Two Gross National Products
I always thought the true gross national product was spam, and in a way I wasn’t wrong. What is spam? It is an indefinable blend of things that are evidently so harmful that the ingredients have been a closely guarded secret for 70 years. A closer analysis will reveal that spam is not unlike our political process. Pollen Ticks would be a more appropriate title for our election and governing system. Tick – a small wingless bloodsucking insect that lives on the skin of humans. Not to say that good decent well-intended leaders don’t appear with selfless motives from time to time, but this is not only rare but also dangerous for them as the special interests try to take them apart piece-by-piece so their unbridled quest for more greed will not be impeded.
Our system is based solely on MONEY. We have enabled our election process to become a cottage industry in the U.S. In the U.K. if someone runs for Prime Minister they are given equal funds, a level playing field by the government and the whole process takes a couple of months. It always astounds me how we feel that we have nothing to learn from other nations whether it be healthcare, or their electoral process when we are only a couple of hundred years old to their thousands of years of experiences.
So much money is needed to run for any office in America that if one succeeds they need to spend most of their time in office not serving the people but raising money daily for their next election. If you should have an endless supply of money like Bloomberg in NYC you can spend any and all of it to get yourself elected, in his case the amount exceeds 20 billion. Where is the outrage? Do we understand the precedent this kind of money can set? In NYC term limits are in place, voted on by the people. Well Bloomberg decided that after two terms he wanted this toy for himself one more time, ok, so far so good, except he could not legally run, so instead of having the people reverse the term limits they put in place he went to the city council, cut deals, donating to their campaigns, or “foundations,” and got them to clear the way for him to have another run for mayor. He is spending so much for so long that one barely knows who if anyone is opposing him; some very fine people took themselves out of the race, as they could not compete with this kind of money. I won’t get into my personal feelings about the mayor of NYC as there is not enough room here to do so, but like him or not, shouldn’t this perversion of our system be alarming to everyone? The very premise of his campaign should set your hair on fire; is his whole basis for another run “everything is so bad after my two terms that only I can fix it?” Come on everyone wake up!
Until money is removed from our system we will never have a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Washington has become a city of lobbyists. Some say “what’s wrong with that?” they present other sides of the debate, well if that was the case we would only need one for each cause or industry. NOT one who bares gifts in the form of trillions of dollars to influence our representatives. Forget the NRA, or any other lobbyists there are an average of 6 lobbyists for each Senator and Congressman representing the Healthcare/Insurance industry alone So if we don’t get a decent Healthcare bill don’t blame our President, he is only one man, blame your self. Power to the people!
The above was a web letter I wrote that appeared in Nation on Sept 21st. See the editorial that provoked this blog, "By Any Means Necessary."