Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/23/2014 (3 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Ordinary Americans have virtually no choices left in politics.

A new study finds that the Republic is dead and that the United States government has become an oligarchy, even if its preliminary findings stop just short of declaring so. The study reveals that average American citizens have lost their political voice entirely and only benefit when their interests align with those of the wealthy. 

The Republic is dead, thanks to money and corruption.

The Republic is dead, thanks to money and corruption.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/23/2014 (3 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: America, politics, oligarchy, republic, voice, choice


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A study released by researchers from Princeton and Northwestern Universities comparatively studied public influence on 1,779 policy issues between 1981 and 2002. They found that even when an 80 percent majority of the public wanted a change, they only got their way 43 percent of the time and were often overruled by wealthy interests.

Powerful lobbying groups and wealthy individuals were seen as the primary culprits to this short-circuiting of the Republic. In fact, the study found that high-level politicians such as Congressional representatives, often receive most of their campaign cash from out-of-state.

The Bible is the cornerstone of moral education.

The United States isn't a democracy, as often quoted, but rather a republic where ideally the people elect wise representatives to make decisions on their behalf. Unfortunately, the system is badly corrupted with elections turning into spending battles as political aspirants attempt to bombard the voting public with their message to the exclusion of others. Communicating this message costs a lot of money, and often those who win elections find themselves beholden to powerful interests.

Loyalty to those interests can have rewards that last long after these individuals leave power, including employment as a lobbyist or as a "consultant" or in other well-paid positions.

Unfortunately, the interests of those with money are often opposed to the interests of the people, who are commonly left to choose between two candidates, of which neither represent the interests of the people.

Meanwhile, legislation is filled with doublespeak wherein the titles of legislation are often the opposite of what the legislation actually does --a blatant sign of corruption.

Study co-author Ben Page wrote, "Our findings are consistent with the U.S. being an oligarchy but don't prove that to be so." He added, "oligarchy is increasing as economic inequality increases and Congress and the Supreme Court dismantle regulations."

Martin Gilens from Princeton blamed, "the failure to hold financial institutions accountable, the feeble nature of the regulatory reforms that were adopted, and the extremely uneven recovery (in which corporations and affluent Americans have done quite well, but middle-class and poor Americans are still suffering) all show the extent to which government tilts toward the interests of the rich and powerful."

The authors may not be willing to stake their credibility and declare the Republic dead, yet the distinction is a technicality now, particularly following decisions such as Citizen's United and McCutcheon which both allow corporations to be legally viewed as "people" entitled to First Amendment free speech, which means they can spend unlimited campaign cash on the political process. This reduces the influence of the ordinary American who can probably donate less than $100 to a campaign, to virtually zero.

The Republic could be saved if the system worked, but instead it has been perverted to the point it doesn't work at all. Ideally, an educated and engaged populace would vote into office reform-minded candidates who would then make fundamental changes to the system. It isn't going to happen.

The point of all the cash is to provide corrupted education as the public is bombarded with negative campaign ads and sound bites. Even with all of the attacks made before an election, the winner is almost a formality as candidates from across the political spectrum are engaged in the same effort to secure power and privilege for themselves.

Political distinctions are almost for the public's entertainment as opposed to genuine ideological differences which will guide meaningful policy. Instead, Congress is normally engaged in political theater, proposing bills and resolutions that will never pass and are designed to stoke constituencies into caring and donating, but little more.

It doesn't help that public apathy is also extraordinarily high, but who has time for politics when the big game or American Idol is on?

The Republic is dead, or is as good as dead, leaving Americans a future choice between two extreme options. One is to exercise the powers of the state under Article V of the Constitution to reform the government, something that would require three-fourths of the states' appointed delegates to approve in a convention.

The other alternative is much less pleasant and doesn't bear mention here.

Ironically, this appears to be the last real choice available to American citizens who are otherwise weighted down with the illusion of a million daily choices.

