The United States of America was founded on the basis of establishing religious and socioeconomic freedom. Our ancestors left the oppressive lands of Europe and England to escape corrupt monarchies, whose power is passed down by blood and challenged by the sword.
Instead, what they created may be potentially worse. It started out as a country by the people and for the people but has essentially morphed into a land where money, rather than blood, determines a person’s destiny.
So making America great “again” is something of a misnomer. Really, the best thing we can do is to acknowledge that our country is flawed. We, as citizens, need to understand that there is nothing perfect in our society. No one can argue that sometimes it’s pretty distasteful to hold a mirror up and have a good, long look at yourself and one of the most contagious of our nation’s ailments is the quest for power through wealth.
They say that money is the root of all evil and I’d have to argue that point and adjust it to be more like, “people are the root of all evil, money just offers the motivation.” Power in the U.S. is based on cash flow. The only reason Donald Trump has gotten as far as he has is because he had enough money to be out in front of the public in the first place.
His name is on skyscrapers, he had a national TV show – on which he played the part he wants to revive in the White House – “bullying dictator in chief.” It was Trump’s visibility and seemingly unfiltered anger at the Obama administration that elevated his exposure to a level he wouldn’t have otherwise been able to achieve.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are both wealthy people but Trump is 156th on the Forbes 400 richest. He had the exposure and the resources to reach his target audience, which pretty much includes anyone who was tired of the failings of the last eight years.
The point here is that, once again, the movement of money has continually manipulated America. In addition, the corruption that money creates in government is far more common than most people want to admit or believe.
Millions of taxpayer dollars are wasted every day through the passage bills that contain the latest payback for a campaign donation. If we put even a fraction of that money behind building a better educational system that provided free and unlimited education through a four-year college degree the level of ignorance would be dramatically reduced and the country’s emotional state might settle down a bit.
Politicians on both sides see no long-term value in making college free or improving an educational system without the “what’s in it for us” factor. Maybe the idea of doing what’s right just isn’t in the DNA of a potential candidate for office.
Then again, most voters in this election year are having a tough time figuring out exactly what would make for the right choice. Money fuels the campaigns and greases the palms of up and coming politicians so it’s mostly those with the dough who will get any support once their candidates are in office.
Before anyone says otherwise, let me be clear. Capitalism is not the problem here. Without money nothing would happen. But the level of greed – for both money and power – in this country is at a sickening level and that shouldn’t be what drives people to want to hold political office. America is only great when her people are honorable and we don’t see much of that these days.
What would really make America “great” is if we could feed our hungry, provide free and unlimited health care for our poor, seniors and veterans, clothe and house our homeless, educate our children and pay workers equally and to the value of their worth. Unfortunately, there is no single politician, political party or government agency that can do all of that so long as the all mighty dollar is in the driver’s seat.
Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is available in text and podcast forms online. More at www.deerinheadlines.com.