I sent the following only to Dinah, who encouraged me to share it on the list. I have to admit, I am not usually comfortable with public expressions of my political opinions. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that one facet of our broken democracy is the lack of political discourse, or the tenor of what passes for debate these days. So, to honor Dinah's many thoughtful contributions on our list, here's my take:
Dinah, I wish I shared your optimism. Two things come to mind that discourage me.
1) $5 million is a teeny, tiny drop in the bucket of the multi-millions of dollars that are being spent by the big bad boys (any girls?). And, while this approach is unique, many other organizations have been raising money for years to get progressives in office. I've given before. I've pledged not to do so again. I don't know what can possibly turn this democracy around, but I do not believe that a monetary arms race is the answer.
2) I also gave to my now President Barack Obama. I know it is often argued that he is fighting upstream against an obstructionist congress, and that is why he has not been able to make as much progress as we'd hoped. But, what about climate change? He can't even commit to renewable energy and no keystone pipeline, even with such clear evidence. And, as bad as that is, I'm especially disheartened that he has not stood up to Monsanto and the other corporations hell bent on stealing not just our government, but our very lifeblood, the food upon which all humanity depends. How can he not come out strongly against GMO's, or at least allow states to institute their own laws governing GMO's and GMO labeling? I am baffled by his lack of leadership on this issue.
I wish I could envision a government that works. But, the more I learn about how the system operates, even on a micro scale, the more I feel that no government is immune to excessive influence by those who seem to want to rule the world, or destroy it. I admit, I've lost hope, except perhaps in the transition resilience movement with a focus on community and local food production. Unfortunately, I do believe we are in for a very rough ride.