Choose wisely.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

U.S. Bishops say Obama's executive order 'implements discrimination' Watch

Image of Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, pictured, and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo in a statement noted that the executive order, which will impact a fifth of the U.S. workforce, discriminates against faithful Catholics.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new order by U.S. President Obama that forbids federal contractors from discriminating "on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity," has been denounced by U.S. bishops as "unprecedented and extreme and should be opposed" and, in effect, ... continue reading


Israel harshly critical of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, called 'an Alien' Watch

Image of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's apparent decision to use Qatar as a conduit through which to communicate with Hamas, effectively ditching an earlier Egyptian proposal which the group had rejected has stirred the pot.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States and Israel have been the staunchest of allies since Israel reached statehood following World War II - but this doesn't mean that the nations have always seen eye-to-eye. Indeed, the right-wing faction of the Israeli government are harshly ... continue reading


President Obama is 'mailing it in', bought the farm - spending lots of time golfing and goofing off Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lackadaisical. That word is used to define "lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy." Lackadaisical appears to described U.S. President Barack Obama as of late. The president is pending an awful lot of time playing golf while the nation and the ... continue reading


In President Obama's war on religious freedom the people suffer another loss Watch

Image of A July 21 executive order has dealt a huge blow to the cause of freedom of religion in the United States.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's July 21 executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual-self-identification has lead to strong criticism from several prominent U.S. bishops, calling the executive order "unprecedented and extreme." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Efforts against female genital mutilation could be thwarted by population growth Watch

Image of Due partly to community activism and legislation, the prevalence of FGM, which involves the cutting away of the external female genitalia, and the marriage of girls under the age of 18 has decreased slightly over the last 30 years, UNICEF said.

By Lisa Anderson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Advances in fighting female genital mutilation, or FGM and child marriage could be offset by population growth unless the rate of progress increases, according to new data released Tuesday by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


FREE SPEECH VIOLATED: Tea party groups' lawsuit against IRS proceeds Watch

Image of Among the individuals named in the lawsuit is Lois Lerner, who headed the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status at that time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They're not going to take it - and they're taking their claims to court. A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit by 10 tea party groups to move forward against the Internal Revenue Service. The judge rejected a request by the federal government to dismiss all the ... continue reading


'Suing the president is the right path to go down here,' Boehner declares Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The House of Representatives has no plans to use its own constitutional authority to withhold funding from actions by President Obama. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated that if the president takes actions that exceed his constitutional authority, ... continue reading


Federal government says state death penalties are 'unconstitutional' Watch

Image of A federal judge has called California's death penalty unconstitutional. Surprisingly though, this judge is a conservative republican, a party that has long opposed federal overreach into state rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A federal judge ruled that California's death penalty is unconstitutional on July 16, claiming that the state's system is arbitrary, unfair, and cruel and unusual because of a lengthy process that leaves prisoners in the dark about their actual death row status. ... continue reading


'American people have a right to know,' Issa proclaims Watch

Image of Darrel Issa says that Simas' testimony was

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa of California said administration claims that White House political director David Simas was immune from testimony were "absurd" and "deeply disturbing." Defying a subpoena, Issa has now set up a new high-profile fight ... continue reading


Cheat on your taxes? It just got a lot easier Watch

Image of If you still fear a knock at your door anytime soon, it must be noted that one's chances of getting audited vary greatly and are based on income.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you cheat on your taxes - or senselessly worry that some indiscretion in your recent past will have the Internal Revenue Service shortly breathing down your neck - things just got a little bit brighter. The GOP-controlled House has voted to slash the budget ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 13:1-11
1 Yahweh said this to me, 'Go and buy a linen ... Read More

Psalm, Deuteronomy 32:18-19, 20, 21
18 (You forget the Rock who fathered you, the God who ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:31-35
31 He put another parable before them, 'The kingdom ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 28th, 2014 Image

St. Innocent I
July 28: Innocent was born at Albano, Italy. He became Pope, succeeding ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter