I’ve written many times about how big money steals our politics and our democracy and about how victories to make change for the better are hard won. Those victories are critical, though, because without change the big money people will continue to incrementally buy America. They will continue to disenfranchise more and more Americans. They will continue to make themselves immune from accountability. They will continue to ignore the slide into poverty of millions of Americans. They will continue to stoke war, benefit the war materiel industries and waste the lives of our children.
Yet every now and then there is a ray of hope – a quiet thunderclap – and that happened on May 31, 2013. That is the day when Senate Joint Resolution 0027 passed the House in the State of Illinois legislature. It is a resolution calling for a new amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reverse the terrible slide into corporatocracy, a demand to allow regulation of money in politics.
This is a big deal and one not easily accomplished, yet it happened. It happened because tens of thousands of Illinoisans demanded this change and insisted upon a formal declaration from the state being delivered to congress. That is the power of the voice of the people. While the resolution is non-binding, it makes the demands of the people clear for our national legislators and lets them know that they ignore the people at their own political peril.
The good news didn’t stop there. In June, Delaware became the 15th state to demand the same thing and on July 2 the Oregon Legislature passed House Joint Memorial 6 (HJM 6) calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment overturning the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. F.E.C. There will be more states and more municipalities that will join the call because the people know that something is wrong and they want change.
So, make your voice heard at MoveToAmend or Common Cause or any of the organizations working toward eliminating big money influence in our politics and striving to restore our democracy. Do it because the voice of the people – yours and mine – can set us – America – back on the right course.
Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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