Why Corruption in Washington is the First Issue

One week after announcing my entry into the Massachusetts race for U.S. Senate, many people have asked where I stand on the issues followed by a list of the usual suspects that are important to them. As a politician, I could simply respond with the usual soundbite policies, but I am not just a politician. I am also a scientist, and as such I want to be very clear about where I stand on each and every issue.

Over the course of my campaign, I intend to address each issue starting with those that I think are most clear and then work down to those that will require more consideration. To begin, I want to explain in more detail why I think the system of corruption in Washington is the first issue.

The number one reason why the problems facing our country have gone largely unaddressed is not because we lack the ability to solve them. It is because the corrupting influence of money in politics has systematically distorted the reality of each issue.

From climate change to gun safety, health care to banking regulations, education to immigration, national debt to entitlements, there is not a single major issue that has not been grossly manipulated by the huge amounts of money flowing into the campaigns of our elected officials.

The result is a Congress where our representatives now spend 30 to 70 percent of their time simply dialing for dollars and where legislation is written by the very industries they are charged with regulating. This is not how our representative democracy was designed to operate. This is corruption and before we can realistically tackle any other issue it has to stop.

From women’s suffrage to the civil rights movement, we have brought an end to inequalities that tarnished the true nature guaranteed by our constitution. But, never before have we seen over 99 percent of our country without any real voice in Congress. This right to equal representation is not just some lofty ideal, it is ironclad.

There are a wide range of proposals for bringing and end to this legalized bribery, including new legislation like The American Anti-Corruption Act and The Government By the People Act, as well as calls for a convention to amend our Constitution — all which I strongly advocate for. Yet, I believe there is something even more fundamental at stake.

The reason why big money is now the determining factor in elections is because we, the people, have become inaccessible. As our dissatisfaction with Congress reaches historic levels, we tune politics out more and more, leading campaigns to spend increasing amounts of money to reach us. Of course the more money spent, the more disgusted we become, leading to a reinforcing decline in the quality of American politics. This simple truth is our opportunity.

If we can once again provide value for participating in democracy, then we can not only reverse the trend of money in politics, but we can restore equal representation for all. I do not believe we have to wait for new laws or an amendment to make this happen right now, which is why I have designed my campaign the way that it is.

There are many who believe that Americans simply do not care; that there is no fight left in us against a system that appears too powerful to overcome. I believe we have only lost our way, and when refocused, we will fight for what is right, and win. Just as we always have.

Bruce Skarin is a Massachusetts independent candidate for US Senate. To Learn more about his campaign visit: www.bruce2014.org.