"The most perfect political community is one in
which the middle class is in control…”
Are "We the People" in control of our American democracy?
In my first OpenSalon post in October of 2009 I asked this same question. At that time the Public Option was still in play. I wrote:
“More than anything, the current Public Option debate has become the ultimate acid test as to whether ‘We the People’ still have any say in the actions taken by our government. Big business has gained so much control over every aspect of government that we’ve reached the point where Corporate America uses its money and power to effectively regulate the actions of Congress and the Executive branch, rather than it being the other way around.
The power of K Street has never been stronger. Gun laws are being written by the NRA. Middle East policy issues are dictated by AIPAC. Pentagon spending levels are established by the corporate members of the Military Industrial Complex, and prescription drug enforcement laws are first drafted within Big Pharma. Now, if all goes according to (their) plan, the new healthcare reform standards will be determined by the American Health Insurance Industry.”
I was wrong in thinking that the defeat of the Public Option represented “the ultimate acid test” of corporate take-over. It was actually the penultimate acid test. Even though corporations and special interest groups won the Public Option debate (after spending $100M on backroom arm-twisting), they had another, bigger victory in store for them in January of 2010 when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United.
Now corporations have the legal right to buy elections. Hence, the “real” acid test of corporate take-over now takes place every other year in our November elections. This year's national election on November 6th is particularly important due to the vast expansion of Super-Pac and anonymous 501(c)(4) groups.
If corporations, and their surrogate Super-PACs, are successful in placing their corporate-puppets into office and in having their corporate-friendly initiatives voted into law, then “We the People” will have lost our place in this democracy.Corporate-rule will be here to stay, and democracy will be dead in this country.
The word “Democracy” originated in ancient Greece and means “Rule of the People.” Since the writings of Aristotle and other Greek democratic scholars, many public figures have voiced their opinions on the threat to democracy by banking and other corporate interests:
“If the American people ever allow the banks to control issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied”. — Thomas Jefferson, 18th century
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” — Thomas Jefferson, 18th century
“I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” — Thomas Jefferson, 18th century
“Let us control the money of a nation, and we care not who makes its laws.” — House of Rothschild, 19th century
“Our government, national and State, must be freed from the sinister influence or control of special interests.” — Theodore Roosevelt, 1910
“For every special interest is entitled to justice, but not one is entitled to a vote in Congress, to a voice on the bench, or to representation in any public office.” — Theodore Roosevelt, 1910
“We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. We are no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominate men.” — President Woodrow Wilson, 1916
“The real rulers in Washington are invisible, and exercise power from behind the scenes.” — Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, 1952
“The case for government by elites is irrefutable.” — Senator William Fulbright, Former chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 1963
“If it wasn’t for the financial resources provided to me by Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry, I would not be your president today.” — Barack Obama, 2010
I made that last quote up.