It’s no secret that our democracy is under attack by Big Money. The 2010 Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, which declared money is speech and corporations are people, alerted many Americans to just how critical the situation is. And, it’s only gotten a good deal worse since then.
With one party controlling the White House and Congress, our system of checks and balances has broken down. Whether it’s the appointment of federal judges, the protection of our environment, or issues of trade and tariffs, what the President and his party want becomes law. For all intent and purposes, bipartisan policymaking is dead.
Moreover, our country is more divided than since at least before World War II. For the most part, each side believes the other side is evil. At the same time, however, a clear majority of Americans agree on quite a bit. For example:
- 97% support universal background checks for gun purchases (Quinnipiac University National Poll, February, 2018)
- 77% want comprehensive immigration reform (Harvard-Harris Poll, January, 2018)
- 65 % favor alternative energy development over expanding fossil fuel resources (Pew Research Center, January 2017)
- 62% believe the federal government should ensure healthcare for all (Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, July, 2017)
And, more than three-quarters of Americans, 78% according to an Issue One-Ipsos National Poll (July, 2016), desire new laws to reduce the influence of money in politics.
None of these very popular policies have any chance of becoming law under the current administration. Clearly, our government does not represent the will of the great majority of the American people. While there are many reasons for this, the power of Big Money to unduly influence politicians and government policy to favor corporate America and special interests is the single most important factor. And, it’s been this way for a very long time.
Unfortunately, Washington politicians are not about to fix our corrupt political system. Other articles in this newsletter indicate what New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics (NMMOP) is doing to correct this abuse of power, which is destroying our democracy. But we can’t do it alone. Here are three things you can do to help:
First, join NMMOP (Go to nmmop.org) in our work to eliminate the corruption of our government by Big Money;
Second, vote for candidates who will also fight to overcome this Big Money plague on our country: and
Third, send this blog to your friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to get involved. It’s going to take a mass movement to end this corruption and build a vibrant democracy of, by and for the people.
I hope to see you at the polls on Election Day and at our next general meeting on Saturday, November 17 at 10:00 a.m., at LaFarge Library, 1730 Llano Street in Santa Fe.
Bruce Berlin, President, New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics