We're into a new season of demonstrations and political action committees raising funds to support their causes with the new year. Neither the strategy nor the circumstances are really anything new. But the power of corruption has spread through all levels of government at both the executive and legislative branches of federal and state government. The impact of the Citizens' United Supreme Court ruling has morphed into a democratic crisis in which the power of money not only influences elections, it also dictates the policies and regulations (or lack therefore) at all levels of government. The chaos has run amok with no limits. We may not have the direct bribery of 150 years ago, but the effects are still the same.
We've had calls for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling, but I agree that I don't think that's politically feasible. That doesn't mean, however, that it is impossible to take any remedial action. The court struck down some specific legislation, but we could create new legislation that still could survive another conservative court decision if narrowly targeted toward the issue of corruption in public affairs.
I get daily requests for funds from numerous political groups and PAC's to contribute to a variety of worthwhile causes. This dispersion and lack of cooperation in fund-raising simply dilutes the impact of our actions and results in a scramble for too many organizations fighting over the potential funds from the same donors. A lot of the money goes to salaries and administrative costs. Until we can speak and act with a united voice, we will continue to be politically weak and ineffective. The Democratic Party certainly isn't the answer.
Demonstrations are effective in generating media attention, which in some circumstances can affect political actions. They are not effective in changing policies nor over-riding partisan politics for financial gain. The money trail is too carefully concealed and firmly entrenched, with politicians being as much of the problem as corporations, lobbyists, or billionaires. The costs of getting into office, or remaining in office, have created a treadmill of continuous fund-raising that doesn't allow for any time or effort in actually performing the legislative function. Term limits would be an effective method of dealing with this crack in the democratic process, but again it's not likely to be politically feasible.
I think we are seeing a growing concern inside both political parties of how the drift of priorities and the impact of partisan politics are leading to serious consequences of whether the United States can sustain a democracy or if we will continue to drift towards autocracy. Yes, the wealthy have more money, but there are more of us, and if we can combine our political and social media pressures more effectively we also can influence the results. Facebook and Twitter aren't the answer, but a more cooperative political effort could produce effective results.
A narrow slice of the American populace, consisting of both the top and bottom one percent, have hijacked our democracy, and it's up to the other 98 percent to take it back.