Imagine having to prove that you voted for the right party to obtain a driver's license or to collect social security, to have your papers processed in court, or to get a guaranteed loan for a house. What if you had to pay a bribe or a kickback to the office holders?
That's how things operate in banana republics around the world. Supporters get jobs, opponents do not. It's one reason Andrew Jackson holds such a special place in the current White House. That was the man who relished the spoils system of government, of insiders and outsiders, of exclusive access, and lest we forget -slavery.
Those things are not accidental coincidences. They are part and parcel of an authoritarian way of doing things, of seizing control of other people. It is no wonder that the current administration praises dictators and leaders who abuse their people and profit from criminal activity. These are the models for the kind of kleptocracy we are facing today.
The Kremlin is the mode of privatization we are facing, where national parks, federal agencies, and the nation's infrastructure is being eyed for takeover by cronies. That sort of opportunistic dealing would be unthinkable in the past 50 years, but this administration is putting it on the table. We have to fight this. To keep future generations of Americans free from the robber barons of the present, who are trying very hard to serve themselves and their friends to the bounty of hard-working Americans.
Be vigilant, be prepared, be connected to other people. Together we can stop this. But we also need to think of the future and how to prevent it from happening again. We need better anti-corruption laws, and more work on embedding the kind of behaviors we should expect from elected officials, making it harder to do self-dealing.
For this reason, we support the efforts of those who are working on improving our laws to prevent this kind of catastrophe. The National Task Force on the Rule of Law & Democracy
is an excellent endeavor at this critical moment in our nation's history. We fully endorse it's objectives and the methods by which it is seeking to implement them. Please join us in supporting this work. Corruption must end.