Thursday, October 13, 2011
Gary, I appreciate your efforts to demonstrate here in Steamboat for the Occupy Wall Street movement (“Gary R. Burman: Occupy Steamboat,” Wednesday’s Steamboat Today), but you could not be more wrong on a number of points. First, we are not a democracy. We are a constitutional republic. We do, however, have democratic principles. It is the people of this country who think like you that we are or are supposed to be a democracy that has gotten this country into the mess we are in today. By that, I mean we have allowed the federal government to step way out of its bounds of the 18 enumerated powers that have led to “big government,” which in turn leads to the very corruption you allude to by way of doing things it has no business being involved in. The departments of Education and Energy are prime examples. If we would stand our ground and force the government back into its constitutional bounds, there would not be all the money flowing to these special-interest groups and power brokers that corrupt the system. Therefore, the government would be returned to the people by way of the states and local governments for which the Constitution was designed and for which the people could keep a better eye on. And while I detest big money in politics as you do, the alternative is even worse, and that is why I believe the Supreme Court got it right on the question of corporate and union donations. As Chief Justice Roberts said, the government has no business regulating political speech no matter where it is coming from. Why? Because it would be like the wolf guarding the henhouse. The answer here is to unshackle our limitations to the process and make it all transparent as you mentioned. That part we agree on. You are also wrong that campaign funds need to be capped with every candidate having the same. Sorry, but money flows to the candidate with the best ideas, which is part of the democratic process, and capping them does nothing to stop the corruption that may come along for the ride. That will just drive it underground and destroy any chance at the transparency you desire.