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So much for one man, one vote
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As a nation we find ourselves blessed with an abundance of that element that has eluded mankind since civilization first emerged. I refer here to security from those who would harm us. With the vast expanse of the great oceans separating us from potential enemies, our shores seem inviolable. On and below the seas, in the air and even in space we have created a seemingly impenetrable umbrella of protection. Combined with our unparalleled ability to retaliate, in kind, only the foolish would consider engaging us militarily. In spite of this shield, we continue focusing our attention outwardly when searching for danger, when it should be apparent the imminent threat to America lies from within.

I refer here to the fact many of those freedoms and rights we cherished in the past are today merely an illusion. The prime and most significant example of this is the belief the citizens of this nation elect those who will represent them in congress, and that it is these same citizens those elected intend to serve. In reality from the moment our representatives step off the plane and onto the tarmac in Washington, and in most cases long before, they and their vote have already been co-opted by those with the financial wherewithal to pay the asking price for their allegiance. In truth, their election was not a result of conscious support from the electorate, it came about because of the vast sums of money funneled into their campaigns by the ultra-wealthy, and anyone naive enough to think these people didn’t expect a return on their investment would do well to seek permanent residency in Fantasy Land.

As if this was not bad enough, it is about to get worse. Three recent decisions by the conservative led John Roberts Court have seen to that. Consider the ramifications of their rulings regarding the intrusion of money into politics. I refer specifically to the decisions that ruled in effect, Corporations are people, PACs could not be limited in political spending and now their most recent ruling, that individuals could not be limited in what they donate to campaigns. That the court feels money is entitled to a vote is a given.

Sadly, no one from the right is on record questioning these decisions. It gives one reason to speculate as to the attitude of conservatives had the court ruled that in future elections each eligible voter would be entitled to one vote for every $1 of their net worth. While on the surface this proposal may seem farfetched this is exactly what the court has implied as a result of the three decisions they rendered.

The court’s willingness to ignore the corrupting influence of money in politics has opened the floodgates. This will eventually result in the destruction of the system that for so long assured we would remain a Democratic Republic. That is, if this hasn’t already occurred. America was founded on the premise of one man, one vote. The court’s recent decisions in effect sell to the highest bidder the right to disenfranchise the average citizen from that promise. This conclusion is based on the fact the wealthiest citizens, those who now hold a virtual stranglehold on our government by virtue of their financial advantage, will most certainly put an end to the dreams of the authors of the American Constitution, the dream of government of the people, by the people and for the people, a premise we cherished since the moment we were founded.

Robert Shaw
Madeira Beach
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