BY SHARON MARTIN
“Look here,” he said. “It’s the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base.”
Fast-forward 12 years to a video showing Mitt Romney.
“When I was young I thought being rich and famous would make me happy. Boy, was I right.”
Rich people have every right to be rich. Rich politicians have every right to run for office. But why do they? Too many aren’t out to save the world. They are out to save their world for their kind, the rest of us be damned.
I’m not jealous of the rich. I chose my life. Teaching is a calling, regardless of how the media portrays teachers these days.
If I wanted to be rich, I’d have gotten my graduate degree in business instead of education.
I believe in education, because without it there would be fewer thriving businesses. Without a strong public education system, there would be the type of social structure you see in many third-world countries – a few very rich people standing on the backs of the poor and downtrodden majority.
A country in which an elite few control most of the wealth and opportunities is neither healthy nor just. It isn’t a democracy, either, no matter what kinds of sham elections are held.
Our country is edging toward that cliff. Money dominates elections. An outdated electoral system insures that people in a handful of states determine election outcomes. Well-lobbied legislators push laws that benefit their benefactors.
Citizens pay – income taxes, FICA premiums, sales and property taxes, fees and licenses of all types – while our elected officials play games with our democracy.
It’s time for a revolution. We must band together to demand justice – access to quality public education for every child, quality healthcare for every citizen that doesn’t bankrupt individuals or the nation, sane laws that don’t incarcerate poor people at a much higher rate than they do the wealthy, a vote for every eligible citizen, and a safe environment in which to raise our families.
If we don’t demand it, we won’t be given it. It’s up to us to quietly, but firmly let it be known that we won’t put up with injustice. But we have to take action.
The battle for justice won’t be won with indifference.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer