BY SHARON MARTIN
The American Revolution was fought to free us from the rule of a distant king. And yet, here we are, almost 250 years after we declared independence, watching those in power use every trick in the political playbook to rebuild the aristocracy.
Instead of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, power is in the hands of corporations and the super rich. Big money has bought politicians and stacked the courts. There is no balance of power.
The tax system is an example of what the wealthy have accomplished. They’ve pushed measures through state and federal legislatures that cut taxes for those with the money. The middle class is nickeled and dimed. The poor have nothing to give but their lives.
War makes a few people very rich.
This corruption of power has bought us a Secretary of Education that doesn’t believe in public education. Oil companies and arms manufacturers dictate foreign policy.
Corruption has given us private prisons and guaranteed occupancy rates. The rich get richer by privatizing law and order while the poor are denied justice. Fees and fines keep people in jail for no crime but that of being too poor to pay their way out.
Corruption gerrymanders voting districts and purges voter roles. It cuts polling places and voting hours. It does what it can to insure that only the “right people” are allowed to vote.
Corruption is the war we should be fighting, the one to save our homeland. It is up to us, the citizens, to demand real change. But first, we have to recognize that we have a problem.
Patricia Roberts-Miller, author of Demagoguery and Democracy, writes, “If you’re only opposed to a one-party state when it’s not your party, then you don’t really want a democracy, and the Founding Fathers would like a word with you.”
She adds, “If you aren’t willing to hold your political faction to the same standards to which you hold your opposition, then you’re allowing democracy to die a slow death.”
Surely, no one but the would-be aristocrats wants that. There are a lot more of us with freedom to lose than there are of them.