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American democratic paradise lost

When a headline on CNN asks if American democracy dead, that should ring some alarms don’t you think? Princeton history professor, Julian Zelizer discusses the topic at the link below. The obvious trouble indicator is how wealth, greed, and power have once again trampled average Americans. People with money have bought unfair advantage at the expense of the middle class and poor who outweigh the wealthy in large numbers. But, numbers of voters doesn’t matter when legislators permit the Constitution and democratic liberty to be eroded, and fail to equip justices with essential laws protecting freedom. Today’s actions by the legislature and courts have denied Americans democratic power that is rightfully theirs. So, why are not Americans in revolt? Are they so corralled as wage slaves that they cannot resist?

Is democracy dead?
James George

“Is American democracy dead?

By Julian Zelizer, CNN Contributor
updated 8:03 AM EDT, Sun April 27, 2014

Editor's note: Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" and "Governing America." The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) -- American democracy faces a very real threat. The power of money is overwhelming the power of average voters to influence government decisions. While this is an old lament in politics, social scientists are now finding very concrete proof about the damage being done.
The problem revolves around the way in which we fund our political campaigns. Opponents of campaign finance reform are having a field day. Over the past few years, they have watched with delight as the political parties and Supreme Court have slowly eviscerated the Watergate-era campaign finance reforms.

When the Supreme Court issued decisions citing constitutional barriers to the regulation of campaign finance and independent organizations have figured out new ways to influence politicians, opponents of reform proclaim that the system is better off. At a minimum, they argue that money and lobbying has always been part of this nation's politics: There is nothing much to do about it and the republic has survived.

Their arguments ignore the horrendous consequences that the influence of private money has on our democratic system.

The opponents of reform turn a blind eye toward the substantial evidence of how the nation is creating an unequal playing field that leaves many citizens virtually disenfranchised even when they retain the precious right to vote. Policies such as the tax system are skewed toward wealthier Americans, thereby worsening the cycle of inequality from which the nation can't seem to escape. As Elizabeth Warren recounts in her new book, the big banks had overwhelming influence as policymakers handled the crash of 2008.”

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