Sunday, January 18, 2015

There is a serious glitch in the Matrix

Something is wrong. Very wrong. Somehow we ended up with a Congress that is diametrically opposed to the will of the majority of Americans. This isn’t supposed to happen in a democracy, but it has, which calls into question whether we can truly call ourselves a democracy anymore.

The national research firm Hart Research Associates polled 1,101 American voters and found that 72 percent strongly support more pollution controls, 70 percent strongly support protecting public lands like monuments and wildlife refuge areas, and 66 percent support the expansion of wind, solar, and renewable energy development. Sixty percent of voters surveyed also said they strongly supported setting limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants — a number that rose to 82 percent when including voters who said they somewhat support that proposal.

Republicans in Congress oppose every one of the initiatives that the voters favored by a majority. Our electoral system is clearly broken, and it’s not just the whining of sore loser Democrats. The polls bear us out. I would guess that polls taken involving any number of issues beyond the environment would show similar results.

True, meaningful campaign finance reform has always been at the top of my “most important issues” list. We need to overturn Citizen United, but we must go beyond that to do even more to take huge sums of private money out of our elections.

 The glitch in the Matrix can be repaired, but it will take political courage to fix it, and sadly, courage in Washington today is in very short supply.

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