The Only Thing that can Save This Democracy is Campaign Finance Reform

Why is science taught in schools? Why is Science one of the four pillars of the much touted STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs? Because science has been developed since mankind has been able to observe, compare and remember to create a dependable methodology to analyze facts, tests hypothesis’ and arrive at conclusions with quantifiable certainty about things and phenomena that are complex and difficult to understand.

Why is representative democracy thought to be the pinnacle of political evolution? Because ideally it allows citizens of a nation to elect representatives who will work in their interests. This arrangement allows the citizens to go about their lives without worrying about the governance and structure of their society since they have delegated that responsibility to representatives, ostensibly “their representatives.”

Why are U.S. representatives spreading propaganda that global climate change as a result of carbon emissions is a hoax despite the entire world scientific community concluding the opposite? Why are U.S. representatives spreading propaganda that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations are responsible for destroying businesses and killing jobs despite the fact that the EPA is working diligently to create an acceptable balance between our current and future needs for clean water and clean air? The answer to both questions: Because U.S. representatives are bought and paid for by corporate special interests through campaign contributions.

Briefly, here is how is works. Because of the campaign finance system currently in place, U.S. representatives have to constantly raise money both for their re-election campaigns and for their partys’ coffers. The largest amounts of money come from entities that collectively represent various big money interests such as oil, banks, pharmaceuticals, and industry. The smallest amount of campaign contributions come from common people like you and me whose contributions even if in the hundreds or thousands (not that mine are) of dollars, are nothing compared to the millions in contributions from oil, banks, pharmaceuticals, and industry. The U.S. representatives who receive the contributions are expected to work in the interests of those who gave them huge contributions otherwise, the huge contributions will go to someone else in the next election cycle. Therefore, to keep the money rolling in U.S. representatives work for the big money interests. Big money interests are very often against the common people’s interests because they need to maximize short term profits at all costs, not insure long term, sustainable solutions to complex problems at lower costs to society.

Even though the common people think that they have the power of the vote because of their sheer numbers, the special interests usually hedge their bets and give money to both parties. Therefore, whomever the common people vote for, both party’s candidates are beholden to the big money. So the common people lose no matter whom they vote for.

Of course, Democrats and Republicans beat their chests around election time yelling that the current campaign finance system must be reformed in order to get the corrupting influences out of politics. And while a couple of them might actually believe this and want this, they will never be able to do so because their corporate handlers will not allow them to. And no one can act independently because no one has enough money to support their own campaign.

I ended my last post with:

“Contact Bernie in any way you can and tell him the Democratic party is dead… Tell him real change will only come through a strong, unified, principled new party that focuses on: campaign finance reform, protecting people from climate change, real minority and gender equality, and reallocating military resources to high quality free education and healthcare.”

Forget Bernie. He is obviously not the messiah that Millennials think that he is (and that GenXers thought Obama was). It would be great if he gets on board because of his current star power but if he doesn’t there are other ascending, charismatic progressives who can take up the mantle.

What we really need is one big progressive super PAC that can raise enough money to support candidates who will go to Washington with the sole, obviously ironic mission of getting money out of politics.

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