American Politics .. Undemocratic and Unfit For Purpose.
In the partisan frenzy of this election year, with tribal loyalties fully engaged and mud-slinging reaching a messy and confrontational climax, lets just take a step back from the script and consider for a moment the bigger picture. The one the politicians and the media don’t want to talk about.
Okay, I can understand why corporations and the super-rich spend billions controlling the political process for their own advantage. They would, wouldn’t they ? What I’m truly baffled about is why ordinary Americans accept this broken and dysfunctional illusion of democracy. This utter bullshit. Have they been brainwashed into thinking ‘there’s no other way’ ?
Why on earth does a potential president need to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to stand a realistic chance of being elected ? This year it could top a Billion dollars. A lot of that money comes from people who expect something in return. Isn’t that a system begging to be abused ? And it is. Why is money the crucial factor ? Shouldn’t it be about ability and character and ideas ?
There is no inevitability here. It is perfectly possible to sweep all big business lobbyists out of Washington. It is perfectly possible to fund elections fairly and regulate what campaign advertising costs are allowed so that money can’t buy advantage. It is perfectly possible to require elected politicians while in office to live on their generous salaries and expenses and not take handouts from big business. If someone tells you any of that is impossible demand they explain precisely why. All that’s lacking is the will to clean house.
I’m not talking about tinkering. I’m not talking about cosmetic changes. It’s become far too corrupt and dysfunctional for that. I’m talking about a fundamental, root-and-branch restructuring of the American political process so that there is a level playing field, open to all, where money does not buy you influence because lets be clear, as long as politicians can be bought and sold they will not work in the interests of the majority. That is not democracy. Sure in theory you can vote them out but if the political system itself is corrupt and there is no real choice, as is the case now, then you’re royally screwed.
What I cant understand is why people tolerate this. If I can see the malignant influence of money on the political process then surely millions of people much smarter than me can too. So why is it allowed to continue ? What about the will of the people ? Who is the political system supposed to serve ? Why isn’t there such huge public disgust and outrage that the whole rotten structure is broken up and replaced with something genuinely democratic ?
Just .. why ? Why does anyone in their right mind even put up with this ?