secondrevolution.org is an organization dedicated to the peaceful non-partisan reform of the American political process.
Our democracy has been slipping away from us. As a child, I have memories of great leaders; statesmen such as Kennedy, Reagan, Dirksen, and Nunn. Where have they all gone? What has happened to our collective National Interest? Who is left among our leaders who truly value the best interests of the country?
Sadly, it appears that we have entered a new era of political reality. I am not sure when we transitioned away from a true democracy. Although we have retained our right to vote, the quality of representation has deteriorated, and few I believe could make a strong case that their interests are being either heard or met.
Evidence of a democracy in decline is everywhere. We face enormous tasks as a country. Declining federal revenues, yet increasing demand for social services such as Social Security and Medicare. Un-funded pension commitments. An eroding industrial base, declining job sector and growing labor unrest. An inefficient and polarized political climate, with endless bickering and blame laid at the feet of political opponents, yet little real progress from either side of the political spectrum.
The primary cause for our national impasse appears to be money. Not the lack of money, but the corruptive power of money as it relates to elected officials. Currently there are no inexpensive patways to become a political candidate. The need for political campaign funds is enormous, and once a candidate accepts funds from wealthy supporters, whether it be a corporate or union PAC, or other special interest group, then that candidate has taken a fatal first step towards putting the needs of their campaign contributors ahead of the needs of their true constituents.
How do we know this? Think of the big issues of our nation, our generation. Think about our budget defecit. Our trade imbalance. Our inconsistent foreign policy. Think about job losses and our immigration policy. Think about our problems with corporate greed and corruption, the mortgage meltdown and declining home values. The needs of the voters are being ignored completely; the evidence implicit in the total absence of substantive progress over the last thirty years.