Money in politics distorts our democratic process, and in doing so, creates a cyberpunk environment that’s both equal parts hi-tech and Earth-death. If the Christian New Testament asserts, “For the love of money is the roots of all kinds of evil,” than it would be only fair to say that, in America, “Money is the root of all politics.” Corroded and weaseled, duped and fleeced, ballooned and festooned with special interest money, politicians of all stripes panhandle for campaign cash at the expense of the public interest. And as a result, America's democracy is sabotaged by the all-mighty-millions of the 1%. It’s not just elections, though; in many cases, lobbyists actually insert legalese into supposedly ‘sovereign’ bills that the public thinks are independently written by politicians. In 2010, after decades of helplessly trying to restrict moneyed interests from the election process, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) reversed its justice-compass in its immoral decision favoring Citizens United (a term itself smoking in irony), which effectively discarded limits on campaign contributions from profit and non-profit corporations, arguing that money is protected under the First Amendment as “free speech.” And with the more dramatic SCOTUS ruling over McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission in 2014, things have become far bleaker.
As a result of the Supreme Court’s toxic-twosome rulings, those who have the most money are allowed to speak the most and relent the least, leaving the majority of Americans to dwindle in the sagebrush, looking lonely and disheveled for their safe-deposit boxes. Gone are the seemingly winsome days of "revolving doors" when politicians and lobbyists could switch their identities after their respective careers ended to the sweet tune of an 80% turncoat-rate. In Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, she cited how these very same “revolving doors” have become an absurdly tall building of "arched hallways," where politicians now push policy that benefits their current stock holdings or family members while they’re still in office. Whether Republican or Democrat, independent or something-purple-and-in-between, the collusion of for-profit interests and the USG burns with an unseemly smell that is largely left offscreen.
But know this: that smell is now one of end-time fires. While Lula has returned as President in Brazil, the Amazon Rainforest continues to burn to satisfy Jair Bolsonaro’s former funders: Big Ag’s need to clear out the Amazon for grazing and cattle to match our desire for more beef & soy consumption. And the fire recently doubled last week with the attempted coup on Brazil’s Congress by Bolsonaro supporters, mimicking the failed January coup in America. Elsewhere, in March of 2020, at the height of the bushfire season, Australia had the largest recorded fires ever recorded in human history, with over 46 million acres engulfed by flames, swamping any parallels to the fires in times past; scientists estimate is that 1 billion animals died, wiping out entire ecologies and species in the process, while sex-workers were banned from Twitter for sharing illicit images to fundraise for the disaster. And from August to September of 2021, over 40 millions of acres of Siberian forest were on fire, without end, which used to work as a cooling buffer to prevent more of the Artic from melting. And now, as recently reported by the Rolling Stone, the infamous “Doomsday Glacier” is set to collapse in just three-five years. This fear of Thwaites Glacier breaking up would open the dams for the rest of the West Antarctic ice sheet to slide and slash into the sea. Over the surface of the Earth, 250 million people live within three feet of high tide lines, and its expected breakoff would cause a sea level rise of ten feet, which would make for skin-swamping catastrophe. It would not only by bye-by to Miami as a functioning city, but the breakoff would mean goodbye to virtually every low-lying coastal city in the world.
In order to reverse the corporate coup of our Republic, we will need to ultimately pass a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to forever sever private wealth from politics. With politicians drenched in pay-to-play money, it's impossible to imagine this taking the form of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that initally started from a bipartisan Congress and came one state from being ratified via popular vote. However, it's certainly possible that we can push for an Article V Convention through mass movement action by pressuring 34 state legislatures to ignite the convention. Unfortunately, the organization best positioned to do this, Wolf Pac, has been unable to maintain the pressure and organizational strength after the fourth state (Rhode Island) passed legislation to do this in 2016. While we support this endeavor, we also know that given the reality of our tiny climate window to reverse catastrophic climate change, and cut carbon emissions by 55% (according the the U.N.'s IPCC Report) by 2030, we will need to support a progressive Presidential candidate to pass a statute via exectutive order and intiate something akin to Lawrence Lessig's Benjamin Franklin Voucher System, whereby each citizen in the U.S. is given money fund candidates to city, state and national office and thereby even out the influence of corporate money drenching and choking our Republic. If a Presidential candidate does not surface, we need to prepare for a nationwide general strike to pass this voucher program. Once instituted, candidates that represent the 99% (like Bernie Sanders) will more likely win local and national campaigns, and reignite the now dormant 28th movement for a new Constituional Amendment that will ban private wealth from politics and create a sytem of public financing throughout the United States.