Like many Americans, I did not feel good about voting this year.
So, I decided to sign up on Represent.Us and volunteer to begin a chapter in Topeka. The entire goal of this organization is to bypass Congress (which is possible) to enact laws that will make corruption illegal.
If there is one thing that we know from being human, is that nobody should be responsible for regulating themselves. We should all be accountable to someone. Congress needs to be accountable to us.
It is possible, albeit a little tricky. It involves informing people, petitioning, and getting things on the ballot. And then it involves battling the big money campaigns that will inevitably attack such ballot measures. Getting a solid base of members that are educated enough to ignore these campaigns is one of the biggest challenges.
It is happening, though. All over the country. There was a big win during this election cycle that was overshadowed by the presidential election, and that was an Anti-Corruption Act was passed state-wide throughout South Dakota.
The simplest thing you can do is browse the sight, and sign up as a member. Read the emails they send you and stay informed of what is going on. Learn a little about it and talk about it with friends and family. Become a member of your local chapter if you have one.
Learn about the problem! Watch some of the videos on the Represent.US site. Read books like Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy by Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman, Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer-And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson, and Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress-And a Plan to Stop It by Lawrence Lessig.
These may sound like depressing books, but they end on good notes. They end with hope. They motivate. Take some time to learn a little more by watching this TED Talk by Lawrence Lessig.
2 thoughts on “A Way Forward”
This is a great line: “If there is one thing that we know from being human, is that nobody should be responsible for regulating themselves. We should all be accountable to someone.”
Watching the video now. Eye-opening.
The task feels overwhelming when I think of the education and informing that has to be done.
I've been learning a lot about how big money corrupts, and it is more complex than I thought. One has to get a lot of depth into the subject before being able to talk at length to people about it. Because when you talk to people about it, you have to do it simply.
Take this video, for example. As hard as Lawrence Lessig tries to simplify this complex subject, it can still come off very complex and hard to understand for the uneducated. They may walk away from it convinced for the time being, until big money can give them a simpler way of looking at government (that is also false) that makes them believe that big money doesn't corrupt.