I am very depressed this morning.
Our centuries-old Democracy no longer exists.
Vast, totally unchecked amounts of money now decide who is elected to office, and what laws are or are not passed by what was originally designed to be the people’s grass-roots mechanism of the initiative. The voting public no longer has an opportunity to weigh the facts in an election and make an informed decision. The money supports the lies, and the money wins.
In California, two matters on yesterday’s ballot stand out:
1) The tobacco industry spent a fortune and bombed the airwaves with lies, lies, and more lies, to defeat Pro 29 which would have imposed a new tax on cigarette sales, to fund cancer research and enforcement of laws restricting tobacco sales to minors. Their millions and millions of dollars defeated Prop 29.
2) A few months ago (see “The True Religion of Republicans was, is, and shall always be ……..GUNS”), California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a tea bagger who had been a co-founder of the violent anti-immigrant group the Minutemen, who masqueraded as a fiscal conservative but who has championed numerous bills to transfer state operations to private companies at significant additional expense to the state (and profit to the private companies), was arrested for attempting to bring a loaded gun and a cache of additional ammunition onto a Southwest Airlines flight. He eventually pleaded no contest to a single misdemeanor and received no jail time. In his re-election bid yesterday, he received 52% of the vote in his district.
An then there is Wisconsin, where the people of the state have been raped by a fascist gop govenment, but where millions and millions of dollars were enough to keep Scott Walker as governor, Rebecca Kleefisch lt governor, and the four state senators facing recall all in office.
The money speaks, but the people of Wisconsin should be ashamed of themselves. The people of this country gave their hearts to Wisconsin; never before in my memory have citizens across the nation been so united over issues directly affecting only a small segment of the country (but of course which indirectly effect us all). Yet, the voters of Wisconsin spoke, and they believed the money, and they believed the lies. And they will pay for that over and over for years to come, as will we all.
It seems like it is time to give up. The people have lost. The Kochs, tobacco, big pharma, the Alitos, they’ve won. In the coming months, the US Supreme Court will strike down the Affordable Care Act (and we will NOT get our refunds), will reverse the overturning of California’s Prop 8, and issue more and more rulings solidifying our new Oligarchy.
Our democracy no longer exists.