The last several years have seen impressive popular movements to oust autocratic governments and install democratic governments. In many cases these “revolutions” focused upon their heads of state and failed to understand that those in apparent power were put in place and being held in place by the economic powers that ultimately control the wealth of the region. In most of these popular uprisings new leaders asserted themselves, ostensibly to represent the people, but ultimately beholding to and tolerated by the same owning/controlling class of oligarchs. Months later nothing fundamental changes except the new “leaders” facing growing unrest resort to the same old repressive tactics to remain in their new positions of power.
Democracy, so highly desired by the progressive elements of society, so valiantly struggled for, is bleeding away from our society. The notion of each person having a voice, and a choice that will provide them with control over the institutions in which they live, has become a distant reality. Those economic powers that rule this nation and the world fight hard to maintain their power, control and status. Fighting with one tool, of which they have the greatest abundance, money, they now have free reign to influence our democratic process in any election they choose. As most people are aware, the U.S. Supreme Court, with landmark decisions allowing corporations the same status under the Bill of Rights, as individuals, has opened the door to unlimited campaign spending. Specifically, Citizens United and McCutcheon vs. FEC, has opened the floodgates to unlimited campaign spending. This state of affairs is being taken advantage of to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. The 1 Percent, the oligarchs that largely own and control the wealth of our country buy the loyalty of the senators and congressmen whose campaigns they finance. Money talks and our congressional leaders, by and large, listen.
So wouldn’t any representative that loves democracy and has faith in the value of one person, one vote, want to work for election reform that reflects our national value? The week before the Senate dismissed for the election season, some patriots in the Senate put forth a bill that would create an amendment to the constitution that would repeal “Citizens United.” A majority of senators voted for it but it failed to reach the needed 67 votes because not one Republican senator voted in favor. Utah’s Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee did not support this movement towards democracy. Why would that be? Couldn’t be huge campaign donations, luxurious junkets, and huge life-long pensions. Must just be a paternalistic knowing what’s best for us peons.
As much as they appear to represent the citizens of Utah, who they truly represent is the oligarchy. It’s good to remember that on Election Day.