Tuesday, August 11, 2015

There can be no other reforms before this one

So there I was trolling for something to write about this morning and I saw this:

That is Lawrence "Larry Lessig". I follow him on Facebook and it seems that he's released a new video with a very powerful message:
There can be no reform of government of any kind until the money and corruption in government are removed from government. 
Lessig is one of the greatest men in politics, but most of us have never heard of him. I've been following him in politics for years. You can find his Google+ profile here. He's a law professor and activist. In the context of politics, there is no other person I admire more as he is one of the few who have found an issue central to all others: there is no place for corruption in government, and until big money is removed from elections, there can be no other reform. It's that simple.

He is the only person in politics I see across the spectrum that is making corruption and money in government a central issue in his campaigns. He has pointed out that none of the major candidates have taken up this cause as central to their campaigns.

Until we can have a national anti-corruption act that has real teeth and can add meaning to the idea that all citizens are equal, no other reform is possible. It doesn't matter if you're conservative, liberal or just a moderate. Zero reform is possible until all votes count equally. Zero reform is possible until all citizens reclaim the right of nomination. Zero reform is possible until we can be sure that laws are passed based on their merits rather than the money behind the bills.

I love what all of what Bernie Sanders is doing and promoting. I see that he is working with Black Lives Matters and I see that Black Lives Matters wants to see reform. Bernie has added new planks to his platform to address their concerns. But even for BLM, as powerful as their message is, it won't mean squat to the men and women who will use their billions to block the reforms needed to make Black Lives Matter to the police.

The same is true for all the other reform ideas that Bernie is promoting. The ideas are just ideas until we can root out corruption in government and restore democracy. Bernie is well aware of this, so it would be nice to see him make corruption a central issue to his campaign. I already see that he wants to make election day a national holiday. That's a great start, but we are just spitting against the wind until we remove big money from elections. Nevertheless, I see Bernie as our best hope for restoring our democracy so far.

I love what Elizabeth Warren is doing with her campaigns against the big banks. I'm not happy about the bailouts, too. She has great ideas for reform and I especially like the idea of of a nice strong wall between commercial banks and regular banks. In other words, let the wealthy gamble without government insurance. That would be real reform. But again, that idea doesn't mean squat to the men and women who want to rule this country with money rather than respect, diligence and courage.

I was a big Obama fan in 2008 (I still like him, but I'm tempered by experience). I saw him as an agent of change and hope. Then I saw how big money turned him around. I see how he is campaigning for trade agreements that are simply too noxious for Americans to bear the burden of, the TTIP and the TPP, to name a few. Perhaps Obama knows all too well, that until big money in politics is removed, until we have fundamental reform of campaign finance, NO OTHER REFORM IS EVEN POSSIBLE.

Lessig understands and communicates well that simple concept. He quotes Jefferson's wisdom that all men and women are created equal. But he reminds us that Orwell noted a corollary: that some are more equal than others, even in a seemingly capitalist country.

I urge you to consider Lessig's work in the context of the 2016 presidential election. Review Mayday.us to learn the facts about money in politics so that you can understand the government reforms so dear to your heart in the context of the corruption that would prevent those reforms from ever becoming law.

Our Constitution promises citizen equality. It’s time to make that equality a reality. The only way to make all votes equal is to change the way campaigns for elective office are funded.

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