I’m mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more.
Remember this guy?
The guy who lost it, live on TV, and gave an impassioned speech that the film, Network, could only dream of?
I was reminded of that by something I read today, that gives numbers that scarily back up the rant...
Here’s how we can defeat political corruption of the kind that’s destroying US democracy.
By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 30th October 2012.
It’s a revolting spectacle: the two presidential candidates engaged in a frantic and demeaning scramble for money. By November 6th, Obama and Romney will each have raised over $1bn(1). Other groups have already spent a further billion(2). Every election costs more than the one before; every election, as a result, drags the US deeper into cronyism and corruption. Whichever candidate takes the most votes, it’s the money that wins.
Is it conceivable, for example, that Mitt Romney, whose top five donors are all Wall Street banks(3), would put the financial sector back in its cage? Or that Barack Obama, who has received over $700,000 from both Microsoft and Google(4), would challenge their monopolistic powers? Or, in the Senate, that the leading climate change denier James Inhofe, whose biggest donors are fossil fuel companies, could change his views, even when confronted by an overwhelming weight of evidence?(5) The US feeding frenzy shows how the safeguards and structures of a nominal democracy can remain in place while the system they define mutates into plutocracy.
Despite perpetual attempts to reform it, US campaign finance is now more corrupt and corrupting than it has been for decades. It is hard to see how it can be redeemed. If the corporate cronies and billionaires’ bootlickers who currently hold office were to vote to change the system, they’d commit political suicide. What else, apart from the money they spend, would recommend them to the American people?
But we should see this system as a ghastly warning of what happens if a nation fails to purge the big money from politics.