#inequality

Want to change the world – start with changing politics

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The world’s in a bad way. Climate change threatens to make it uninhabitable. Ebola, if unchecked, could remove a large percentage of the inhabitants before an unfriendly environment gets the chance. Police no longer seem to have the mission to ‘serve and protect,’ but rather to ‘control and dominate.’ You have to wonder how we came to such a condition.

I’ve not proven it scientifically, but if you look around – at the world, and here at home – I think you’ll come to agree with me that politics is behind a whole lot of our problems. Politics has long been defined as ‘the last refuge of scoundrels,’ but nowadays, it’s so much worse. At least, the scoundrels of the past attempted a semblance of governing for the greater good – even if they did spend a large percentage of their time stealing us blind. Today’s politicians don’t even pretend.

You have the Tea Party nuts trying to take us back to a time in history when a select few ruled, while women and the rest of us waited in the wings for their benevolence to shine down upon us. They want to rewrite history to remove all that does not conform to their distorted vision of the world and its past. Despite overwhelming evidence, you have politicians who vehemently deny the existence of climate change; all the while pocketing donations from their fat cat corporate supporters who are busy polluting the air, water, and soil, and contributing to that change. Another school shooting? Before the young corpses are cold, the toadies of the gun lobby are coming up with excuses to prevent common sense rules regarding gun possession and ownership in a country where gun violence is endemic. These politicians, who hold that demanding a photo ID from someone wanting to buy a gun at a gun show is unconstitutional, want to demand photo IDs for anyone who wants to vote.

I could go on and on, but I hope you get the point. We’re a point in our history where inequality is a big problem. There are rules and conventions for the elite, and different rules for the rest of us, and it’s the sad state of our politics that’s to blame. If we want a world where ‘all are equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,’ we need to do something about this sorry situation. Term limits, performance pay for politicians, a political ombudsman to serve as a watchdog over our errant pols? I wish I had an answer, but for now I can only air the problem and hope we can, with our collective wisdom come up with a solution.

I can tell you this, though. If we don’t do something, the balance will keep tipping until it reaches a point where the only thing left is for the whole system to fall down. Already, the richest people in America (the 1%) control a percentage of the country’s total wealth equal to what they did during the robber baron days. And, along with that wealth, they’re controlling our politics.

Think about it.