This Tuesday, January 10th, on the eve of the New Hampshire primaries, Deepak Chopra sat down with Dylan Ratigan, host of MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show and founder of the Get Money Out Movement and Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group to discuss the detrimental role of big money in politics and its consequences for the American system.
Both guests have penned books on the subject recently; Arianna’s Third World America and Dylan’s Greedy Bastards are both available to purchase online at abchome.com. The first ten buyers of Dylan’s book will receive a signed copy!
Their conversation, which is part of the “Connecting the Dots” series, took place in front of a full house in Deepak HomeBase (located on the mezzanine of ABC Carpet & Home), but was available to livestream for a global audience. We’ve got the stream to share, below!
It was unanimously agreed upon: until money is completely out of the governmental process, the real issues at stake become compromised.
To start, politics have become big business; the candidate with the most money is often the winner, and once in office, they’re consistently tasked with raising thousands of dollars weekly to keep their position (a Ratigan Report post gave the figure of $10,000 a week for a US House Representative). Which, of course, leads back to soliciting funds from special interest groups, corporations, and beyond. Thus, the interests and alignments lie not in the electorate, but rather, these third parties. This “lack of alignment,” as Dylan characterizes it, is the root of all evil: the issues become secondary to the interests. Moreover, money has turned into a political bludgeon of sorts. Dylan explained that should a candidate speak truly candidly – following conscience, not contingent – on an issue, “He would run substantial risk for the opposition to raise an enormous amount of money to annihilate him.”
Arianna, Dylan, and Deepak concurred: this creates an American system that is woefully broken. “The government is the beginning: it’s like a set of dominos,” Dylan commented. Arianna expounded on this, explaining that the dominance of money, not issues, has lead to a myriad of problems in the United States – from our healthcare system to education to banking. Making (welcome) light of the situation she explained, “America is now number ten in upward mobility. We are behind Spain and France. To put that in context, that is a little bit like France being behind us in croissants and afternoon sex.”
Yet all wasn’t gloom and doom. The talk concentrated on a message of empowerment, the first of which was to urge legislators to Get Money Out in 2012. Go to Get Money Out to sign this petition and learn more.
Want to be further informed? Watch the livestream, above, and visit Greedy Bastards for additional information.
-Reveal, photos by Warwick Brown