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Auction

September 25, 2012

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedom, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” — Abraham Lincoln

We are rapidly losing something precious in this country. Before our eyes, representative government[i] is being transformed into a silent auction. Already eroded is the belief in representative government, the belief that people — fallible, breathing human beings — have a right to select their own leaders.

Influence

Influence over our representatives is today bought and sold — out of the limelight, away from prying eyes. That statement is not a blanket allegation of fraud. It is rather an observation that the electoral process has been corrupted by funding, with the result that lobbyists spend more time with our elected officials than ordinary citizens do — and have greater influence.

The ball is in play, but we cannot tell the score.

Promises

This being an election year, we are currently bombarded by political ads. These carefully crafted grenades may or may not contain a kernel of truth. We can be reasonably certain the campaign promises made will last as long as soap bubbles.

Cost

The combined cost of presidential and congressional campaigns in 2012 is projected at a record $5.8 billion. Yes, that is a “b”.

Citizens United. v. Federal Election Commission thrust the knife home against representative government. That damaging decision — holding that corporations have a First Amendment right (unfettered by monetary constraints) to support or oppose a candidate — deserves an article all its own.

Meanwhile, unfounded allegations of fraud are being used as a ploy to reduce the number of real people allowed to exercise their right to vote.

Without Representation

This all matters because the vote matters. It is more than an empty exercise; it is nothing less than the cornerstone on which this nation was built. (Does the phrase “No taxation without representation” perhaps ring a bell?)

Men and women have shed their blood, given their very lives to secure and protect the right to vote. Every voice should be heard; every vote should count.

If we tolerate these abuses, we are complicit in them.


[i] Though democracy may be traced to the Magna Carta, an argument can be made that the Bible served as one inspiration for the concept. The Israelites met at their tabernacle to address issues involving the nation (Num. 8: 9, 10: 3). People met a city’s gates to address issues involving that city (Ruth 3: 11, 4: 1-4; Deut. 21: 18-21). With the elders serving as their representatives, the people sought a king from the prophet, Samuel (1 Sam. 8: 1-9).  The elders of the northern tribes accepted David as king (2 Sam. 5: 1-5), later rejecting Solomon’s son, Rehoboam (1 Kings 12: 1-20).  See, Mercer Dictionary of the Bible.

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  http://www.avoicereclaimed

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