The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.
We Americans are pragmatic – when what we do does not work, we admit it and try another way.
The DeVos confirmation as Secretary of Education is a symptom of our political system’s disease.
- 20 US senators who voted yes to confirm DeVos received from $23,000 to $98,000 from the DeVos family during the last election.
- Millions of calls, emails and many petitions signed by hundreds of thousands were received by senators but 50 of the 52 Republicans in the Senate voted YES.They said to America: “What, I can’t hear you, guess I’ll just vote with the money.”
It is likely that many may have said to themselves, “Wow, DeVos is a bad/divisive/unprepared candidate, I am deluged by folks who do NOT want her, but Pres. Trump wants her, so who am I to object, yeah I fear his wrath if I step out of line — and she does give me a lot of money…” finger on vote button pushes YES.
Pay-to-Play President Trump is quoted saying:
“I’ve given to everybody. Because that was my job,” Trump crowed at a rally last January. “I gotta give it to them. Because when I want something, I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass.”*
Senate Republicans followed their leader, held their nose and followed the money regardless of what citizens wanted.
The deluge of corporate and billionaires’ money into politics is polluting the River of Democracy. We’re all sick from drinking that water.
Our problem is NOT just Republicans – Democrats are just as bad at cocking a deaf ear to citizens and then following the money. Jet fighters, drones, defense contractors’ jobs are all part of the killing machines of war. Yet Dems and Republicans scramble to get a piece of the action of killing people –it’s money/jobs in their district.
Voters want Single Payer/Medicare for All. But neither Dems nor Republicans, when in power, will touch the issue because of all the insurance, healthcare and Wall Street money invested in healthcare for- a-profit AND resulting campaign donations.
We need public financing of all elections, require TV and radio to carry a certain amount of free candidate air time and outlaw private money in elections. But to get there we need revolutionaries in power. Politics in America proves that citizen advocacy seldom works.
We have only the power of our vote – because the politicians don’t really wish to hear us. By voting we have the power to “throw the bums out!” Next up is Nov. of 2018 when 435 House seats and 33 Senate seats are up for election.
Can we throw the bums out? Yes, but to do this we need to change how union members and veterans vote. Exit polls** showed that last Nov. — 25 million members of union household voted and 44% voted for Republican House candidates. And 18 million veterans voted and 63% voted for Republican candidates.
Most citizens want Single Payer/Medicare for All. Most veterans DO NOT want the VA hospitals privatized – they want the VA funded to meet today’s needs. Congressional Republicans are pushing more privatization of the VA and they sure don’t want Single Payer.
So if citizens are smart, we will organize around these two issues and help flip citizens from voting Republican in House races to voting Democratic. That is if Democratic candidates are smart enough to advocate for what people really want.
We have 20 months to create a revolution to throw the bums out. Find citizens in your community who are ready to fight back at https://www.indivisibleguide.com/groups-nav Nov. 2018 is the target. We can use the power of our vote to change America. With control of the House and or Senate by aggressive, progressive Democrats and Greens, Trump will be blocked from destroying America and we can start re-building our Nation for our kids and ourselves.
Buzz Davis, formerly of Stoughton now of Tucson, is a long time progressive activist, a member of Veterans for Peace and a former VISTA Volunteer, Army officer, elected official, union organizer, impeachment organizer, Exec. VP of WI AllianceForRetired Americans and retired state government planner. [email protected]