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  • I wish I could be as optimistic as Fred seems to be that a return to "citizen government" can happen any time soon. The best I can hope for is better information about political races (such as the nonprofit independent Project VoteSmart so ably provides – check it out, support it), greater participation in politics, and stronger voter turnouts.

    As for voting, it can be hard to see that it makes a difference, although the Tea Party Congress we elected in 2010 certainly has made a mark in promoting regressive policies and blocking progressive ones. The same powers-that-be that bankrolled those candidates continue to drive policies that shape every aspect of our lives and imperil our nation's future.

    Across the country, many people are awaking to how the system (not just governments) has shafted them. In response, our grand old minority party has managed to restrict or roll back voting rights in all but 12 states, as the graphic above shows (citation below).

    Democracy is under assault by well-funded private groups such as ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), whose model legislation was responsible for state laws limiting access to voting (and lots of other antidemocratic initiatives). Other groups such as the ALEC-allied Heartland Institute peddle propaganda on behalf of industrial interests that do not want to be held responsible for violating the environment and endangering public health.

    It's a big job to keep the public ignorant and misinformed, but there is an awful lot of money that is being deployed for that purpose. It's that money that eventually shapes government policies.

    So don't just moan about the government. Follow the money. Oh, and also move yours.

    @image: Mother Jones, UFO Sightings Are More Common Than Voter Fraud
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