Great disparity in the wealth of citizens has been a problem for the conduct of democracy since ancient Athens. At the outset of the American experiment in democracy only wealthy males over 21 could vote.
Democracy is all about equality in political power; however, this doesn’t work for everybody.
Some prefer to use their wealth to create a government that favors themselves through tax policy and in other ways. They have turned their money into a political tool to create that government. They have made elections prohibitively expensive and worked to prevent poorer people from voting. They have effectively disenfranchised their political opposition by gerrymandering and selective purging of voters from the registration rolls. They have mounted a media crusade to turn people against their own government and to label any government effort to benefit rank and file citizens as the dreaded “socialism”. At the same time, they promote the privatization of former government functions, turning them into opportunities for profiteering.
The impact of their money has rendered our government incapable of reflecting the values and principles of its citizens. It has, instead, become a tool facilitating the competition driven excesses of big business.
We can change this. We still have the power. Public funding of elections, effective limits on the size of financial “contributions” to campaigns and independent PACs, and meaningful disclosure of contributors can help break the influence of money on elections. Ranked Choice Voting can allow voters to express their real preferences without fear that choosing their preferred candidate will elect a candidate they oppose. And voter education can offset the impact of decades of propaganda designed to reduce the public’s support for democracy itself.
For more detail see “Democracy Journey #2 thru #7” for increasingly detailed accounts of the situation we currently face.
Join with us in our effort to educate, organize and encourage our fellow citizens to stand up for Democracy.
Next Democracy Journey: "#2 - The Plan to Defeat Democracy"