Mason County News
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010 • Posted August 4, 2010

Dear Editors,

During the presidential election in 2000 the third party candidate, Ralph Nader, said it didn’t matter who won between the Republicans and the Democrats because both parties are the same. I did not agree with him at the time but in the ten years since I have discovered that he knew something that I had not yet learned.

Now it is clear to me that Republicans don’t try very hard to conceal the fact that they make decisions based on what their wealthy campaign contributors want. Democrats pretend to have the welfare of the working class as a top priority, but when it comes down to voting on an issue, their votes protect and enrich their wealthy campaign contributors the same as the Republicans. In many cases the corporations that contribute to one party contribute to the other as well. It doesn’t make much difference to them who is elected as long as corporate wishes are fulfilled.

In a situation such as this, we will never have a candidate who will work for the majority of the people. Money has become the deciding factor in who gets elected. The candidates do not have to be qualified for the office they seek any more. Political candidates nowadays are sold to the public like products, using slick advertising created by big-time advertising and public relations firms. It costs millions upon millions and most of that money is supplied by corporations who expect a return on their investment.

The corporate sponsored candidates who solicit our votes may try to convince us that they are for the working class and will tax the rich. Their opponents may try to scare us into voting for them by claiming that they are the only one who can keep us safe from terrorism. When elected, either party will work to make the rich richer and make excuses about why the rest of us are left out.

The people with integrity we need most for political office in this country have little chance to be on the ballot. Corporations control the news media and the election process, even down to the counting of the votes. An honest candidate who will not pledge his allegiance to Wall Street has no chance.

When our Constitution was ratified in Philadelphia in 1787, someone asked Benjamin Franklin, "What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin responded, "A republic if you can keep it."

Even then Franklin knew that greed and tyranny could destroy our new form of government if the people did not stay involved and closely monitor what the government was doing. In my opinion the people have not stayed involved. Most people are too quick to believe what the corporate media tells them. They can’t seem to realize that the large media corporations are controlled by wealthy people who would rather manipulate and control the working class than educate them.

Our best hope to change this system would be to demand that all paid political advertising be banned. Let us hear the candidates speak for themselves in their own words instead of those words created by snake oil salesmen which they read off the teleprompter. If there were no paid advertising allowed, a candidate would not need corporate money to get elected. We might start to get candidates who would serve the public interest instead of making Wall Street richer.

Larry Payne


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