Voice of the People

Whether you are on the right or the left of the political spectrum, it is important to vote “yes” on Proposition 59.

Proposition 59 is an “instruction” to our elected representatives (at both the state and federal levels) to do everything they can to limit the influence of money in our democratic process. (One such way to do this is to reverse the Supreme Court Citizen’s United decision, which has allowed large sums of money to be spent on our elections.)

Money in politics is behind much of what is wrong in this country. You don’t like the sharp rise in health insurance premiums under Obamacare? You don’t like Donald Trump not paying income tax, along with many other business people and corporations? You don’t like Hillary Clinton hobnobbing with the banks and being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so? You don’t like the demise of the manufacturing capacity of our country? You don’t like our “do-nothing”, polarized Congress? (I could go on.) The root cause of all these things is the gross amount of dollars flowing into our electoral and decision-making processes.

This is not the democratic republic that our founders envisioned. They were very wary of corporations. Indeed, the Boston Tea Party was a revolt not against the British king but against a British corporation, the East India Company. In 1825, Thomas Jefferson foresaw the danger:

The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” (As paraphrased by Noam Chomsky, 1994.)

I am fortunate to live in California, where in 2014, the Legislature voted to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would overturn Citizens United. Then why should we care about Prop 59?

A strong passage of Prop. 59 would be a message that none of our representatives can ignore. By supporting this movement, we take back the control of this country from “the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” Because this is how we make sure that the voice of “We the People” is heard.

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