Beyond the point of no reform

America needs a revolution.

Nothing less than the overthrow of the creatures commandeering our public institutions will do. (I use the word “creatures” deliberately, because not all of those doing the commandeering take a human form. When the majority of judges on the highest court in our land define “We the People” they include things. Things created and operated by actual people, namely corporations.)

Defining things as people and bestowing on those things what amount to full rights of citizenship does horrific violence to the concept of democracy. It leaves us with a rigged political system, one where the supposed representatives of “We the People” shamelessly and shamefully cater to a wealthy few and ignore the wishes and needs of the masses. From the annals of Academics Confirming What Already is Obvious, a Princeton University study concludes that America no longer qualifies as a democracy.

I’ve spent the better part of my adult life tracking the money in politics, shining light on it, and advocating for campaign finance reform. Hard as it is to come to terms with and painful as it is to say, we are beyond the point where campaign finance can be reformed. That’s because we do not have campaign financing any more. We have legal bribery. There’s no reforming bribery. It has to be outlawed. It must be abolished.

For this to happen, America’s dormant revolutionary spirit must be reawakened. Say the word revolution today and people squirm, seemingly forgetting that the U.S. is the product of revolt against a king’s power. For too many of us, revolution sounds uncomfortably subversive. We overlook for comfort’s sake that our nation’s founders were nothing if not subversive.

Thomas Jefferson believed each generation should have its own revolution and went so far as to suggest that every generation should tear up the Constitution and start over. Jefferson famously said that expecting each new generation to forever live by the customs and laws of past generations is like expecting adults to wear the same clothes that fit them as children.

Jefferson had to have known he was speaking not only to his living fellow countrymen, but to future generations as well. His unquestionably subversive, revolutionary thinking is still there for us to ponder.

You have to admit, the clothes no longer fit.

Yes, American needs a revolution.