Political change necessary for America


Andrew Rusk

Noam Chomsky has railed against political corruption, including gerrymandering and oppression of everyday citizens by elite members of society.

Nick Sallen, Copy Editor

Partisanship, political donations, poor leadership and a lack of transparency riddle the United States government, and I fear the lack of stability among our nation’s leaders could spoil the economic and social progress we’ve made in the last decade.

The first mistake we made as a country was electing Donald Trump into office. In less than a year of presidency, Trump has fired several of his staff members, others have resigned and the FBI’s investigation into the alleged collusion with Russia continues. While I like President Trump’s America-first mindset, I do not think he is fit for office. His ego is fragile, his decisions are impulsive, he threatens “fire and fury” on North Korea and acts childish, calling North Korea’s leader “rocket man.” Many members of Trump’s cabinet lack political experience and are merely wealthy friends with business interests who Trump has been promoting with his executive orders.

The second problem in the United States government is that neither Republicans nor Democrats are willing to compensate. Each party is trying to advance their own political agenda at the expense of the other, and in doing so more radical bills are being brought to a vote. For example, Republicans are working to ban abortion while Democrats work towards stricter gun control. While I don’t think a two-party Congress is ideal, I believe a two-party federal system can work if both parties can compromise and work together to create common sense, moderate bills that will promote economic and social growth.

The third problem is the wealthiest people rig elections and legislative actions to protect or benefit their investments, and in doing so, secretly run the United States. “Requiem for an American Dream” is a documentary of interviews given by Noam Chomsky, a professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who argues against the current United States democracy. Chomsky believes past and current policies have caused greater income and social inequalities than ever before. He believes the wealthy elite who possess a large concentration of power have twisted government officials into creating policies which yield even more profits for the elite, at the cost of the lower and middle class citizens. Chomsky says the wealthiest people hate democracies because it is a government system designed to give the people an opportunity to increase their financial status. He implies our current democracy rely isn’t a democracy, because the elite “are actually writing the laws of financial regulations.”

The belief of increasing wealth through democracy is commonly referred to as the “American dream.” Chomsky criticizes the American dream, saying that it is a fallacy to keep the middle and lower class hopeful of economic growth and a greater concentration of power by working hard. He argues that it is much harder to chase the American dream nowadays because the elite are raking in all the new wealth. Noam finishes by saying that “inequality has highly negative consequences on the society as a whole.”

Historically, Chomsky describes how elections have become increasingly reliant upon campaign donations, giving the wealthy more of an opportunity to buy out politicians. Chomsky also describes how social and equality progress only happens when the people rise up against the elite class. After winning elections, Chomsky describes how politicians rig elections through gerrymandering, campaign donations and favors.

Ultimately, Chomsky believes democracy is a constant struggle between freedom and oppression, the average worker and the wealthy elite. Democracy is designed to give the people equal power, but the elite don’t want that. Chomsky implies that as long as the people remain politically subdued, the elite will continue to profit while the middle class shrinks and the lower class expands.

The final problem is a lack of communication. Both Republicans and Democrats share at least one concern, which is a lack of government transparency. For example, Trump is unwilling to show his tax returns, white house visitor logs are not available to the public anymore, questionable Mar-a-Lago funding with taxpayer money. All this and I have yet to mention Russia.

Government transparency needs to be a cornerstone of our democracy. Without it, government officials lose credibility, and unethical dealings can be made. Our nation’s representatives need to be as transparent as possible in defense of democracy.

Nick Sallen is a copy editor for Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]