Curtain Raiser

Let’s Get Back to the Money Trail, Colltalers

Three months from election day, and despite much punditry and finger waving from the top of high horses, we’re far from having a grip on the single, most substantial issue affecting the presidential campaign: the money trail.
We were closer to tackle it two weeks ago, when there was some pressure on the GOP candidate to disclose a decade-worthy of tax returns. Somehow, another important but rather ill-timed issue popped up and got a hold of the public microphone.
Make no mistake, the issue of reproductive rights remains as relevant and worth fighting for now as it was three hundred years ago, during the Enlightenment Age, when many thought it’d be settled very soon.
But the way it derailed the debate over a presidential candidate’s secrecy and sense of entitlement, to the point of defiantly refuse to even discuss his offshore accounts and tax haven islands, can’t be perceived in any way as an accident.
And for what do we have to thank this break for? what have we learned about an ignorant bigot that we didn’t know already? That he’s a candidate to one of the Senate’s 100 seats? That he’s wealthy and has the support of the candidate to vice president?
What we don’t have any doubts about, but still need some transparent proof that can be published on the cover of every paper in the land, is account numbers, amounts, dates, anything that could be admissible in the court, of the law and the public opinion.
We don’t mean to underestimate the ability of the American people to understand who’s trying to hide and deceive, and what forces are behind this charade, propelling the campaign and dangerously fueling the idea that accountability equals class hatred.
But as it’s often the case, there’s nothing like having the irreversible solidity of a good, old fashioned piece of evidence, to back everything that’s been said, assumed, and believed to be true.
The scandal of our electoral process being hijacked by the power of money, and the immorality of having fortunes being secretly injected in the campaign is, of course, responsibility of both parties, their candidates, and our political elites.
However, it’s disingenuous to claim moral ground for charging one side for actively pursuing funds to be elected, while the other gets a free pass, just by the sheer availability of resources provided by his social stand and a wealthy political front.
It’s unlikely that from now until Nov issues such as Guantanamo, record defense spending, job creation and military spending, even availability of guns in American cities, immigration, and prison overcrowding, will be even touched by the candidates.
But money spent in the campaign trail, almost as the blood of bystanders spilled in the fusillade of American streets, has unfortunately become the driving force shaping our democracy. So if we have to stick to one single issue, that could be it.
We have changed the subject every time there was an attempt to discuss any of the matters listed above, and so many others. At the end of the day, it doesn’t make any difference whether we changed it because of an Akim or a Kardashian.
For the record, there’s urgency in making sure that every woman in this country will have the last word about what happens to her body, period. But if we don’t prioritize our demands, we may not even get into a position to be able to do it so.
As our electoral process became a buyers’ market, we need to concentrate our efforts in reversing it to a right of the people contest, along with getting this obscene ‘citizens united rule’ erased from our playbook.
A final word about the week that went by and took away one of the truly American heroes, Neil Armstrong. We’ve said it before, we’re no friend of the word, which has been tossed ever so casually throughout our daily lives.
But Armstrong did fulfill its classic definition. He personified the stoic, brutally focused, modest, and ultimately, became the epitome of human accomplishment that even before ancient Greece we’ve aimed to achieve and expected from our idols.
There were many of them in our space saga. But with Yuri Gagarin, Vladimir Komarov, and John Glenn, Armstrong composed the very best at the very top of them all, taking our spirit and physical presence the farther than any other.
As citizens of a peaceful world, at least in our own mind, we mourn and celebrate the life of Neil Armstrong, and to the first man on the moon, our heartfelt Thank You. Have a great end of August week. WC



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