To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, April 23, 2021

Observercast

‘We Have A Democracy To Save’

on

Channeling Anger – Part II

BY SHARON MARTIN

Perhaps nothing threatens our democracy as much as the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. Five justices ignored precedent and history and gave corporations almost unlimited political power.

As Mitt Romney noted, “Corporations are people, my friend.”

Money buys political voice. Corporations, groups, and wealthy individuals saturate the airwaves with lies and their skewed version of the truth. They shape public opinion and buy elections.

Words and numbers can lie. Just because you saw it on television doesn’t make it true. You can’t believe everything you read in the papers. Check the facts. Chew before you swallow.

The power behind this corporate push is the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC writes pro-corporate legislation. You heard that right – they write the legislation. Then, one of their legislative members tacks on his name as sponsor and runs it through the legislature.

What could be easier…and less democratic?

Here are just a few ways ALEC is working to limit your rights as an Oklahoma citizen:

They have turned prisons into corporate profit machines. Tough sentencing laws insure that a steady stream of customers walks through the prison gates. How many of those money-makers behind bars would be better served with drug treatment and career training? How many families could be kept intact with common-sense laws and less costly intervention?

Now that they have much of our prison system, they want our school system. They have set their anti-public-school minions in high places, and the dismantling has begun. Teachers are portrayed as the enemies of freedom; instead of a cup of hemlock, they poison the minds of the public.

Labor Omnia Vincit, or labor conquers all things. Rather than tending the people’s business, our legislators are working this year to change the state motto.

As one wag wrote, “Can you imagine workers conquering anything?”

Well, yes. Who exactly does the work that makes the capitalists rich? Who drills the wells and welds the pipes and builds the roads and bridges?

Meanwhile, ALEC legislation strives to take a giant eraser to the rights of workers.

Ours is supposed to be a people’s government. We must demand that our representatives represent us. Call them. Write letters to them. Speak out in public spaces. Let everyone know that we are onto ALEC’s and their shenanigans.

If they don’t read our letters and listen to our voices, we can talk with our dollars. Boycott ALEC members. Buy from local sources instead.

Send what you can – every dollar counts – to candidates who believe in the rights of all the people.

Don’t get mad; get busy. We have a democracy to save.

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.