Sunday, June 7, 2015

Letter to the Editor of the Victoria Advocate

Editor, the Advocate:

It was with a considerable amount of amusement that I read the recent letters from Allen Novosad and Charles Clapsaddle.

Both identify a real and worsening problem: uncompromising political discord. Both identify a culprit: one of the major political parties. Both identify the reason: a fundamental change in the makeup of those parties, even stating in identical words that they have been "hijacked by radicals." It is ironic, then, that they are both correct in that political dysfunction is smothering the government's ability to work effectively.

While many people are herded into two large factions to squabble about petty issues, our resources, natural and human, are being despoiled by a tiny group of people wielding almost unimaginable power. This struggle is reminiscent of the old adage "divide and conquer."

Though both parties claim to represent the people, in reality, both are beholden to the interests of this economic elite above and against the public at large. Martin Gilens, author of the Princeton oligarchy study - and who literally wrote the book on the subject, had this to say: "There are a set of economic issues on which the Democratic Party is more ... supportive of the needs of the poor and middle class ... it's by no means a strong relationship. Both parties have, to a large degree, embraced a set of policies that reflect the needs, preferences and interests of the well to do."

When asked about the reasons for this, he remarked, "... two crucial factors. One ... is the role of money in our political system, and the overwhelming role that affluent individuals and organized interests play ... the second thing is the lack of mass organizations that represent and facilitate the voice of ordinary citizens. Part of that would be the decline of unions in the country ... over the last 30 or 40 years. And part of it is the lack of a socialist or a worker's party."

If you want a true democratic revolution, if you want a political party truly independent from our current system, if you want a voice anywhere in government, check out the platform and principles of Socialist Party USA.

John Schlembach, Victoria
May 8, 2015 at 4:09 p.m.   The Victoria Advocate

(John is the Socialist Party organizer in the Victoria Area)

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