In his brilliant op-ed published in Tuesday’s Signal, “Achievement worth working toward,” columnist Joshua Heath describes the profound melancholy he feels at a time in his life when he should be filled with idealism and hope, anxious to “plant the seeds of great dreams and better tomorrows” having just graduated from UCLA with a graduate degree in political science.
Instead, he finds that America is “broken,” he writes.
Joshua quotes a recent study from Princeton wherein 1,800 different U.S. policies implemented between 1981 and 2002 were analyzed. The purpose of the study was to see whether the laws passed reflected the wishes of citizens.
The very disturbing truth was that, in almost every instance, our policies reflected the interests of economic elites and big business, not the citizens.
With the passage of Citizens United, powerful, moneyed individuals and corporations have even more control of how legislation is written and passed.
However, we can all work to overcome this appalling situation. We must strive together to remove money from politics!
This will take the many; it will require a public outcry of a gargantuan magnitude.
There are a number of organizations already working toward this goal. These are some of the things we can do to work toward this end:
We can amend the Constitution to overturn the Citizens United decision (see commoncause.org); we can support the American Anti-Corruption Act (check out represent.us) and follow the money on opensecrets.org.
Find and support a group working to get money out of politics so that our elected representatives don’t have to worry about getting money from their very first day on the job!
When campaigns are adequately supported by government – not private – funds, and the publicly owned media provides ample time for all candidates to air their positions without having to raise millions of dollars, our elected officials will again be able to enact laws that reflect the wishes of the people, not the desires of “big money.”
We can have our democracy back! It will take work, but we can do it.
Let’s make our democracy great again!