Friday, April 4, 2014

Fight, educate, and welcome the hatred

(WPA poster, image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.)

With the recently decided McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, our right-wing controlled Supreme Court has opened the door for millionaires & billionaires to pour even more money into our electoral and political systems. This development will, without a doubt, continue to drown out the voices of non-rich Americans (i.e., the majority). 

Shaun McCutcheon, the wealthy man behind this case (and a donor to the Republican Party), turned democracy into a farce when he said of the Court's decision, "Ensuring that citizens are able to contribute to multiple candidates or causes who share their views only provides further support to a system in which 'We the People' hold the ultimate reins of power."

But we know what the Supreme Court's decision really did to the reins of power--it put them more firmly in the hands of the super-wealthy.

People who donate large amounts of money to politicians gain special access. As former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) pointed out: "Large donors of both hard and soft money receive special treatment...Staffers who work for members know who the big donors are, and those people always get their phone calls returned first and are allowed to see the Member when others are not." (McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, 251 F. Supp. 2d. 176, at 481-482).

(In the audio above, FDR warns us about the dangers of plutocracy and then speaks the greatest words ever spoken by a president. Regarding wealthy individuals and corporations who were spending money to obliterate democracy, and thus create a country of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich, he boldly said "I welcome their hatred." Given the trends in America today, those of us who value democracy should embrace FDR's fighting words. We should fight plutocracy and then welcome the hatred that will surely be directed at us for doing so.)

Far from being troubled by America's continued journey to complete plutocracy, millions of voters stand ready to hand our complete Congress over to right-wing politicians who will, in turn, appoint right-wing judges. These right-wing judges will continue deciding cases in favor of plutocracy, thereby ensuring that the rich have more political power than the non-rich. These voters are essentially voting themselves out of the political process. They are voting to ensure that their voices will never be heard again. What an amazing and frightening phenomenon to witness.

Of course, this is not just a right-wing phenomenon. According to a recent poll, Democratic voters strongly prefer Hillary Clinton over Elizabeth Warren--with respect to a presidential run--even though Hillary Clinton has received massive financial support from entities that have engaged in multi-billion dollar frauds, while Elizabeth Warren has fearlessly fought those entities

Surrounded by millions who prefer plutocracy (or, at the very least, are unconcerned or oblivious to its development) what are the rest of us to do? My opinion: Fight, educate, and welcome the hatred. 

(WPA poster, image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.)

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