News From Terre Haute, Indiana


September 28, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Sept. 28, 2012


How about putting votes up for sale?

Many of us have lost faith in our government. We’ve a vague feeling that it’s been corrupted and doesn’t serve us. And this is true. It doesn’t, with corporate personhood, money protected as speech and the Citizens United decision, the ideal that government is for sale has been codified. Accept that.

Also, accept that free enterprise, privatization and the virtue of selfishness as preached by Ayn Rand are with us to stay. That’s the New America — everything has a price, everything is for sale. But we the people give our vote away for free, for vague promises that never materialize. Our legislators  don’t give their votes away for free; they expect remuneration — a bridge, military contact, monetary contribution, and tickets to the Super Bowl.

Yet they wouldn’t be there without our vote.

Let’s get with the New American Way and demand they pay us for our vote. Our two political parties will spend close to a billion dollars this election. How much of that did you get? Most is spent to enrich corporate news networks for advertising. And most of that billion came from less than 1 percent of the people — like our friends the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson. If we demand to be paid fro our vote, it would be a fair redistribution of wealth. It would also greatly increase voter participation.

At first, only the swing votes would cash in. The solid blue and red states would be taken for granted. But that would change fast as the magic of market turned the country purple. Everyone would benefit from the New America; and if their faith in government didn’t increase, their bank accounts would.

— Michael Bennett

Vermilion, Ill.

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