Get money out.
Sometimes studies and polls teach us something new. And, sometimes, they simply confirm something we already knew.
This week, a new study confirmed that U.S. presidents serve the wealthy elite, and a separate poll confirmed that Americans are sick and tired of ultra-rich controlling our political system.
As a follow-up to last year's Princeton paper that said our nation is no longer a democracy, James Druckman from Northwestern University and Lawrence Jacobs from the University of Minnesota conducted a new study on the health of our democracy. Using documents and data from presidential archives, the team made the conclusion that “elites do most of the deciding” in our nation, because presidents “shirk citizen control.”
According to their study, “presidents – Reagan, in particular – were highly attentive to the demands of privileged segments of the electorate with high incomes and other politically valued resources.“ And, any attention paid to public interest is more about shaping opinion to fit those goals, rather than to fit policy to public demands.
Considering these findings, it comes as no surprise that 84 percent of Americans agree that it's time to get money out of our political system. That's the stunning – yet unsurprising – result of a new CBS/New York Times poll that was released last week. According to that report, the American people are demanding change with “near unanimity.”
The cause and effect here is clear. After decades of being manipulated and ignored by our elected leaders, We, The People want to take back control of our democracy. And, slowly, but surely, people all around our nation are working to achieve that very goal.
From protests to ballot initiatives to constitutional amendments, Americans are making sure that free speech only applies to actual voices. The data is clear on the effect of money in politics, and on our desire to overcome this corruption.
It's never too late to fight for our democracy, and that starts with getting money out once and for all.