Vote against one-party rule

Published 6:58 am Thursday, October 18, 2018

When all power is vested in one political party, democracy is endangered. We now have President Trump in control of both the House and the Senate and Gov. Bevin with the Kentucky House and Senate. This is particularly risky at a time when there are big gaps between the very rich and the rest and when unlimited amounts of money can be spent on elections.

Big money can fund a candidate and then lobby for laws that benefit its interests. Big money and politicians tied to it often use negative campaigns to smear opponents, to raise fear and even to egg voters on to hate and scapegoat those different from themselves.

Democracy need not be so polite as to bore the socks off everybody, but it is not entertainment. It thrives on responsible participation, listening to others and making choices. The world is not a simple place where solutions to problems are self-evident.  Good solutions come with the battle of ideas, reason and consultation with experts.  Good solutions don’t come with ramming things through, using fear tactics, name-calling and arm-twisting legislators to follow the party line.

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Preserving one-party control of governmental power should not be the goal. Using government to help all citizens to live safe, meaningful, productive lives is what’s important. Our form of democracy needs citizens to pay attention to what is going on and to vote. Are elected officials doing their jobs well? Are they still listening to everyone’s needs? Are they concerned about the future?

Many aren’t. Money is being used to favor the very rich and special interests over the needs of ordinary people. Tax cuts are used to ensure the richest 5 percent and big corporations are not paying their fair share. By these lopsided tax cuts and other tax favoritism, the power of government is being starved of revenue to invest in infrastructure, health and education.   

Favoring bigger profits for large corporations and billionaires, sensible and essential regulations of pollution, food safety and financial services are being cut.

Do you care about our democracy and how it is meant to balance the rights of individuals with the needs of the community as a whole? If so, vote against one-party rule, against the corruption of power and for people over money.

Margaret Gardiner