Save our democracy
By the people, for the people? By the people? Yes. For the people? No. Just because we can vote doesn’t mean we live in a democracy. This is the unfortunate reality that we live in. In a time where inequality is widening and the concentration of wealth is greater than ever, our political system has been turned upside down. The game is rigged, and it’s not rigged for people like you and me. It is rigged for the wealthy few and the corporations who have the money.
On January 21, 2010, the United States Supreme court made a decision on Citizens United vs. The Federal Election Commission. This decision is one of the single greatest attacks on American democracy. This was a decision that had been in the works for decades. The Supreme Court ruled that corporations were people, and therefore since they were people, their monetary donations were free speech, and therefore protected under the first amendment. Money talks, and it talks especially loud to politicians.
“Millionaires and billionaires aren’t making huge donations to politicians out of generosity. Corporations aren’t spending hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbyist and political campaigns because they love America. These expenditures are considered investments, and the individuals and corporations that make them expect a good return.” – Robert Reich
Wake up, and stand up. In order for our government to once again start representing its people, we must demand that this decision be overturned. To restore the democracy we preach and fight for, we must address and enact real campaign-finance reform.
What would this look like you might ask? Well, Robert Reich outlines a very promising plan that should be the foundation in campaign financing. We need more generous public financing of elections, which can happen in three steps.First, there should be a limit on the amount of money a single individual can donate to a political candidate. Second every dollar that is donated should be matched by the government. Yes, the government would match it, because if there was one thing that the government should be spending money on, it’s restoring and preserving our own democracy. Third, all political contributions should be placed in “Blind Trusts” to ensure that candidates do not know who donated what money. This would eliminate the candidates from favoring one party over another and avoid a conflict of interest.
If the Citizens united decision is overturned, and we enact these new public campaign financing laws, we can once again move towards a government that is run by the people and for the people. Until then, our votes won’t count. We will continue to live in this disillusioned world, where we believe the people we elect reflect our interest and not the interest of a handful of wealthy people. It will foster in hope for the discouraged voter who doesn’t even bother voting, and be the first step in rebuilding our democracy. It start with us, we must recognize this and act on it. Overturn Citizens United, and restore our democracy.
“I will tell you that our system is broken. I give to many people, I give to everybody, when they call I give, and you know what? When I need something from them, two years, three years later, I call, they are there for me” – Donald Trump
Aftershock, The Next Economy and Americas Future, by Robert Reich
Gangs of America, The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy, by Ted Nace
Beyond Outrage, by Robert Reich