The government we deserve

By Lisa McCormick

There can be no doubt that the Supreme Court of the United States erred in its decision regarding Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. 529 (2013).

It’s time to restore the Voting Rights Act but that’s only one step toward correcting a long train of abuses that caused our nation to run off the road because many citizens were asleep at the wheel.

There’s no democracy when, instead of winning a campaign based on ideas, power is allocated by gaining the ability to make the rules. In ordinary language, that’s cheating and it is un-American whether you do it through gerrymandering or voter suppression or packing the courts.

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan was the result of a bad law that was enacted by politicians who made sure they could not be held accountable by the voters.

This is one example of how powerful political establishment bosses rigged the system for picking government representatives. They essentially corrupted our republic.

Money in politics is also wildly corrosive. As long as campaigns are financed like private investments, officials will be beholden to contributors whose interests are not at all like those of the public.

Citizen activists are often unable to complete with political prostitutes. My experience in 2018 reflects this fact.

In 2010, Republicans spent $30 million to capture control over redistricting in more than a dozen states. Then they made it virtually impossible to elect Democratic majorities by redrawing electoral maps & imposing hardships on voters.

This was accomplished with a tactic denounced by President Ronald Reagan who said on March 22, 1988: “…we’re asking for an end to the anti-democratic and un-American practice of gerrymandering congressional districts.”

President Barack Obama also denounced partisan redistricting: “We have to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around.”

Political strategist Karl Rove once said, “when you draw the lines, you make the rules.” Rove was describing the way to rob citizens of their freedom, not advocating the appropriate way to conduct a democracy.

Over the last 40 years, cheating helped decide our elections so the ultra-wealthy could rig the economy against working people.

That’s why wages are too low to support our families and it’s why both parties have been unresponsive to public needs.

Those conditions created an opportunity for success of an ignorant and irresponsible demagogue like President Donald Trump.

Removing Trump merely resets the status which enabled his election, because the political establishment is broken.

Anti-worker laws, measures to cheat voters, limits on access to the courts, regulations that allow unlimited spending to influence elections are all part of a scheme to make the rich richer by robbing people of their rights and denying the public its just power.

These are attacks on the very fabric of our American way of life and the high standards of living once associated with the greatest democracy on the planet. This fact is documented extensively:

These and many other groups are dedicated to changing the unfair and un-American aspects of our broken, defiled political system but only you can make a difference.

Tell me what you plan to do about it and I will be happy to help:

The Supreme Court has confirmed that the right to vote is not one that will be protected by the judiciary in any meaningful way.

Gill v. Whitford, Shelby County v. Holder, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and other recent landmark cases give a very small group of wealthy Americans more power than at any time since Watergate, while many ordinary citizens seem to be disengaging from politics.

In 1962, John F. Kennedy famously said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

No government can rule without the consent of the governed, so we simply must refuse to be oppressed for the benefit of profiteering corporations or super wealthy investors.

We must demand a fair tax system to fund government that provides: protection from disease & injustice as much as foreign invasion; education, infrastructure & economic opportunities to make a better life possible; assurances that a majority rules + minority rights are protected.

This is not a complete list but it does include some absolute minimums necessary for the restoration of America’s democratic republic.

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