Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Wealthy Special Interests

The economic and political systems in our country are obviously stacked against ordinary Americans.  The rich get richer and use their wealth to influence the results of elections.
Citizens United is one of the most disastrous Supreme Court decisions in our lifetime.  It hinges on the notion that money is speech, that corporations are people, and that giving huge piles of undisclosed money in support of politicians in exchange for influence does not constitute corruption.
That ruling handed millionaires and billionaires unlimited influence in our elections.  It gave billionaires like the Koch Brothers an even greater opportunity to influence the House, Senate, and the White House.
Super PACs are the result of the Citizens United decision.  That decision enables our wealthiest citizens and most powerful corporations to spend unlimited amounts on elections.
Recently, in a single election cycle, they committed to spend at least $750 million on political activities, which will corrupt our political process.  It’s time for us to acknowledge that a rapid movement is occurring towards a political system whereby a handful of very wealthy people and special interests will determine who gets elected or who does not get elected.  That isn’t what a representative democracy is supposed to be about, and it should concern all Americans, regardless of their political point of view. 
The need for real campaign finance reform is obvious.  However, that assertion assumes that most Americans wish to preserve the longest standing democracy in the world, which allegedly is a form of government that represents all Americans and not a just handful of very wealthy special interests.
The truth is that most of the new wealth and income in our country has been going to the top one percent while working families are struggling more than at any point since the Great Depression.


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