It is difficult to fathom that with absentee ballots from November 6th barely counted, fund raising continues as if there was an election next week. Case in point Concord Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla. Even though she ran unopposed, Bonilla presided over her 6th annual Christmas Breakfast November 30th to celebrate the holiday season and add funds to her future political endeavors.
Even were I a liberal democrat, it would difficult to explain to my family, “We will have to cut down on Christmas presents this year because we need to buy a table at the Country Costa Country Club. No Outlet Malls for us as we need to make sure Susan Bonilla’s campaign chest is stuffed with cash for an election in 2014”
Of course, anyone who believes in such nonsense should be institutionalized but the fact remains that the political arena as we know it today is dominated by fund raising, special interests, lobbyists, and those entities who want to dictate how we are governed. Building up their “war chests” never stops for Bonilla or her adversaries.
Unfortunately, this sad state of affairs will not change soon. In the last election, Proposition 32, which was intended by its backers to spur campaign reform, was defeated with a large infusion of cash primarily from Public Employee Unions and Liberal Democrats who wanted to keep the status quo.
During the campaign, we were reminded on radio, T.V., and various mailings that banning deductions for political contributions in ones paycheck would somehow subvert democracy as we know it today. This applied to both union members and private enterprise concerns that make their workers cough up money for political purposes. At the same time we were made to believe Corporations, who would be under the same constraints, somehow thru “Super Packs” would be able to spend as much money as they wanted to promote their own agenda in Sacramento.
To follow this logic, we are supposed to believe labor unions are not special interests and corporations are inherently evil. Not to be forgotten are the notorious “Koch Brothers”, Carl Rove, George Bush, and others from "Mortar" who threaten our way of life.
Truth be told, I did not read the exact wording of Proposition 32 very carefully and doubt many others went to the trouble of studying the failed initiative. The debate on this proposal was dominated by the forces it was trying to restrain. In the aftermath of this election we are left with the said state of affairs to which Steven Stills referred to as "Nobody's right when everyone”s wrong." For us this means "business as usual in Sacramento".
The "ususal" for citizens such as me is left "holding the bag" so to speak. Hell, I don’t belong to a labor union nor have a lucrative pension that affords me the opportunity to retire with a comfortable income and lifetime medical. At the same time faceless corporations do not send me a check nor contact me except from their call centers in China, India, and who knows where else.
In short, our "democracy in a Republic" has been hijacked by special interest groups who care more of their concerns than those of the body politic they are allegedly representing. The ruling Democratic Party in the State and nationally has a constituency mainly of those receiving government entitlements, organized labor, ethnic minorities and liberals. At the same time Republicans seem to cater to large corporations, fundamentalist Christians, and white people from less populated states.
There does not seem to be very much of a "big tent" to house leaders of either major party other than idealogues and zealots. With the polarization of the political process being so prevalent, it is no wonder the USA's economy is hovering over the "fiscal cliff" with little agreement on how to handle the nation's current malaise.
Unfortunately, enemies the United States in Europe, Africa, and Middle East are well aware of this sad state of affairs. Even if politicians seeking US aid give lip service to American interests, they are secretly enjoying the current turmoil which threatens to bring down a proud democracy which has stood tall for over 200 years.
Ironically, the best hope for the American political system cooked up by Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and others is with immigrants who are recent arrivals to the USA.
The strongest proponents of traditional American values I have met are those who came here from China, Russia and the former Soviet Union. These people learned the hard way about the tyranny of dictatorship, preferential treatment for government workers, and the "nanny state" where the government controlled people’s lives. They know loss of personal freedom leads to lack of opportunity and misery.
Not coincidentally, there are few Russians who are liberal democrats supporting the socialist path in their adopted country. They have seen where "five year plans" and social engineering has taken them. It is not difficult to understand how refugees from the Soviet Union equate laws limiting soda pop sails to Gorbachev bulldozing vineyards to Georgia to combat rampant alcoholism that existed at that time.
So what does this have to do with Susan Bonilla's unnecessary fund raising breakfast? Probably not much except to show that political system in the United States is rotten from the bottom up and is in dire need of a "makeover" similar to what is shown on those reality television shows I never watch.