Stories & Life
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The Revolution Begins in 2012 – Huff Post

“It isn’t personal corruption. No one is stuffing money into freezers (at least not a lot of people are). It isn’t that Senator Ben Nelson or Senator Orrin Hatch is a bad person. It’s that we have built a system that is built on systemic corruption.

The only way you can get elected is by doing the bidding of huge donors. And those donors can control the process entirely because of the unlimited amount of money they can spend….

“How often does money control the outcome? An overwhelming amount of the time. The candidate with more money wins 93% of the time on the House side and 94% of the time on the Senate side.”

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Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy; I pass the winters in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. I'm working on a memoir-based nonfiction book on the American Dream. I blog, quite frequently, and I also have a novel in process, set in Alaska.


  1. “The only way you can get elected is by doing the bidding of huge donors.” So if, knowing this ahead of time, you run for election anyway, you’re at least a little bit corrupt, no? I’m not persuaded that “we” built the corrupt system. “They” did it: the elected politicians and the moneyed interests who bought them. Is it a sign of “our” corruption that we’re more likely to vote for deep-pocket candidates who can push their spin-doctored message in front of us every day while never even noticing the obscure candidates without advertising budgets? It might be lazy or a symptom of too much else to do, but I don’t think it’s corrupt in the same way as the candidate knowingly accepting money from vested interests who expect a return on their investment.


  2. erdman31 says

    In terms of culpability, I agree with you. I don’t know that I retain direct personal responsibility for building a corrupt system. Certainly not. I do,however, consider myself a part of the collective whole. So, “we Americans” are obese, even though I am quite underweight as compared to the average numbers.

    I respect your sensibilities, though. I do feel that I have benefited from the inequality and corrupt system. I’ve had more opportunities, as a middle class white male, than others. So, in a certain sense, although I am not responsible for creating the system, I personally feel okay with including myself in the collective.

    But, question for you: what about those politicians who are directly involved in the system, but who compromise in order to get good things done. Like in Mr. Smith goes to Washington, the old Frank Capra film with Jimmy Stewart. His mentor, the Silver Knight as they call him, has had to play by the boss’ rules, but as a result he’s gotten some good things done for the people. Isn’t that probably the attitude of at least some in our legislatures? If not the majority? Obama? Try to inch toward some progress here and there? What do you think of that approach?


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