American investigative journalist Jane Mayer writes about a network of extremely wealthy conservative Republicans, foremost among them Charles and David Koch.
There is near universal agreement that our democracy is broken.
But it is not enough to know that our democracy is failing us. To fix it we must understand what has happened and why. The following is a brief explanation with links to more in-depth information.
The shortest and most eloquent explanation of what has happened to our democracy has been provided by Warren Buffet:
“There is a class war in America and the rich are winning.”
But what does wealth concentration have to do with Democracy? The issue is made clear in a quotation from Aristotle: “ In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.” Social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are immensely popular with lower and middle class citizens but are opposed by the ultra-wealthy who feel that they pay more than their share for such programs. Terminating these programs would never be approved by a majority of citizens in a functioning Democracy.
So the ultra-wealthy have set out to defeat genuine Democracy and replace it with a system that has all the trappings of a Democracy but can be controlled by a hidden oligarchy; a Democracy In Name Only (DINO) or what Sheldon Wolin calls “Inverted totalitarianism.” The result would be a return to a Dickensian world, akin to the USA in the late 1800’s, in which the sole role of government is the protection of the property rights of the ultra-wealthy and their right to pursue further wealth without regard for the impact on society in general or the environment.
We will not let this happen. Join with Fix Democracy First to resist by promoting public financing of public elections and Ranked Choice Voting as a means of defeating gerrymandering.
Next Democracy Journey: "#4 - Class War and Democracy"