Flushing the PACs is not enough

We need to look no further than the current political dysfunction in the U.S. to see that without equality democracy is not viable.

But the problem with the effort to place a limit on campaign spending by moneyed interests is that it doesn't take us nearly far enough toward restoring equality of access to our political system. The 1% is buying power by stuffing dollars into PACs, yes; but wealth also acquires power in many other ways, direct, through bribes (contributions to individual campaigns, padded honorariums for speeches, make-work consultancies, donations to pet foundations, etc.) and indirect, through influential fronts (funding think tanks, academic studies, laboratory research, academic chairs, and so on), corporate advertising, and control of the mainstream media.

By itself, overturning Citizens United will not check the influence of money on politics.

In the past, political organizing helped the majority to defend its interests, but organizing is a long and difficult process, and in the last 40 years many of the mechanisms that were depended on to generate, accumulate and deploy the power of communities have either atrophied or been systematically destroyed (labor unions, to take one example). Somehow we must restore organizing to its central place in the political landscape if the many are ever again effectively to counter the power of the few.

The foremost reason to support Sen. Sanders for president is that he is the only major candidate in the race who recognizes that political inequality and economic injustice are major obstacles to further progress for this nation. Win or lose, Sen. Sanders' campaign, with its millions of donors and its fired-up activists, could be the beginning of a new era of people power.

Reading list:
Forty-three percent of likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers self-identify as socialist -- to be very clear, the question is not whether they would vote for a socialist or sympathize with socialism; it's whether they consider themselves socialist -- more, actually, than the number who identify themselves as capitalist (38 %). This number proves Bernie Sanders can win Iowa by Aaron Blake (The Washington Post).

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