I watched a Bernie Sanders speech this morning. In it he discussed the erosion of the middle class in America. He railed against the inequity of the political system and the obvious pay to play that goes on in our government. Truly the rules are written by those who they affect. Truly, the biggest industries control the funding of all of the significant campaigns. We have failed to find honorable and just campaign finance and control.
Mr. Sanders has called himself a socialist. I find that repugnant. Still, I find that, forsaking his methodology, we are in agreement about the inequity of our government to the very constituency that they swore to serve. It is an unsustainable assault on the future of our nation and all of democracy. If America fails, as it seems bound to do, then democracies will fall like dominoes in the wake of our failure. I am certain that he is wrong in his proposed methodology. I am just as sure that the revision to the equity and justice of our society, which he advocates, must occur.
Mr. Sanders says that it is the charge of government to protect society’s weak. He is right. Mr. Sanders says that we, as a nation have the most failed health care system of any developed country and, in fact are the only large developed country that fails to assure health care to all of its citizens. He is correct. Mr. Sanders says that our nation’s laws and tax structure are drafted to benefit the upper classes and damage the middle class and poor. He is right. He claims that large industry in the U.S. do not pay their fair share of taxes. He is right. He claims that the entirety of our government serves a silent and small cloistered oligarchy, who act to protect their wealth and to increase it without care for others. I am afraid that he is right.
Our cities look like third world slums. Their population poor and infested with despair and drugs. Our infrastructure crumbles beneath the wheels of our cars. Our farms collapse, leaving only giant conglomerates to feed us. We are looking over the edge of a precipice. Over the edge there is no light for the middle class, or the lower class. Those who think themselves the controlling class shall find themselves falling, too.
Democracy is based on the belief that all of us are created equal. Where one goes we all go. When one hurts, we all hurt. No one, not even the elite, will survive such a failure. They will find their wealth wiped out, their security lost. Perhaps, it shall be the lower class who suffers the least when, at last, the lights go out.
The unraveling of the failures that have evolved in our short history as a nation will be very difficult. Always it is easier to destroy than to build. Always, it is easier to ignore the difficult tasks and to address simplistic actions. We have allowed ourselves to do so for too long. The time is upon us to act. America will be repaired one item at a time, until campaign finance, tax equity, and the elimination of all monopoly is complete. The middle class must florish and that requires, as Mr. Samders so elequently stated, the equity of compensation returning to our corporations. This is done only by unleashing free enterprise and removing the constraints to allow business and economy to flourish. Mr. Sanders is wrong when he states the government must set wages or prices. This has never worked in any model of government and it never will.
Our Representative Republic with its wonderful free market can only flourish when the “playing field” is level and just. We have allowed the game to be manipulated by the infusion of money into campaigns and false events. We have looked the other way as legislation which effects monopoly have been allowed to evolve and flourish with the support of law. For a pork barrel item, we have ignored poorly written legislation to become law, knowing that it was drafted to give unfair advantage. The ills that Mr. Sanders addresses are the manifestation of a republic which has lost its way. Such a government, which has allowed the erosion of the most basic tenants of its constitution, will surely fail. We cannot go on as we are now going. Our course must change if we are to remain complete and viable as a society and as a governed people under the framework of our now bastardized Constitution.
We saw the fall of Russia, broken and crippled. Today we see the great bear rising again to take its place on the world stage. Now it is the U.S. that is full of unnecessary regulation, corruption of all levels of government, bureaucracy that stalls the development of business. Do we think ourselves immune? We drive debt to ever greater levels and still, we fail to act.
It will take time and difficulty to fix the problems that we have allowed to manifest within our nation. Still, brothers, we must. If we fail, as surely as day follows the night, we will see the day that this great Republic falls from the face of our earth and all of man’s effort toward self-governance will wither into totalitarianism and oligarchy. The only remaining question before us is this; shall our great nation be broken into pieces by our own hand before it is put back together, or will we do what must be done, and address hard issues, to build, again, the greatest nation on the face of the earth?