Sometimes the reality you encounter is so mind-numbingly depressing that it leaves you not wanting to go on even thinking about the subject at hand. Three “bummers” that come to mind are a horrible disease with no cure in sight, the proliferation of nuclear weapons to rogue dictators and the endless stupidity of gun violence as a mockery of the intent of the Second Amendment.
But even worse for the survival of our democracy is the suddenly pervasive venality and futility of America’s Presidential elections, thanks to the corrupting influence of big money unleashed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United decision. The legalization of political bribery on such a grand scale represents the most destructive attack yet on the Founding Fathers’ brave experiment in participatory governance.
Take this factoid introducing a recent New York Times article: “Just 158 families have provided nearly half of the early money for efforts to capture the White House” in 2016. That’s a smaller number than the group taunting me online about the dismal prospects for the Los Angeles Lakers burdened by Kobe Bryant’s decline. We are a nation of 321 million diverse people struggling to get by, and 158 families get to decide the Presidential nominations?