I know our nation has never quite lived up to our fullest promise, but I always believed that in our democracy The People had a voice.
The Citizens United Ruling has damaged our nation's democratic processes. Allowing the richest people and corporations to buy elections gives only the wealthiest a voice--and too bad about the rest of The People.
When candidates had only local grass roots support, it seems they listened to their potential constituents more. If they didn't perform their duties well, The People would vote for other candidates to take their places. And when those local folks who donated their $10-$25 checks to those who were running for office, candidates knew where that money came from.
Now unknown people and groups donate gazillions of dollars in secret...and they expect to be paid back for their support when "public" officials vote. Those who gave a lot will have the power of our government behind their schemes to enrich themselves through the passage of laws that favor their desires and lower their taxes.
In response, daily I'm bombarded with emails and snailmail from honorable candidates who are trying to play by the rules, begging for endless donations so they can compete on the same level as those the gazillionaires are funding.
I hear things like, "They've raised "X million dollars. If you want to defeat them, we must raise a similar amount." It should not be about who can raise the most money!
Or The People---and America--lose.
What we need are laws that support democracy.
What we need is a Congress with enough backbone to negate Citizens United and return our government to the electorate.
What we need are voting districts which are drawn in varying sizes of rectangles--large enough to contain the number of voters needed in each district...but not gerrymandered into grotesque shapes to favor incumbents or either party.
What we need are laws that ban donations from outside every voting district. Only people who live in a district should be allowed to donate to a candidate and a cap should be placed on those donations--say $1000 maximum per individual or group. And their names should be known to the public.
What we need are citizens of every shape, size, and color to register to vote and to show up at the polls on election days to vote for what is good for The People.
We can make this happen if each of us determines to do what is right and tells others so they can too.
How about it?