To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Observercast

Democracy Stolen

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BY SHARON MARTIN

The five Supreme Court Justices who handed down the Citizens United ruling have fundamentally changed our country from a democracy into a nation with a ruling class.

Billionaires buy politicians and avoid taxes. The middle class pays taxes to fund politicians’ pet projects and subsidize billionaires.

This isn’t what George Washington and John Hancock risked their reputations for. This isn’t why the troops froze at Valley Forge. And it certainly isn’t what the framers of our constitution had in mind.

Deregulation, promoted by the billionaires and their pet politicians as being pro-growth, has wrecked the chances of new graduates and the retirements of older Americans. The repeal of the 80-year-old law that separated the safety of banking and the gamble of investment caused the crisis that led the Fed to lower interest rates to nothing.

Who has benefitted?

Sure, one can get a low-interest housing loan. How many people are buying houses?

Mostly, billionaires can borrow money for nothing while retirees, even the millionaires in your town, attempt to live on nothing. One percent of a million dollars, more than a Certificate of Deposit pays, is $10,000. Can you live on that?

As usual, the billionaires are the recipients, and the rest of us just go along, mostly unaware of how we are being robbed.

It’s not just our money but also our voice in government that has been taken from us. Our votes are being stolen and our representation. Politicians kowtow to their donors.

This isn’t democracy, folks.

Democracy is when every vote and every voice counts. We don’t purge the voter registration rolls or demand that old women who have never driven a vehicle produce a photo ID. We don’t decide that college students can’t vote because they moved back home for the summer and they are registered in their college town. And we don’t decide that a felon loses his right to participate in government even after he has paid his debt to society.

In a democracy, a billionaire should not be able to create ads that destroy the truth and a candidate’s reputation. But a judge recently ruled that requiring Super PACs to stick with the truth denied them their freedom of speech.

Yes, folks, the courts protected the rights of big, anonymous donors to lie to you.

How many voters will be misled?

If you care about our democracy, write to your lawmakers. Tell them that unless they take action to restore our democracy, you’ll take action at the polls and in the public forum to boot them out.

Speak up, and do it before only corporations and billionaires, the new ruling class, have the freedom to speak.

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

 

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.