Neil Gorsuch - Getty Images
So a simple question: "Do you think our government, and your elected officials - you know, the ones you voted for - care what we, their constituents, think and further that they pass laws that we support?"
In a word, no. Not even close.
I read and follow politics at an almost obsessive level. Here is my perspective on this topic.
We are not represented in our government, well, unless you happen to be in the top 1% of earners in the country.
Money drives our elected officials. Watch the video link at the end of this post, if you don't believe me. Given the inordinate power that money has on distorting our "representative Democracy", we have laws to keep money from distorting public policy right?
Well, we did.
But the Supreme Court ruled on this topic in 2010 in a case called "Citizens United" (a funny name since the citizens in question are not the 99% of us). Anyway, that case was being argued by the group, Citizens United, that these laws limiting money in politics were unconstitutional. That's right, the Supreme Court decided in their ruling essentially that money is a form of free speech and therefore can be given in any amount and secretly in most cases. This ruling overturned 100 years of laws written by your lawmakers in order to try to keep politicians from being influenced by monied interests, and make the representatives we elect, listen to our opinions.
The ongoing hearing in the Senate that's going on right now (today March 23 and the last couple of days) is for Neil Gorsuch, a nominee to fill the empty Antonin Scalia Supreme Court seat. Scalia died a year ago. So, why didn't Obama replace the empty seat? He did, but Republicans, who control the Senate thanks to people (like some of you) who voted for some Republicans, would not allow Obama's moderate replacement for Scalia, to even have a hearing like the one going on today - no hearing, no vote. That Obama nominated replacement was named Merrick Garland, and he waited 10 months for a hearing which never came.
Wait, you say, can they do that? Well yes, although no Senate in our 240 year history to that point, had ever done such a thing. Wait you say, so that means the Republican-controlled Senate stole that vote and gave it to Trump? Yup. So who is this Neil Gorsuch guy?
Well, no surprise I guess, he's a Conservative Republican because he was nominated by Trump - although no one knows what Trump is, as he's hard to pin down on his ideology (mostly it's whatever gets people to cheer at rallies). So what does that mean for the future if Gorsuch gets appointed to the empty seat? You probably know that many Supreme Court decisions in the last decade have been decided 5-4. Five Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices vote one way, and the four Democratic-appointed justices vote the other way. Citizens United was a 5-4 decision.
If you're unhappy about that... If you think the Senate should not steal seats... If you think 5-4 decisions are not in the best interest of the views and desires of the country as a whole - you need to call your Senators today (1844-241-1141) and tell them not to vote for Gorsuch, or to vote "no" and replace that nominee with the rightful nominee, Merrick Garland. I hate to tell you it is mostly a lost cause, as Gorsuch is almost certainly going to get approved by the Republican Senate and 5-4 rulings in favor of the rich, and against the wishes that most Americans would prefer, will continue.
Think about all that next time you go to the polls.
Here's that video
But it's bigger even than Citizens United. A way to solve this problem, is in a bipartisan way. Here's how.
So get after it - by going here and joining!