Tuesday, August 7, 2012

'Money Money Money Mo-ney... MO-ney...'

There has been a change in direction in political campaigns in America.

They used to ask for my vote. They used to ask me to sign petitions, write letters or make phone calls.

All that is history.

In my mailbox today, roughly 80% of the political mailers were requests for money. That is what I am least able to give them. Like most elderly people in America (I suspect), I have enough to live on, but not a lot to spare. At one point, politicians still wanted my vote and my visible support. But since Citizens United, all they want, or at least all they ask for, is my money.

The tragedy is that they are probably right. For some time, even before Citizens United, elections have gone to the candidate with the biggest campaign war chest, usually the incumbent. Now, that candidate is not so likely the incumbent, as likely the Republican.

As remarked in my banner quote by Justice Louis Brandeis, "We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." The upward redistribution of wealth in America is not merely inequitable, not merely hard on people of moderate or modest means: it is inimical to democracy itself. Today, if you are unable to vote with your checkbook, effectively, you are unable to vote at all. It's all... ALL.. about the money.

Where do you think this phenomenon will lead us? Yes, that's what I think, too, damn it all. Orwell was off by less than three decades.

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