On this, the 238th anniversary of the United States beginning it's experiment in self governance and a representative Republic, I would like to offer some opinions about what has gone so terribly wrong.
1. Pervasive religious influence brought on by the refusal of the IRS to enforce one simple rule. Churches cannot act as political organizations, they are tax exempt because of this, when we allow them to use their tax free dollars to influence politics and elections we give them a privileged place above ordinary people.
2. Corporate influence through electoral laws, campaign finance laws, and bail outs. When We the People become the unwilling purse of corporate theft, and our representatives are collusive in that action, our voices are lost in the overwhelming screech of cash as speech.
3. The dissemination of false information as credible news. With no will to validate the information we consume, we are willfully rushing into a place where belief is the only thing that matters, and discourse has no place among the fanatical.
4. The destruction of public education through targeted laws to take public money and place it into the hands of the (tax free) religious education centers. These "schools" refuse to teach basic scientific principals, indoctrinate youths and refute established information as false.
5. Endless campaigning of all members of the elected government. Constant dinners with Lobbyists, think tanks, foundations and donors removes the representative from his job as a mouth piece for the electorate. The unbridled access of the few rich and powerful to our elected officials has done more to erode our rights than anything else.
6. Dysfunctional Legislature. When either side refuses to come to the table, when shutting the government down is appealed to as the best option, when hateful comments are bandied about during Presidential speeches, when outright lies are proffered as reasonable talking points we have reached the point of dissolution. If the congress cannot act on any measure, it is time to rewrite how the congress must conduct itself as a body.
7. Whole cloth laws being written by outside bodies that have nothing to do with our representatives or our government are inserted and passed by our representatives. Many think tanks and policy institutes now have so much access they actually get to write our laws for us. Corporate fronts, religious organizations, Gun manufacturing lobbies, war contractors have all written and had laws passed by our government. We the people are not members of these organizations, only a select few are granted access.
My point is that as we reflect on all the freedoms and responsibilities our Founding Fathers gave us, as we think of the future for our children and their's, should we not all be disturbed by the recent court rulings and security leaks? Are We the People going to allow the end of self governance, and have it replaced by the rule of money? Will we sit idly by, watching Kim Kardashian and Honey Boo Boo and the Duck Dynasty guys as our Nation is diverted to only support those with the means to purchase influence in it? Will we quietly watch as the protections of the First Amendment are redirected to be only for the religious, and only of the religion that the Court dictates? Will you allow our Government to grant more rights and privileges to corporations, as "people", than it does to us as people? Take a stand, raise your voices, remeber that:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."