Every year I gladly participate in Blog Action Day. The theme in 2015 is #RaiseYourVoice and that theme clarifies why many bloggers write posts they know have limited reach to only small audiences. We do this to speak publicly to those we are able to reach when something is important to us.
The Raise Your Voice theme is leading many participating this year to focus on international issues where semi-anonymous bloggers are only able to speak out against social injustice or corrupt leaders in potentially dangerous places where their opinions my put them at risk of physical harm or imprisonment.
However, raising my own voice this year absolutely must focus on the poison that threatens our political system here in the United States – money in politics.
This week we saw the first Democratic Presidential debate with 5 candidates speaking their mind on the issues they believe are important to democrats. But there should have been a sixth candidate on that stage. I’m not referring to Joe Biden (who hasn’t announced his decision to run). I’m referring to outsider candidate Lawrence Lessig, who is running on a single issue we must all care about. He, and those of us that support his candidacy, wants to Fix Democracy First by overturning the Supreme Court Decision of Citizens United. We need to Get Money Out of politics.
The DNC chose not to recognize Lessig as a legitimate candidate based on polls. But most pollsters chose not to include Lessig in their polls in a Catch-22 that kept him out of the debate. Every major national media outlet covered Lessig before the debate and he could have polled above required numbers if he had been included in those polls.
Here is a collection of Lessig quotes about the issue of Money in Politics:
“In a time of polarized politics there’s one thing that more than ninety percent of Americans agree on, that our government is broken, and broken because of the money in politics”
“America’s government has been bought. But not by us. Not by the American people. America’s government has been bought by the cronies and special interests. America’s government has been bought not by those who care about America, but by those who want to use our government to get rich.”
“Entrepreneurs succeed by working harder. By competing better. By creating more. They succeeded by innovating, not by hiring lobbyists to get them a special tax favor. Not by paying Congressmen to get a special subsidy. Not by begging Congress for corporate welfare, but by making money the old fashioned way: by earning it.”
“The difference between Donald Trump and me — well, there’s $10 billion in difference, at least — but in addition to $10 billion, the difference is that Donald Trump’s solution is that we elect billionaires”
“We have a green primary. We have a primary where those who fund campaigns get to pick the candidates that the rest of us get to vote among”
“We’ve built a democracy wherein a tiny tiny fraction of the one percent dominate… and a consequence of this is a democracy responsive to the funders only“
“You and I both know that as long as our representatives are held hostage to their funders — and their funders are not all of us — our system will not work”
“When we have a congress free of big-money, a congress free to lead, we will fight to preserve the reforms we fought so hard to achieve through whatever amendments to the Constitution are necessary”
“[Congress] and their cronies secure more than one hundred billion dollars in corporate welfare“
“We won’t get our democracy back until we change the way campaigns are funded“
“Right now Congress doesn’t answer to us, it answers to the elite few. Members of congress waste 30 to70 percent of their time raising money from the tiniest fraction of the one percent”
Money Quote: Lawrence Lessig Money Quotes