Outrage over the most recent decision of our Court of Supreme Profits is understandable if coming from people only recently introduced to the American market system of private control of everything, especially the electoral process. But those who’ve been tilting at this windmill for many years really need to stop and think: how can they go on trying to simply control and not end private financing of elections and still believe in an alleged public power they call democracy?
Conscientious citizens have long been discouraged at the power of money over the political process and expressed frustration along with feeble attempts to limit rather than end such private control over what is supposed to be a democracy. More recently there has been a growing awareness that such power is at the root of economic inequality, social injustice, environmental destruction and minority anti-social controls that are bringing the nation and the globe closer to ruin. The present angry response needs to become a demand for public financing of all politics in America or it will simply amount to the usual reforms that simply make buying and selling politicians a bit more involved with paperwork but still profitable to the minority that owns and operates the nation.
When Common Cause was formed a generation ago by people genuinely disgusted with our deformed-by-dollars-democracy, what resulted was the corporate rich combining their campaign investments into collective funds, political action committees and other accounting techniques to avoid any real change in the system. Instead of millionaires making personal purchases, a group of millionaire’s pooled smaller contributions into a fund even larger than their previous political bank accounts allowed.
Common Cause still tries to control wealth by creating more work for accountants and lawyers. Since it introduced sincere but substantially useless financing changes, national, state and local elections have increased in costs by hundreds of millions of dollars. Presidential elections now involve billions spent on the branding, packaging and hyping of political products costing American taxpayers more and more, at an electoral mall that is an even greater disgrace to the notion of democracy than previous constitutional commodity marketing.
This process is an integral part of the same system that is destroying nature at a faster pace, making fewer people wealthier than ever before, and placing the burden of their increased profits on the degradation of material life and the absorption of greater loss for millions of taxpayers. Inequality reigns supreme, the rich have become much richer, they still run the country and with even more control than before. Progress? Through financial reform of private electoral financing? Would rape become tolerable if rapists wore white gloves and took their victims to dinner before the assault?
The spectacle of wannabe American presidential candidates publicly lining up to privately kiss a billionaire’s lower anatomy, while professing their passionate love for his favorite charity, Israel, has become ordinary. The conservative Talmudic Toadies who participated in this shameful performance have been criticized in some liberal circles of Zionist Zealots, but the regular prayer meetings conducted by AIPAC, the Israel lobby, in our (?) nation’s capital at which most of Congress is in dutiful attendance is a bi-partisan fund raising orgy for both sides of the bought-and-owned one party hired class of politicians. And of course it isn’t only Israel that gets a wholesale deal on political power; that’s only regarding foreign policy concerning the Middle East. All aspects of corporate profiteering are handled by political investments which guarantee support for making greater private profits, which accrue to fewer and fewer people, with the loss mounting for a growing majority.
This is not only nothing new but has been the American “way” since that “way” was founded by the original 1% at the beginning back in 1776. It’s just getting much, much worse and if all this righteous anger at the Supremes is channeled into simply putting more bookkeeping and accounting expenses on (alert for the irony challenged) an already over-burdened billionaire class, it will continue to get worse until a social collapse brings on total breakdown.
Public financing of all elections is one in a series of absolute necessities—others include public banking—if we have any notion of ever having a democracy. The idea that we used to have one and it is being taken away is only half correct. The majority in this nation has never for one microsecond had a national democracy. Local and smaller elections can indeed feel, seem and sometimes are truly democratic, but even they have been diminished by the power of private financing. Until a public, democratically funded electoral process becomes the demand and reality, all else will simply represent another way to manipulate good people into carrying bad people and more important, a rotten system, on their backs. Our collective national spine will suffer ultimate breakdown under the weight of this massive, anti-democratic and anti-social system.
Public financing of all elections will not solve every problem, but it will certainly help solve many of them and in the process take a giant step towards real democracy, instead of the hypocritical theory and practice presently disguised as such a system.