My Thoughts for March 22, 2015   

Here’s the truth about politics in our country.  It takes loads of money nowadays to run for public office, even local elections are expensive.  At the federal level, you basically need to be a millionaire or have friends who are.  If you’re not a millionaire when you get elected, you soon will be by the end of your term.  That makes this old curmudgeon think, “What the heck is going on in our country?”

With the ruling by the Supreme Court that corporations can give unlimited amounts of money to political candidates or causes, the amount of money being spent on elections is astronomical. Actually, it is ridiculous and needs to be reined in.  Money talks, but it can also be corruptive.  George Lucas (of movie fame) used the term “capitalistic democracy.”  In other words we no longer have a democracy “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”  The reality now is the upper one percent of the wealth in our country is now controlling our federal government. 

My wife once remarked “It seems like our country is right back where we started when we broke away from England.”  The average wage earner isn’t represented by an “average” member of congress.  Members of congress are all rich compared to the average working stiff (That’s you and me).  So maybe things really don’t change.  Washington and Jefferson and many of our Founding Fathers were rich, powerful landowners who didn’t like paying taxes to England without representation, so they revolted and formed the United States.  Makes me wonder if today’s average wage earners are going to revolt someday?  This could happen, especially if this Republican Congress can’t get their act together.  To date the only messages the Republicans have in mind are: no new taxes, eliminate Obamacare, undermine the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and diluting pollution control bills. 

The news media who reports on politics has also divided into two very different camps—the liberal camp and the conservative camp.  Obviously, the conservative media has the support of the rich and powerful, while the liberal press champions the 99% who are less fortunate.  That would be you and me. However, there is one thing they do have in common (and it really bothers me),and that is they will do whatever it takes to sell their news.  They constantly compete in the ratings game while we the public remain the victims.  Personally, I would like to see all the news media achieve a higher ethical standard.  I’m tired of watching and listening to Rush Limbaugh-type of reporters. Face it folks, Limbaugh is nothing more than an entertainer trying to goose his ratings higher. 

I long for a President like Franklin D. Roosevelt.  If you read your history, you’ll find that he was disliked by his rich and powerful friends, because once elected he turned his back on his wealthy supporters.  Instead, he reached down to help pull up the unemployed and the poor. Why? Because he knew if somebody didn’t reach out to help all Americans, America would be in much deeper trouble.  I personally think he was our last great President.

I think George Lucas and my wife have hit the nail right on the head.  Of course, like most people with political opinions, they have no idea how to fix the issues.  I don’t either, but I do know if we don’t read and understand our history, we will repeat our past mistakes.   The time has come to include more of our middle-class in the conversation of governance of our nation’s best interest and direction, plus spread the wealth of our nation to include more of our citizens and not limit it to just the upper one percent.   

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