Only tool left is the ballot box

Conservative politicians mewling about their difficulty attracting voters remind me of the scene in the movie “Gladiator” where the emperor fusses that the people don’t love him even as he terrorizes their very existence. The latest travesty from the right wing of the Supreme Court declaring unlimited spending by the wealthy to buy politicians as an act of free speech is a new low. There is nothing about the Constitutional guarantee of free speech reflected in this bold move to hand government into the control of the wealthy and powerful. Everyone who took seventh grade civics knows that the first amendment protection of speech was written to forbid a reigning government from restricting speech criticizing it. That’s all.

This is a naked assault on the principle of equality and a giant step backward in the centuries-old struggle to end the suffering and deprivation of rule by the privileged gentry. The only tool left is the ballot box. We don’t have to tolerate them in office even if they have unlimited funds to spend on convincing us we should. But we had better get to work on that before that changes, too. A little carefully engineered gerrymandering, some manipulation of voting registration laws, a massive amount of mudslinging and we can commit the will of the people to the memory hole.

Historically, feeding the lust for power only makes it grow and tyrants don’t stop being tyrants. They have to be defeated or impeached.

Harold R. Pettus


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