“We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” — Justice Louis Brandeis
At the deepest level, what we think of as “issues” aren’t always the issue.
What politicians normally refer to as “issues” are mere symptoms, all of which share an underlying cause: a disconnection between our politics and our democratic principles, as our government has become subservient to the governing principle of short-term profit maximization for huge multinational corporations.
Our government today does not function as a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” To the contrary, it serves as a government “of a few, by a few, and for a few.” Due to the nefarious influence of unlimited corporate money on our politicians, our government has become a system of legalized bribery. The United States government now advocates more for the short-term financial gain of campaign donors than for the long-term health and well-being of American citizens and the planet on which we live.
The situation has reached emergency proportions. Our government has abandoned its primary function as stated in the Declaration of Independence: to secure the (God-given) right of every citizen to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The millions of American children who go to school each day in buildings that don’t meet minimum safety requirements - or have the supplies necessary with which to learn to read -- these children are not free to pursue their happiness. Students may be full US citizens, but because they do not work or possess wealth, they have no financial leverage in the halls of a corrupted system that listens to money more than to the cries of its people.
This trajectory, born of our government’s obeisance to its new corporate overlords, has produced the largest income inequality since 1929, a lack of health care for millions of US citizens, a lack of guaranteed educational and wealth-creating opportunities to all but its richest citizens, chronic economic despair for millions of Americans, a multitude of children living in chronically traumatic conditions, and a plunder of the environment that literally imperils the future of life on Earth.
While politicians point to “health care” or “jobs” or “the economy” as the issues, the real issue is that our government has been hijacked by corporate and financial forces that have systematically moved the bulk of our public treasure into the hands of a few of our citizens, basically returning us to an aristocratic system in which a few are served at the expense of the many.
Our democracy is under assault by combined forces of corporatism and autocracy. This organized, well-funded assault seeks the destruction of our bedrock democratic foundations in order to secure its own economic primacy. To serve its purposes, it aims to:
1) influence elections at local, state and federal levels using the unlimited financial power to do so granted by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision;
2) place corporatist judges on all levels of the judiciary; and
3) attack voting rights through such means as the 2013 Supreme Court chipping away of the Voting Rights Act
This well-organized assault represents a full threat to our democracy - and it is the challenge of our generation to fight back.
An attack on our voting system is core to this anti-democratic assault. Voter suppression laws are being passed throughout the country. Gerrymandering - making a shift from voters choosing winners to winners choosing voters - violates every principle of fair representation. And Citizens United has replaced the democratic formula of one person, one vote with the repressive system of one dollar, one vote.
It is imperative that the U.S. President be aware of this orchestrated, powerful undertow, and that she or he be unafraid to say so. One major political party has now been almost totally commandeered by corporatist forces, and the other major political party, due to its own frequent dependence on corporate dollars, does what it can to address the resulting pain on the periphery, yet too often refuses to address the underlying forces that make all that suffering inevitable.
I am running as a Democrat who feels that the party must reclaim its function as an advocate and protector of what is meant to be the true governing force in the United States: We the People. To me, that is the soul of the Democratic party, and the soul of our country.
There is only one way to override the nefarious influence of the corporatist, anti-democratic trend in American politics today. That is through massive citizen engagement, a massive renaissance of political consciousness among the American people, through which millions of citizens will become the societal immune system that casts out the opportunistic infection of authoritarian corporatist forces.
• A state-by-state rejection of politicized gerrymandering.
• A Constitutional Amendment to establish public financing of our federal campaigns.
• Elimination of unfounded restrictions on eligible voters, such as voter picture ID’s.
• Lowering the voting age to 16. The institution of automatic voter registration at the age of 16.
• Guarantees that our voting systems are secure from internal as well as external threats.
• Establishment of election day as a national holiday (or Saturday), and guarantee of enough time and polling places to allow for easy access to voting.
• Holding special interest and corporate lobbyists accountable to the rule of law.
A Williamson administration would work assiduously to address the above-mentioned external issues, and I would bring the full extent of my professional experience to help the American people connect the dots, understand what has happened, and work in their own communities to save our democracy.