Money in Politics: Where is the Outrage?

by Kellye
The current fight to get money out of politics prompted by the Citizens United decision is not the first time that a crusade has been necessary to fight against the crony capitalism of big business and politicians, and a Supreme Court that protects them.  Over 100 years ago, Teddy Roosevelt championed progressive policies such as trust busting and increased regulation of business.  His domestic policy centered around what he called the “Square Deal”, promising the average citizen a fair share.  It took the human suffering of the Great Depression before many of these progressive policies were passed into law.  Over the last 30-40 years, there has been a concerted effort by corporate and moneyed interests to weaken or overturn many of these laws.
Here are some excerpts from Bill Moyer’s article “Money in Politics: Where is the Outrage?”:
“A radical minority of the super-rich has gained ascendency over politics, buying the policies, laws, tax breaks, subsidies, and rules that consolidate a permanent state of vast inequality by which they can further help themselves to America’s wealth and resources.  Their appetite for more is insatiable.”

“We are nearing the culmination of a cunning and fanatical drive to dismantle the political institutions, the legal and statutory canons, and the intellectual and cultural frameworks that were slowly and painstakingly built over decades to protect everyday citizens from the excesses of private power. The “city on the hill” has become a fortress of privilege, guarded by a hired political class and safely separated from the economic pressures that are upending the household stability, family dynamics, social mobility, and civic life of everyday Americans.”

“Money rules. And in the foul air democracy chokes and gasps, the middle class falls behind, and the poor sink from sight as political donations determine the course and speech of policies that could make the difference in the lives of ordinary people struggling in a dog-eat-dog world.”

“The Devil must grin at such a sorry state of affairs and at the wicked catch-22 at its core. To fight the power of private money, it is first necessary to get elected. To get elected it is necessary to raise astronomical amounts of private money from people who expect obedience in return.”

“This was not meant to be. America was not intended to be a winner-take-all country. Our system of checks and balances — read
The Federalist Papers — was to keep an equilibrium in how power works and for whom. Because of the vast sums of money buying up our politics, those checks and balances are fast disappearing and time is against us.”

“Where is the outrage at this corruption? Partly smoothed away with the violence, banality, and tawdry fare served up by a corporate media with every regard for the public’s thirst for distractions and none for its need to know. Sacrificed to the ethos of entertainment, political news — instead of getting us as close as possible to the verifiable truth — has been reduced to a pablum of so-called objective analysis which gives equal time to polemicists spouting their party’s talking points.”
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