Saturday, March 25, 2017

How do we take big money out of politics? You just did.

The defeat of the American Healthcare Act (aka TrumpCare, RyanCare, or TRyanCare) was a win for people who don't want to see tens of thousands of people left out of a basic need of all citizens.  But it was more than that; it was the culmination of three months of concentrated grass roots engagement and activism by voters who, like me, just showed up.  And that's the bigger lesson in all of this.

Campaign finance is a mess.  Corporate and fringe political interests have held sway for far too long.  But in 2017, people have proved that no amount of money can outweigh genuine engagement on the part of the electorate.

Our message was clear.  Our efforts were focused.  Our determination was palpable.  It changed things.  And it didn't cost a dime.

The conversation around politics has changed since election day.  The ubiquitous "they" is no more.  We are talking about policy in the first person.  "How will this affect us?"  "Do we need this?"  "What can I do?"  There is no greater power in the American model than an informed and energized voting public.

This is just the first step.  A victory feels good.  But now the veil has been pulled back.  We see the bad actors, the gross incompetence, and the real interests that are driving our legislatures and national government into the ground.  There's a lot more work to do.  So, take a moment, look around, and savor the victory.  Then roll up your sleeves.  We've got more to do.  And we can't be bought.

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