America appears to be transforming itself from a democracy to a plutocracy. Plutocracy, the dictionary
defines as, "a class or group ruling, or exercising power or influence, by virtue of its wealth." The most
recent ruling of the Supreme Court in expanding Citizens United with its newest decision in
McCutcheon makes it possible for those with mega bucks to influence elections and national and state
policy-making in ways the founding father would have never anticipated or thought possible. And these decisions are based on supporting Constitutional guarantees of free speech. Use of money in contributing to a campaign has somehow come to equal speech just like the corporation now has come to have the same legal rights as a person. (Dartmouth, Citizens).
The Atlantic continues that:
"As the Court confidently declared, "We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption." And for skeptics who thought otherwise, the Court provided this additional assurance: "The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy." Oh dear. and I thought I was naive.
Most citizens are not surprised to learn that millionaires spend huge amounts of money to help candidates get elected because the donors expect a quid pro quo, something in return, to be rewarded by the winners in some way--a job, an appointment, favorable legislation, or elimination of regulations that limit exploitation of people or the environment, protection against immigrants or people whose views oppose or support certain "religiously based" ethical positions (abortion, capital punishment, welfare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act, early education,) etc., etc).
The following article from the The Atlantic hits on attitudes and circumstances in America that I deplore. Maybe it's because I'm an old guy and feel increasingly helpless as to do anything about the situation. I am not encouraged when I look around me for solutions among the' best and the brightest' in the next generations who ought to have the time and energy to pursue the remediation of these abuses. Many of them seem to me to be focused on other irrelevant (lightweight) or purely selfish pursuits: texting, or "gaming" or hacking one system or another, clubbing, job-jumping, or trying "to do deals" that will help them to become part of (as movers and shakers) the very system that needs fixing.
I am coming to believe that Chris Hedges is more than a little right when he says that the American democratic and economic system--as it is--will not and cannot self-correct, and that real change will come about only when the abuses become so egregious that a full scale revolution will be the only answer. As the realities of their circumstances continue to pound on the 99%, Hedges' revolution may not be too far in the future.