Why do we allow millionaires and billionaires to run our government and dictate our future? According to Open Secrets, in 2018 the top three Senators and top three Representatives, Democrat and Republican, maintained an average net worth of $72.9 million and $180.5 million respectively. Gov. Ricketts is estimated at $50 million and since being elected still has yet to divest from his financial interests. Rep. Fortenberry of the first district is worth $3.6 million, the majority coming from “real estate” whatever that means. Sen. Fischer’s is $1.1 million also coming from real estate. Sen. Sasse is worth $0.7 million, Rep. Bacon $0.4 million, and Rep. Smith is $584,999. The origins of the Senate were to safeguard the minority, which in 1787 were plantation owners and aristocracy, an 18th century form of today’s Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and big business. Edmund Randolph, Virginia governor and delegate to the constitutional convention, stated that members of the Senate are “to restrain, if possible, the fury of democracy.” The House of Representatives was intended to be closer to the people, but protected slave states at a time when people of color were not counted as people. The big picture illustrates that we’ve always been controlled by the wealthy and it continues. While we struggle to pay our bills and our farms foreclose and jobs leave, our government sits on mountains of money they don’t know what to do with. It continues as you try to provide the best upbringing for your child possible as you struggle to maneuver through financial mechanisms put in place by politicians bought and paid for by corporate puppet masters who will squeeze every penny they can out of us as we lapse into a perpetual state of apathy and your child grow up and leave the state in search of some kind of future. We’ve allowed our state to be a testing ground for culture war issues where matters of religion, race, gender, and sexual orientation are elevated over our common desire to live our best lives, and now state legislators are refusing to provide healthcare to hundreds of Nebraskans through Medicaid expansion. Can we break the cycle of lethargy by mobilizing and demanding our politicians do their job or will we remain a cog in the wheel of the corporate elites who will continue to consolidate power and stop at nothing to amass more profits?
Jeffery Maddox II