Democracy in the United States of America is no longer functioning. Today, the politicians want our money more than our votes. Every week, almost every day I receive an e-mail message from Barack Obama or one of his surrogates begging for money! These e-mails tell me that if I don’t give them money, the president will lose the election! If that is the case, then the rich and powerful have truly in fact taken over the political process, and now in fact control the government! If the president of the United States tells me that he cannot win the election if the Republicans raise more funds than he does, then money is now controlling who gets elected, and not votes!

Three years ago, I got the opportunity to shake the hand of the governor of Illinois. Someone I knew invited me to a fundraiser for the Democratic Party. The tickets cost $200 per person, and I had to bring a caregiver with me, so the total cost for me was $400! Can you imagine it! I had to pay $400 just to shake the hand of the governor of Illinois! I am on the advisory board of the school for disabled children in Chicago. My friend is also on that board. He said that we should go to this fundraiser so that we can have access to the governor, and he would be more likely to keep the school open if we went to the fundraiser. So in fact, we were paying this money so that the governor would look kindly upon the school, and not close the school. It is important to note of course that we did not mention anything about this to the governor. That would’ve been illegal, but I’m sure he understood why we were there! My friend explained to me that this is how things are done in politics! I was rather disillusioned by the whole thing.* If I had to pay $400 just to meet the governor, as far as I’m concerned that means all he really cares about is money. What about the people who don’t have money? I guess their voices don’t get heard. The school is still open today, so I guess it was worth the trip! Although, I feel sure that he would have supported the school anyway. He has always been very supportive of the school in the past.

Recently, I read an article in the Intelligent Optimist Magazine by Tom Atlee. HeĀ thinks that citizens should come together in groups to talk out problems, and solve them instead of relying on the politicians to do that for us. I’ve been struggling with how to describe this to you, and I found this page where he describes exactly what he means in a video, so I thought it would be best to just give you the link to the page, and let you read it for yourself.

http://www.odenow.com/empowering-public-wisdom-with-tom-atlee/

*After saying all this, I just wanted to say that both my friend, and Gov. Quinn are good men. Gov. Quinn has been a strong supporter of the school for many years. I’m not implying that anything unethical occurred here. I’m only saying that for an ordinary average citizen who is not accustomed politics as usual, the large role that money played in the situation made me feel uncomfortable.