Perseverance

The dictionary describes perseverance as “dogged determination”. If there is anyone that has followed my political writings, they would know that my core issue with the way our government is structured is campaign finance reform. I once wrote that it was the “the reform that enabled all other reforms”.

It is my contention that if elections can be bought, they will be. Corporations, lobbyists, banks and insurance companies are going to have a field day. This is a quirk in our form of government. You can take five corporately co-opted judges and watch them rule in their favor. The four other “liberal” judges dissented and made their points. Still, even with the split vote, the Supreme Court decided to turn the political machines over to moneyed interests.

The only solution is for Congress to pass a strict Campaign Reform measure that eliminates public funding for candidates. In one scenario, public money could be given to candidates. In another scenario, people could give money to a political party. One thing must be done however, and that is to rid this country of “corporate personhood”. The reason corporations are formed is to protect individuals that run them from losing their own wealth. Corporations are responsible to no one except their shareholders. They certainly do not work for the betterment of this country as we watch countless firms move their manufacturing base overseas where labor is plentiful and cheap.

The time has come (actually it came decades ago) to stop big corporate money from determining who will win seats in the House and Senate, and who will sit in the Oval Office. As long as the status quo exists, we will never see an election that matters, ergo the status quo. Corporation lackeys who are indebted to their campaign finance benefactors will continue to enact laws for corporate gain at the expense of the people they are supposed to represent.

One only has to look at the health care debacle to see how entrenched these corporations are. The pharmaceutical industry and the health insurance companies along with their Congressional minions stopped any real hope of true health reform. The current package is a windfall for health insurers, giving the 50,000,000 new clients who must take health insurance or pay a fine. That doesn’t sound very progressive to me.

Again I would like to go back to the word perseverance. It takes a long time to defeat entrenched interests, but we must not shirk this duty to try. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to change the makeup of the political system in America. Dogged determinism should be the phrase of the day. Sooner or later, we’ll catch a break — or make one. We have no other choice but to change what is to what should be.

By Timothy V. Gatto

Tim Gatto’s new book Complicity to Contempt is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Abe’s and other fine bookstores now. Kimchee Days, A novel about an anti-aircraft Battery (reminiscent of M*A*S*H and CATCH-22) in Korea during the years 19690-1971 will be out soon.

Published by the LA Progressive on January 25, 2010
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