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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 7/27/22

Will American Democracy Vanish If We Don't Drain the Swamp?

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No republic in history has ever survived as a functioning democracy more than a few generations once political bribery is legalized or becomes widespread

draining the swamp
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A recent poll from the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics found that a majority of Americans agree that the government is "corrupt and rigged against everyday people like me." Sixty-six percent of Republicans and 46 percent of Democrats agreed with that statement; only 9 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of Democrats disagreed.

Independent voters, who swing from year to year and often decide elections, are also concerned that big money has rigged the American political system. Fully 63 percent agree that the government is corrupt and rigged; only 9 percent disagree.

The single most powerful platform on which Donald Trump successfully ran for president in 2016 was his argument that American politics has been corrupted by money.

In the wake of a series of money-in-politics rulings by five corrupt Republicans on the Supreme Court, he was right and Americans knew it (although, once elected, he proceeded to make things worse).

If Democrats want to hold the House and Senate this fall and pick up seats in the states, this must be the basis of their argument.

Louise and I lived in Washington, DC at the time of the 2016 election and knew, socially, quite a few Trump voters, most of them active duty or retired military.

More than half of them were willing to vote for either Trump or Bernie Sanders: their issue was that our government had grown so corrupt that politics in DC needed a strong and incorruptible president who'd shake things up and clean house.

"Trump's too rich to be bought," they'd tell us, sometimes adding a variation on, "And Bernie doesn't care about getting rich so he can't be bought, either."

This phenomenon is largely independent of party.

Just after the 2016 election Huffington Post contributing writer Jon Hotchkiss put together a fake Facebook account and joined a few dozen pro-Trump groups. He then put together a pro-Trump meme that asked, "What do you like about President Trump?"

"I got more than a thousand responses in 24 hours," Hotchkiss wrote, "and the thing people wrote most is that they like Trump because he's not a politician "- he's a real American not corrupted by Washington, and beholden to no one."

During the Republican primary election, Trump said of his GOP competitors:

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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