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Reforming Democracy From the Grassroots Up


Reforming Democracy From the Grassroots Up

Charlotte Hill

Following the April demonstrations in Washington for campaign finance and voting rights reform, BillMoyers.com has invited activists — some of whom participated in the protests and some who did not — to describe what they are doing to continue work on these issues. This essay from Represent.Us is part of that series.


campaign finance reform is no more than a pipe dream. consider the people that will vote on campaign finance reform are the ones that are benefiting from the system the way it is now. can anyone really believe that the congress will vote themselves less money? heres another one how about the congress voting itself into fiscal responsibility. equally delusional


We keep trying to limit money from campaigns when we should be using all our efforts to eliminate money from campaigns. That's the only way to create a level playing field and increase participation in the campaign process. How do we do that? That I do not know.


America was never created as an Aristocracy. The American Revolution was made against The East Indian Company, a giant oligarchy that was under financial threat of going bankrupt. This oligarchy was created as a monopoly by Queen Elizabeth and by the mid 17 hundreds was a world wide power whose chief shareholders were members of parliament. The bailout of them from their financial downturn was deemed payable by the colonies that they exploited. America was not able to manufacture its own products through their sponsored legislation. The Tea tax and , Stamp act were but two of the actions the Company called for to make the colonies pay. Noone in America was an Aristocrat. Noone was rich by European standards and what is more almost all of the signers of the Declaration of Independence died poverty stricken as a result of their actions. Most of the founders Jefferson, Madison, Washington and others pointedly saw the influence of Money as destructive of the Nation they were building and warned against its predatory dangers. And all were deeply opposed to the idea of rights established and passed on by birth. Let Queequeg read a little of the writings of Madison, Jefferson, Washington or the Federalist Papers before he attempts to put forward such obviously distorted views as historically true.


Yes, we are a nation in a world ruled by the obscenely wealthy, but no, it isn't "Americans" who worship money or are "immoral". Every poll asking where we stand on the major moral issues (equality, decency, peace) has shown that ordinary Americans are far more concerned, angry, humane and honest than their representatives. Years ago there was a joke about the self-labelled Moral Majority: they were neither. It's still true, but they've been smart and brutal enough to grab as many seats of power as they could get, from dog-catcher and head of a school board through mayor, state legislator, governor and Congress. An election should not be about one office, one person. So why are people criticizing this movement?


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