There is a crisis in this country. It goes beyond the wars, the current economic malaise, the environment and every other specific issue, although every issue is connected to, influenced and effected by this crisis.
The crisis is of course is how our democracy functions, how it is currently influenced and dominated by big moneyed and special interests. This is at the heart of why things are the way they are. That influence determines the fate of what reforms we can make, even whether there is reform at all. Yes compromise will always be a part of a country this large and diverse. It will forever be messy. But it needs to be messy in the correct way i.e. the peoples interests must be paramount, not serve the interests of the big corporations and special interests that so dominate the agenda and underwrite our current lawmakers at the state and federal levels that their influence overwhelms the interests of the people. The people now are given lip service, propagandized with dissembling rhetoric that conceals the truth of whose interests our lawmakers are beholden to and it certainly isn't the people. Reform when it does occur is at the edges rather than at the core of our problems.
It was not just the slip of the tongue when a year ago during a local radio interview Senator Dick Durban (Dem. Ill) was heard to say "and frankly they own the place", referring to the financial interests domination and influence of his fellow members in the Senate.
This can not continue. It must not be allowed to continue. Its existence is why we are at a crisis stage in this country.
The financial crisis that erupted in the fall of 2008 causing our current economic doldrums must not be allowed to happen again. The financial titans must be reined in and regulated. The financial reforms necessary must go to the root of how the financial behemoths operate with the clear recognition that complete laissez-faire capitalism is a chimera, that in the end only effective government regulation, oversight and enforcement can keep the natural inclination for excess by the financial crowd from crippling the system, drowning the people while expecting to be bailed out as a last resort.
The health care system we have in this country is a runaway conglomerate of private insurers that have no competition to their monopoly which prevents the system from achieving real reform while reducing its ever inflating costs. Only a Medicare type, single payer alternative can and will reduce health care costs and provide the competition necessary to make that happen.
It didn't happen in the health care legislation that was enacted because that Medicare type alternative was never permitted to be on the table. The key lawmakers were too beholden to the private health care interests to let that happen and that essentially scuttled the chance for real health care reform from being enacted. Instead our lawmakers gave renewed special dispensation to the private insurers that further entrenched their unequivocal control of our health care system.
We can not be initiating preemptive, unnecessary wars against enemies that pose no real threat to us or our national interests. Terrorism and terrorists have been raised as threats that have us engaged around the world in hot wars and increasingly (and not so clandestinely) anywhere our "intelligence" says they are operating. Our actions exacerbate the hatred of those we maim and kill; creating endless numbers of would be terrorists taking up arms in retaliation and revenge against us, thus precipitating and perpetuating the current cycle of endless war we have fallen into.
Our legislators must be beholden to the people. That can only happen in a system that allows citizen funded elections that can compete on a level playing field with corporate funded and chosen candidates. The people will choose candidates who receive small donations from citizens and public funding when the people know the citizen funded candidates will serve the peoples interests and oppose the big moneyed and special interests.
Such a system can transform this country. It is possibly THE one reform that can save us from ourselves and the current system that is leading us over the cliff.
Our existing system is unredeemable as it currently operates financed, influenced and dominated by big corporate and special interests.
It must not be allowed to continue.