Thursday, March 3, 2016

Justice and Liberty for All Regardless of Wealth

Did you know that some people pay money to get on the ballot? It rubs me the wrong way when a person pays to run for a government office. Person citizens, not corporation, should never have artificial barriers like money stand in the way of their participation in the political process. Even a flat broke homeless person should be able to run for office, regardless if they have any chance to win.

"Justice and liberty for all." should mean the liberty to participate in all political processes without class barriers. There was a time when only property owners were allowed to vote. Then more sections of the human population of this nation became included. Women and Black people and voting rights were front and center. Our people fought to include everyone.

1963 Civil Rights March
There is in my humble opinion one more group that has not been included. It is the ranks of the poor and homeless. Oh yeah, people of any stripe have a de facto right to vote. Anyone can become informed about the political process and insert themselves into it. Like I have been doing.

Everyone except for the poor and homeless can participate freely. I have a steady income of Social Security coming in, so I have the luxury of many hours to study all this complex system we have. I have time to go to rallies and conventions, but what if I didn't have that income? I remember last time I was homeless. All of my time was devoted to survival. Maslow's pyramid anyone? You've got to take care of those basic needs before you can devote any attention to other things, like politics. Between getting food, finding safe shelter on cold winters nights, trying to keep clean, looking for a job and keeping from being robbed of what little you have, one has precious little time for politics.

So just by the very fact that poor people and homeless people have no money, they are excluded from the political process, or are restricted to only voting, and nothing more. Even if they are mindful enough to vote, most have more pressing matters to deal with, basic survival.

No wonder a part of our corrupt political machine works to keep people poor. The corrupt ones get to have a huge portion of our citizenry, that can not defend themselves, to attack in political demagoguery. Some people use the condition of the poor as a perpetual problem to rally people against, but only do it for political gain. The poor are nothing but pawns in our civilization.

When people cry about civil rights, include the vast ranks of the poor. Do things that empower them, not disinfranchise them. They are our people, and have every bit as much a right to participate in every part of our political system as the next fellow.