By Annabel Park
There is clearly a need to find an effective way to channel the public's anxiety, anger and fear about how big money is destroying our democracy and country. Exactly how to do that is still an ongoing quest for many of us.
We have a rare opportunity here. Not only because of the Montana Supreme Court's recent ruling defying Citizens United, but because reporters are obsessively covering the impact of super Pacs on this election. The problem is already in the news everyday. Just do a google search for "super pac." We are just not taking full advantage of this moment. Not yet anyway.
This is what is clear to me: We have to ramp up the protests into an uproar. We need a big public demonstration of our outrage. In addition, we need a long-term plan to win against our fierce and determined opponents. I love FDR's term for them: economic royalists. Without a plan, we keep tripping over ourselves for short-term gain (often measured by media hits) but not really gain any ground on this issue. I say we need to win not because this is a game, but because this is a power struggle over who governs: We the People or a handful of billionaires.
Like so many, I battle being demoralized because I feel like our democracy is crumbling before our eyes while we continue to debate messaging and framing. For spiritual uplift and to wash away the dirty feeling after reading about the super Pacs in the news this morning, I read FDR's 1936 convention speech. It never fails to give me some clarity.
For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital - all undreamed of by the Fathers - the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.
There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small-businessmen and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer. Even honest and progressive-minded men of wealth, aware of their obligation to their generation, could never know just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of things.
It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.
Hope you can join us on Thursday if you're in the DC area. If not, please organize a flash rally of real people in front of the nearest federal court building in your area or another event to inspire local organizing to overturn the Citizens United ruling. We need you to be the Paul Revere in our struggle -- go out and tell your neighbors that the economic royalists are coming for our government and they're here to stay.