Studying election returns, I’m once again struck by the way the issues are being discussed. I’m all for better health care access, voting rights and other hot-button topics.

But, these are all symptoms of a bigger problem: If Democrats/Progressives succeed in reforming health care access, it’s still a band-aid. The real problem is corporate control of American politics, which gives them a great deal of control over our lives. The root of the problem with too-expensive health care is for-profit insurance companies. So, yes, single-payer health insurance might take care of that problem.

But then there are the rest of the corporations, like big pharmaceuticals, medical instrument makers and others. What about Monsanto/Bayer fighting to control agriculture? What about media outlets controlling the news we hear and how we hear it? While lobbyists for big business have been part of American politics for a long time, the Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court gave them the ability to increase their influence more than we could have imagined in a democracy like ours.

I haven’t been hearing much about it during this campaign season. Bernie talks about it, but not many others who have the capability to influence legislation. The freedom of big money to manipulate politics is a poison to real democracy. So, get the big money out of politics, and its influence out of government. That’s the first step to restoring healthy debate and freedom to vote, that’s what ensures democracy.

Talk to your representatives and ask them to make election reform and lobbying reform a top priority.

Lindy Biggs

East Montpelier

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