The growing power of money in the political process has led to a growing cynicism about the direction of the country. The government seems to be in the hands of the unelected and the principle of a level playing field for a free people in a free society is under attack. While the average citizen did not create the financial crisis in our country, those who did and profited by it are using that threat to dismantle or privatize some of our most cherished institutions like education, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
To point this out is to be accused of engaging in a class war mentality. If that is true, then I must ask, who is waging that war? Senior citizen who exist on social security? Or the corporations who would benefit if the system were privatized?
Since the repeal of the Glass- Steagall Act that protected the nation from financial chicanery, money has been pooled in fewer hands and the politicians who chase the dollars to win elections are more and more indebted to these few. As Kevin Baker wrote in his essay, “Why Vote?” the political parties “have isolated themselves from their constituents in order to enrich themselves and their class.” (Harper’s 10/12, pg. 37) What’s more, to protect their alliance with the moneyed elite, these politicians have engaged in passing voter-suppression laws that attempt to silence certain voices within the populace. (Ibid pg. 37)
Given the situation, it is easy to become cynical. But numbers do count and so does the ballot box. As Gulliver learned during his travels, the little guys win if they stick together. To believe a vote doesn’t count is a tragic error. When the ordinary American forgets this arithmetic, the country loses.
(Courtesy of activistpost.com)