This mutual dissatisfaction leads to another question: Is there a common cause for this poor governmental behavior that we can also all agree on? I think there is. Many of the people I have talked with articulate it this way, “Our representative government responds to big money, not to the voting public.”
Democrats keep their ears close to the mouths of union bosses, and their hands on that donated union cash.
Republicans can’t turn down the money supplied by the Koch brothers, so they listen to what the Koch brothers have to say.
Democrats yield to the green money supplied by the likes of Tom Steyer and Jonathan Soros – and listen to what they say.
Both parties, it seems, bow to massive defense industry lobbying efforts – and listen to what that industry says.
Even worse, thanks to the Supreme Court, SuperPACS and their affiliated nonprofit 501(c)(4) organizations launder money contributed by big donors – and politicians listen to their “free speech.”
If these organizations were money laundering for the drug cartels, they would be illegal.
Fellow columnist, Robert Hively-Johnson, recently discussed who those politicians are not listening to – and it is us. Conversations with the voters are often scripted by party operatives because they are not really conversations at all. They are media sound-bite opportunities and the parties – both of them – don’t want to see their candidates be embarrassed by having to deal with real issues that have not been scripted.
Many of us can all agree on this: Politicians are listening, but they are hearing the sounds of clinking coins. They do not hear our human voices. They are shaking money bags, not our hands.
Yes, in American politics, money is power.
Or is it?
Don’t we as voters have the ultimate power? Can’t we, after all, vote politicians who don’t listen to us out of office? Can’t we take the politicians’ hands out of those money bags?
How often have you heard that the Washington changes politicians? Can’t we work to ensure that our politicians begin to change Washington?
Yes, we can – by voting. By voting, we can fire do-too-much liberal politicians, do-nothing conservative politicians, and lazy career politicians who exempt themselves from the very same laws they create. We have the power. In the end, we have the only power that counts.
Let’s use it! Let’s vote all incumbents – every one of them – out of office this fall. In order to accomplish that, we may have to vote for third party candidates instead. Let’s do it. Let’s do it beginning August 12.
Let’s continue to do it until politicians begin to hear our human voices. Let’s continue to do it until politicians learn how to ignore the sound of coins dropping into their next-election war chests. Let’s continue to do it until politicians begin to work for us instead of business, unions, and PACS.
Unions, corporations, and SuperPACS have gained a lot of political influence as “individuals” because of recent decisions of the Supreme Court.
But there is still one thing these organizations cannot do.
They cannot vote.
That power is reserved for real people in real voting booths across our great country. Let’s flex our muscles.
Vote all incumbent politicians out of office until they begin to work – for us.
Published by the Winona Daily News on August 10, 2014 under the title: Voters must use the power they have.