To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Observercast

Corruption Is The Problem

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BY SHARON MARTIN

Recently, a so-called conservative commented on having to live through the worst eight-year presidency of his life. Either he’s awfully young, racist, or both because he brought up the sad state of race relations.

I pointed out all the good President Obama accomplished, but he assured me that Democrats who chose party over country were the real problem.

Oh? Did he miss the part where Sen. Mitch McConnell and the GOP vowed in front of cameras to obstruct President Obama as he worked to save us from the housing meltdown?

Maybe two parties don’t represent every ideology. And there will always be self-servers who choose politics as the bus they drive over the rest of us. But for two centuries, despite more than one rogue in the White House, our system worked. And the parties mostly worked together. Until Citizens United.

Nothing will bring down a country faster than unchecked corruption. First the people lose trust. Then they are ripe for picking by a con artist.

It seems pretty clear that the current party in charge has sold itself to the highest bidder.

Why are we the only industrialized country that doesn’t have universal medical coverage? Who stands to gain when the ACA is scrapped? And it is being scrapped, folks.

We know who gained when President Reagan stepped on the unions. Why did no one take this to the courts? Since his coup against the Air Traffic Controllers’ union and the subsequent Right to Work movements, we’ve seen wages stagnate and even fall. The gap between rich and poor has become a chasm. The working poor haven’t seen a raise in years, and one in four children go to bed hungry.

When the Roberts court declared money free speech and corporations people, the real shadow government took over our democracy. There’s no way my $100 donation can compete with the Super PACs and the billionaires. Their free speech drowned out my voice. And yours.

And as is always the case with corruption, whenever one side rigs the game, the other side must rig back.

There is a solution. A politician or a party must be brave enough to step up and start the process that gets big money out of politics and gives us, the people, back our voices.

Who will propose and fight for publicly funded elections? Who will challenge Citizens United? Who will risk losing their next election to fight for our country this term?

Corruption is like cancer, and we must stop its spread before it kills the body.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.