To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, December 5, 2022


What Real Freedom Looks Like



Sharon MartinLast week was the birthday of a Buddhist friend. At her celebration, we meditated outdoors in the unnaturally cool July weather before we shared a vegetarian potluck.

Now, I’m not too good at the meditation thing. When I should have been clearing my mind, I was thinking of the essay I had yet to write this week. But perhaps it was an enlightened moment when this thought came to me: “Each of us should be a light for someone.”

That’s it, I thought. We all have it in us to change the world. About this time, a mosquito bit and reality set in.

I know a lot of good people. They do things, big and small, to make the world a better place. But none of us can get much done as long as money is the driving force in politics.

In the past three years, as I pen a weekly essay, I’ve discovered that whatever topic I choose, some other writer tends to get there before me. No exception, this time.

I’m reading a column that explains how ObamaCare is working, but that the improvements are stealthy. In other words, our lives have already been improved by ObamaCare, but most of us don’t realize it yet.

The columnist was questioning why, in the face of better outcomes and lower premiums, there were still politicians trying to bring ObamaCare down. A commentator had the obvious answer: “As long as it takes big money to be in politics the politicians will represent corporate interests over humanity.”

Big money decides that profits are more important than the health of citizens.

Big money decides that retirement for seniors is overrated. They rob pension funds that we, not they, have paid into, and turn retirement planning into their own pirate ship.

Big money thinks education should be a tool for corporate enrichment not the essential tool of democracy and for the enrichment of our lives.

This is no longer a democracy, but a country ruled by a corporate elite.

On a balmy Oklahoma evening, I made a mental list of goals to help our country lose its unhealthy dependence on corporate money:

We must press for a repeal of Citizens United.

We must demand public funding of all campaigns, from local elections to the presidential elections.

We all must be politically active and politically aware if we are to regain our freedom.

We must start now.

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.