BY SHARON MARTIN
Why should Oklahomans have to pay for the mistakes of their elected officials? Why should we suffer in understaffed schools, drive over dangerously potholed roads, worry about riots in crowded prisons, and watch people die from lack of healthcare while we pay for expensive emergency room care for the uninsured?
Because we voted for them. Or because we didn’t vote.
Because we let ourselves be hoodwinked by slogans and slick operators who tell you the Christian thing to do is pray louder and let the poor go to hell.
We are the government. And we will be a failed government of the people if we don’t get off our backsides and elect someone who cares more for the people they serve than they do for the billionaires and corporate masters who line their pockets.
If we are the government, it is up to us to demand an end to corruption and bought-and-paid-for elections. Citizens United has to go. It isn’t free speech when a billionaire’s money buys more access to power than our own votes and voices can.
It won’t be free, but we can be.
There will be a struggle as we wean politicians off the teats of corporations, power organizations, and wealthy donors. We will have to accept that we all pay our fair share, and that it is better to ensure that everyone gets a good education, access to healthcare, healthy food, clean air and water, and the dignity of contributing to society than it is for our country’s GDP to grow.
Trust me, if we’re all healthy, if we’re working and buying necessary goods and paying taxes into the system, the GDP will grow. It isn’t just a number; it is an indication that we are all taking part in the system.
Except we aren’t. And we won’t be until we decide enough is enough.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer