Bernie Sanders (I-Awesome), America’s hardest working Senator spoke with Bill Moyers on his show. Sanders discussed our problematic system of Big Money in politics. Certainly voters have never witnessed the obscene amount of money being funneled into politics which we are subject to today.
After calling out both parties over the extreme amount of money entering politics Sanders said, “And I fear very much that unless we galvanize public opinion, unless we create the kind of progressive grassroots movement the big money interest will continue to dominate.”
Sanders, who has never been one to shy away from a subject he feels passionate about further discussed this issue after Moyers asked, how money works in politics/campaigns works
Sanders explained, “Well, this is how it works. And this is what people do not appreciate. And it’s true for Republicans and Democrats, as well. You do not know how many hours every single week, how many hours every single day people walk into the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee or the Republican Committee. And you know what they do? They dial for dollars. They dial for dollars, hour after hour after hour.”
“Who are they calling?,” asked Moyers.
The Senator responded, “They’re calling a list of people who have money. That’s who they’re calling. And what happens when you do that day after day, month after month, your worldview becomes shaped by those people. And most of the money coming into your campaign coffers comes from those people. And you begin representing their perspective.”
Sanders continued, “We have right now, and this should frighten every American, as a result of this disastrous Citizens United decision, we’re looking now at people like the Koch Brothers, putting in one family, $400 million. Adelson, worth $20 billion, putting in $100 million. We have over 23 billionaire families making large contributions, and I think that’s a conservative number.”
So what you are looking at is a nation with a grotesquely unequal distribution of wealth and income, tremendous economic power on Wall Street, and now added to all of that is you have the big money interests, the billionaires and corporations now buying elections. This scares me very much. And I fear very much that if we don’t turn this around, Bill, we’re heading toward an oligarchic form of society.
What’s the solution after we’ve waded into murky waters after opening the floodgates with Citizens United? Senator Sanders has been a strong and formidable voice in opposition to the Citizens United ruling.
Well, the immediate political solution is a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. The longer-term solution is people all over this country saying, “We’re not going to give up the democracy that has made this country great, so that a handful of billionaires can control the political process. We ain’t going to allow that to happen.” We need public funding of elections, which I think is probably the most important thing we can do politically. Billionaires cannot and should not be allowed to buy elections.
Our country is becoming increasingly desensitized to the corruption of our election system, so much so that it’s becoming acceptable. Our process, when one vote meant one vote from one bonafide human being, not a corporation, my friend, meant something. It meant dignity. It meant empowerment. We felt we could change a corrupt system. We once felt human.
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