress can pass statutes that eliminate your 7th Amendment right to trial by jury, states can be prohibited from placing any limitations on forced arbitration clauses in consumer contracts, and federal regulatory agencies can use their powers to benefit corporations, rather than protect consumers.  After $6 billion in political ads, voters rejected the cynical and hypocritical messages of the men behind the curtains 

It is time to use the hypocrisy of moneyed interests that would eliminate our rights by deploying their own hypocrisy against them. Let us use the power of the federal government, the voice of an Elizabeth Warren and the strength of the CFPB to end arbitration and make the 2012 election good for consumers.