In the plot of the film “Seven Days in May” authored by “Twilight Zone” creator, Rod Serling, the United States government faces an attempted Coup d'état; a takeover of our government by the military. Seem impossible? I suggest that this very thing is currently playing out in our country as we watch. However it is not the military who is orchestrating this coup – it is the power of money.
The Supreme Court poured gasoline on a smoldering fire of campaign finance reform in it’s “Citizens United” decision, affirming a decision made decades earlier that corporations be considered as having the same constitutional free speech rights as individuals. Money has become the voice for that speech.
In Wisconsin, the recall election of governor Scott Walker failed, in large part, due to the support of campaign spending amounting to seven times that of his opponents; this in spite of a monumental “get out the vote” initiative. In a nation where the population obtains the overwhelming balance of their political information from television advertising, where people vote their ‘gut’ over their head, the results are easy to predict.
Will this ever change; can it? It is doubtful. The powers of money and influence smell the blood in the water; they will use that same power to thwart any attempt to wrest their grip on control.
I personally fear that our 200-year old experiment in Democracy has come to an end – our economy, once the beacon of the free world, now revolves almost wholly upon using money to concentrate the acquisition of even more. Most of us stand powerless, like lowly surfs as modern day Genghis Khans sweep over our landscape pillaging and ravaging our Republic by those who equate freedom as no loftier a goal than to acquire personal financial gain.
I am Robert the Skeptic and I approve of this message.
1. "The Influence Industry: In Wisconsin recall, theside with most money won big", Washington Post, June 6, 2012