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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/18/16

A truly revolutionary issue, get money out of politics

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The one and only time the country was revolutionary was on July 4, 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Today there is no less a need.

There have been radical "movements" throughout our history, women's suffrage, civil rights to name two that rightly changed elements of the society. But they weren't exactly revolutionary, in the sense they fundamentally changed the government which people lived under. Think about it, women then people of color got the vote but that didn't really change the legislative power structure that has always favored the moneyed interests.

Even the huge protests against the Viet Nam war in the late 1960's and early 70's when thousands on campuses all over the country were a focused on one issue, ending the war. It may have gotten a sitting president Lyndon Johnson not to run again in 1968. Although it was certainly radical, it wasn't revolutionary, changing the essential way our government was run.

Today we have many varied movements, environmental, the $15 dollar minimum wage, "Black lives Matter", VFP-Veterans for Peace- numerous groups supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and many others too numerous to mention in this short piece.

But there is one a priori issue that needs to be embraced by ALL the varied movements thereby making that one issue truly revolutionary.

And that's getting big money out of politics. It's a priori because unless we demand money out of politics there is no chance all the problems and issues the varied movements support and protest against can ever have a chance to be rectified.

Every problem, every issue this country faces is directly impacted by the money that corrupts the entire political process with those elected beholden to the big, powerful interests that underwrite their campaigns.

Everybody knows it. Polls taken reveal an overwhelming majority of Republicans as well as Democrats in the US believe big money is corrupting the political process.

Take any issue, the environment say. What is really being done to correct global warming and climate change?

Sure there's protests against fracking and the Keystone XL pipeline has been shelved for the moment. But are the mammoth oil, gas, coal behemoths-that deny climate change and underwrite the campaigns of many legislators-being challenged, their leases suspended, their profits in jeopardy or any of them seriously considering abandoning their current pursuit of extracting fossil fuels beneath the earth and pursuing efforts to expand green energy, solar, wind, geo-thermal as the only alternatives necessary to save the planet? Of course not.

But if there were legislators not beholden to these interests, their campaigns underwritten by small donors and public financing, real environmental change could happen.

The same for Wall Street and the big financial interests. At present there is no real oversight and regulation to curtail and end the financial skullduggery they engaged in that brought the 2008 financial meltdown and subsequent great recession. They even write the rules and regulations their toadies in Congress enact and the president signs into law.

Name it, from health care reform to endless war are all tied to a political process that ensures nothing really changes.

But if there were legislators at every level, federal, state and local not beholden to big moneyed interests- that keeps health care in the grip of the private health care industry or endless war funded by Congress that goes to the sole benefit of the military/industrial complex- there could be a universal, single payer Medicare type system for everyone and an end all to all the unnecessary wars.

That would be revolutionary.

Thus the one overriding necessity is for all these separate movement groups to coalesce around the demand to get money out of politics.

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