What a time we live in. Many of us find that we express ourselves by voting ‘against’, or ‘the least worse’, and not ‘for’. Why? Is it that many of us feel alienated, not cared for by our government, our interests sacrificed for the benefit of a few? Our government, and our political representatives, seem to be selected and influenced by a few who are out for personal gain, gain at the expense of the majority. This feeling seems to be independent of political party affiliation. It seems to reflect the simple fact that political power in our democracy belongs to ‘elites’, elites of both political parties.
It appears that the Republican Party clearly favors and supports the interests of business. The business ‘elites’ have the money to influence the political process – by supporting political campaigns, by paying for special interest lobbying. The political agenda seems to focus on liberal capitalism, policies that ensure enhanced corporate profitability, at the expense of labor. As a result labor feels like its position is stagnating or worse, all the while that the economy is generating more wealth, wealth that is preferentially going to the business ‘elite’. Of course there are other items on the political agenda, such as religious conservatism. But increasingly this appears to be a ploy to sustain the political support necessary to stay in power.
Similarly, it appears that the Democratic Party is under the control of intellectual ‘elites’. Intellectuals on the East and West coasts that study policy and promote liberal values. They support liberal values that appeal to a broad cross-section of the electorate but are basically unaffordable. Three results – (1) the support ensures political support from the electorate sufficient to compete, (2) growing national debt that future economic difficulty for the country, and (3) neglect of the former middle class, the labor class.
It is clear that both political parties have lost touch with the true needs of the majority. They pander. They have become victims of the elite, creating great uncertainty for the future of the democracy. So the critical question – ‘How to reverse the trend?’ The answer will take debate and discussion, and more independent minds entering the political process. Nothing will likely be successful however, until money is divorced from the political process. This includes This includes capitalist dollars swaying elections and influencing policy, as well as unconstrained spending that will ultimately destroy wealth and create conflict and political disruption, even potential revolt.
Photo by DonkeyHotey