Forum Post: What we have now is government of the 1%, by the 1% and for the 1%. Let’s Occupy Democracy, Our Democracy
Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 9, 2011, 2:20 p.m. EST by EVC7
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Found a great quote from Louis D Brandeis, who was a Supreme Court Justice: “We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth in a few hands, but we can’t have both.” This statement gets close to the heart of the problem in our country: money in politics. Vast amounts of money distort and corrupt the system. And like the unsuspecting frog in the cook-pot which is cooked gradually, we have become so inured by the money in the system that many of us are not outraged by it and do not think we can do anything about it. While some in the political class and the media wring their hands and wonder “what is wrong with politics” it does not occur to them that we must remove the money and the corruption that shadows it. I believe it is time to focus some of our energy on the money in politics, because limiting and eventually removing money from our politics is probably the most effective and quickest way to restore our political system to sanity. What we have now is government of the 1%, by the 1% and for the 1%. Let’s Occupy Democracy, Our Democracy. In light of some of the political trends over the last 30-40 years: it is clear that the government we now have is the ‘best’ government money can buy. Some examples (this is not an exhaustive list)
- Corporate money – The Citizens United decision, the five Supremes declare that corporations have free speech and equal protection rights and removed restriction on political donations by corporations. The Dred Scott decision the Supreme Court found slaves to be 3/5s in 1857 and stood until the 13th and 14th Amendments were passed after the Civil War (it seems that Dred Scott was never specifically reversed). So perhaps Citizens United will be challenged.
- Elected officials now spend 70% of their time every day fundraising and not on the people’s business.
- There are over 5000 registered lobbyists in Washington, ten times the number of Congressional reps. Corporations use lobbyists because they are cost effective.
- Most of the money spent during presidential elections is for TV commercials, so the television industry will be against any change.
- Every 10 years after the census, the highly politicized redistricting process allows our representatives to redraw the congressional districts in their states and thereby choose their voters, rather than citizens choosing their reps. Two states have removed politicians from the process: Iowa and Nebraska and California is considering a plan. I’d like to see our movement turn its attention to the nuts and bolts of our ‘democratic’ system and “Occupy Democracy”… and this will not require a physical space.