The title of this letter comes as no surprise to most people.
What troubles me is the invariable response: “Politicians and big money run things and we can’t do anything about it.”
That is not true. In a democracy, the majority of people can set the policy of government. The large financial interests and politicians may have too much influence, but we can do something about it. We all need to get the facts about who our leaders are, whom they represent and whom do they serve.
Capitalism as an economic engine is a great asset for any country. However, the spoiler in the mix of democracy and capitalism is the greed of people involved.
A free and open democratic government allows capitalism to flourish. For example, consider ExxonMobil, Wal-Mart or General Electric. Those three corporations control combined assets worth more than $1 trillion. They are not alone. Large corporations dominate all sectors of the U.S. economy.
For much of the 20th century, lawmakers saw fit to curb some corporate activities, such as setting usury limits, antimonopoly restrictions, labor and environmental laws. These restrictions and laws were necessary to protect the general public from harmful practices, as well as protect the government from corruption.
In response to these restrictions, large corporations and financial institutions used their wealth and influence to change the voting habits of the lawmakers. They did this by employing thousands of lobbyists to convey their demands to the lawmakers, along with promises that they would support the candidates campaigns to the extent required to assure reelection.
Before long laws were enacted that favored huge corporations and Wall Street bankers.
It has become increasingly apparent that money and its influence now control our federal and state governments. Consequently, there is no longer a democratic process that serves all the people, rather only those with money and influence.
This problem will only become worse unless lawmakers stop obstructing meaningful legislation due to their allegiance to the conservative, far right ideology of corporate interests and their lobbyists.
To date, many lawmakers have chosen to oppose and deliberately derail any legislation the Obama administration has proposed. This is political warfare in its lowest form.
We can change policies to improve our country by voting for those who truly represent all the citizens. The voters must familiarize themselves with impartial facts and not let campaign rhetoric influence their decisions.