I dialed in the conservative KOA Denver on the radio coming back from Salida the other day and happened on the Mandy Connell show. I had heard her once before and was impressed with her awareness of what is real in politics. She surely must be Irish with savvy like she has. She was a breath of fresh air for the conservative side of things after listening to Hannity for months, where every other word out of his mouth is “liberals” or “progressives” and more truth stretching than a taffy factory.

Ms. Connell was talking about gerrymandering and how much it controls our collective thinking within a given district and leads to division, because it circles the wagons of opinion around candidates and their drum banging messages. They never have to worry about working for the common good of American life because their districts are ready made for them depending on what color socks they wear in the political arena. They put their name on the ballot and they are in. Ms. Connell is a wise Republican, who although she has political views that differ from some folks she stands for democracy, a vanishing home for us all.

Our local district was split a few years ago and done by Democrats to mostly punish a renegade Democrat who dared to vote for and defend her home district rather than taking the hands signals thrown at her from the balcony to the Colorado Congressional floor. She dared to buck the tiger so they pushed her out of the corral, drawing the district line right behind her house and splitting a Colorado County smack in two.

There is at least as much money spent leading up to a census year on redrawing district boundaries as there is in both sunlit and dark candidate money and the party in charge gets the honor of building the corrals. There are various state initiatives and a large federal level one to tear down the fences, but those district boundaries are incredibly influential so the push back is huge. The American people could put a stop to it just as they are making headway for affordable health care, but the walls that need to come down are the very thing that keeps American thoughts locked up. Most do not even know what is at stake or even that there is such a thing, so they go on about their business as the segregation marches forward…the division is the result.

Within those districts the money buys a big bang for the bucks because they basically know which way the wind will blow when it comes to winning and losing. It is like gambling with a spotter behind the dealer and saves the corporations a ton of money and indigestion and their gaming can go on.

Never in the history of this country have we had so much money thrown at our candidates in a winner take all game. Our candidates are expected to curry favor from the first 48 hours they are elected until they are not. If they don’t play the game, they will not see another year as a legislator; steer legislation their way or they will find another puppet. It takes a skilled politician to stay in the business of actually helping Americans.

The most gut wrenching thing to come out of all of this is people being talked into pitting against each other. The gerrymandering and the money lead to nowhere good. The game of gaining the vote is a science right down to the talk shows we hear on television and radio, where many of them have never taken a journalism class in their lives or for that matter a poly sci course. Some stretch things, or in some cases outright lie to continue to beat the drum. It is a deception and the worst of it is pitting us against each other. If you listen closely and have some semblance of a memory you will find a pattern of windblown statements of defense that only a year earlier were leveled at the opposition.

Christ threw the money changers from the church for a reason and in the United States we are seeing exactly why. The money is buying separation because we are easier to fool that way. Your neighbors are not bad because they think different on some issues. They are not bad because they might have voted for someone else, that is the heart of democracy! As an Independent it is so hard for me to watch people trash each other for pencil necked CEO’s, talk show hosts and politicians, the latter of which for the most part don’t like these games any more than we do.

We will be struggling in a vanished democracy if we don’t wake up to the fact that we are manipulated from the time we get up in the morning until we sack out at night. This game is not ours to play, but it is ours to stop. We do have influence to get rid of the gerrymandering, demand campaign reform where the money is honest, and we have sway on a myriad of issues if we only band together. The current town halls are certainly a demonstration of that. Our Democracy is vanishing one dollar at a time, but there is time to catch it if we only do it together.

2 Responses to “Vanishing

Leave a Reply