Deep down, there are several layers to a true democracy. Starting with the fact that the candidates are the peoples’ choices and ending with free and unhindered election process to include verifiable results. In the United States, corporate and dark money make for a rigged democracy because, just like branding and name recognition of commercial entities play a central role in their valuation, the same play as important a role in whom we elect. Money creates that name recognition, which dilutes the field of primaries when the people, through their power, select the candidates they want to run for office. Corporations buying politicians is not a democracy, it’s a rigged system where the rich, through the power of their money, select who wins an election.
Call it half a democracy since voting is a big part of what appears to be democratic. But what purpose our votes play if both candidates running have already made the backroom deals to serve corporate America often at the expense of the voters? Just because we vote does not make it a real democracy.
In fairness, the same applies to almost all western democracies. Large groups with immense interests in the outcome decide who runs for office by building their brands with their money.
It’s not about capitalism when it plays fair. It’s about lawless capitalism fueled by unhinged greed.
HALF POOR HALF RICH
Also, in fairness, some 53% of Americans own stocks. Serving corporate interests becomes self-serving for over half the country as many benefit from stock surges and higher dividend payments.
This formula, however, leaves half the people in this country chasing their tails to make ends meet. Often spending all their income to have a life that more and more lawless capitalism subverts by enriching the other half of the country at the expense of the poor.
Nothing exemplifies this lawless capitalism phenomenon our country is going through like the overdraft fees poor people have to pay banks for insufficient funds in their accounts, which keep rising. Talk about making the poor poorer while the rich get richer.
Corporations buying politicians when lawless capitalism is rampant is slowly destroying the fabric of our nation. It is decimating the middle class as corporate America finds ways to grab a bigger share of their disposable income to pay more dividends to the rich.
It’s not about capitalism when it plays fair. It’s about lawless capitalism fueled by unhinged greed. And it all starts when corporations buy our politicians to serve their interests first. Our democracy has been rigged to serve the rich leaving half the country scrambling to survive.
Meanwhile, the violence we see everyday perpetrated by angry citizens will only increase.
VOTING IS ALMOST A FUTILE EXERCISE
When we take into account backrooms deals, voting for one candidate or another becomes almost a futile exercise. The essential element behind voting is the power the people have over their choice of the leadership to govern their affairs. But when corporate America buys both candidates of both parties, the motion of voting becomes almost meaningless.
Its only purpose is to manipulate the people into thinking they live in a full and healthy democracy. The truth is that voting is almost a futile exercise. Its only purpose is psychological to appease the masses into thinking their votes count.
Having said that, there is a distinct difference between the platforms of the Republicans and the Democrats. Republicans tend to kill any measure to help the working people, while the Democrats try to help as long as it does not impinge grossly on their backroom deals.
As an example, witness President Biden’s reluctance to stand up to voting rights and forgiving student loans.
For American democracy to become an example for the world to admire and emulate, we need to limit the influence of corporate America back to the pre-era of Ronald Reagan. There is a balance that our laws can achieve where corporate America enjoys reasonable support and the American people can rely upon sensible laws to protect their safety nets as well.
Whomever finds that balance will save our democracy. Meanwhile, the violence we see everyday perpetrated in schools, malls, and on airplanes by angry citizens will only increase.