Bernie Sanders has made a name for himself by leading the charge for real economic justice in our country. A vital part of that mission is getting dark money out of our political system and returning the power in our republic to a mandate of the people, taking out of the hands of an oligarchy composed of the mega-rich and their network of corrupt Republican legislators who sell their votes to the highest bidder.
An important part of Sanders’ appeal is the sincerity of his fervor, a genuine desire and passion that vibrates in his voice and energizes his rhetoric. His record is impeccably clean, free from charges of ideological hypocrisy or dubious commitment that hinder some of the other presidential candidates.
Which is why we can take it at face value when Senator Bernie Sanders announces his plan to file a bill to introduce public funding of elections: “We’re going to introduce legislation which will allow people to run for office without having to beg money from the wealthy and the powerful…We are increasingly living in an oligarchy where big money is buying politicians.”
His announcement comes at an opportune moment, one that couldn’t highlight the differences between the parties any clearer. This weekend, the Republican candidates obediently flew across the country to pay homage to the Koch Brothers and a coven of some 450 other wealthy donors, where they performed their most impressive Reagan-and-pony show in hopes of winning some campaign donation dollars.
The damage that dark money donations has done to our political system cannot be understated. Candidates no longer court voters, but donors. It’s how three-fourths of the Republican field (out of seventeen candidates) haven’t even attempted to form any kind of coherent policy proposal or even shown an indication that they are capable of governing. It’s a mockery that the rest of the world looks on with bemusement and disdain, and it’s far beyond time that we took steps to end it.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.