A Democracy in Name Only

A headline caught my eye this morning: “Gay Marriage, Passed, Awaits Christie’s Veto”.   Yes, this is happening in New Jersey, not Texas.   But the same scenario repeats itself daily all over the country.  New Jersey state legislators’ votes reflect the will of the people.  Poll after poll shows that a majority of Americans do not support  conservative social issues and are tired of politicians with national office ambitions using them to distract the voters from much more critical issues like the economy, foreign policy, environment etc.  Gov. Chris Christie wants to attract money and support from anti- gay marriage groups—it’s no secret that he’ll eventually try for the White House.  So once again public will about things like gay marriage, abortion etc. gets thwarted because our entire political system is fueled by cash.

In a clean elections system, someone like Gov. Christie could be true to his moderate social conservative roots (something he’s been quite passionate about in the past).  When he campaigns next he would be free to develop a platform based on ideas we so desperately need to explore and develop.  Issues that are vital to reshaping our economy, for instance.  Not those pet projects of those extremists who are not only in the minority, but on the fringe of popular American opinion.  This craziness is driving us farther toward a top down system (those at the top of the money heap drive the agenda).   A democracy in name only.

By Susan Cantrell Holloway.  Susan is a retired lawyer and academic language therapist who now volunteers for causes that will help strengthen our democracy.

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