Am I too young to be so jaded?

8″ x 10″ oil on canvas, $220 ($50 donated to Democracy Matters)
See all paintings available for sale.

My dad and I try to get together when he is off on Fridays. So yesterday I ended up tagging along with him while he visited with old friends he worked with 30+ years ago when he first got into car sales. I wasn’t expecting that I would sit in the enormous plush office of the owner of the Walmart of car lots and talk at length about corporate corruption and politics and how it all effects the environment, the media, policy, and everyday people. This friend of my father’s admitted that he “wouldn’t last 2 weeks in the corporate world” where an individual’s voice may be compromised so as not to rock the boat. His assessment is based on years of first hand experience with various committees and boards. The behind the scenes struggle to balance social ethics and integrity when your multi-million dollar employer is dangling a secure and luxurious retirement before your eyes is more than many can resist. The conversation certainly wasn’t a capitalism bashing session; far from it actually. Although the three of us did speak frankly about motivates and self-serving human nature that seeps into not only the business world, but also into politics.

I’m painfully aware of how loudly money speaks. Grassroot level efforts represent the interests of those effected by a reality compelling them to rally for change. Unfortunately, it takes a disproportionate amount of the blood, sweat, and tears of the little guy to create equal results that large amounts of money can magically make happen before your eyes. It’s sad really, because I find the disparity in interest between many of those with the control and those with smaller voices is ethics and values.

Let me venture, for just a moment, into the wonderful world of Ashley’s ideological mind. What if monetary contributions to political campaigns, for example, did not play a part of the outcome of elections? I know; who’s going to cover the campaign costs? It’s a system I haven’t mentally attempted to restructure. Nonetheless, it’s no secret that those with the means (many of whom are in the corporate world) alter the outcomes with major contributions in favor of their own interests.

I try to keep my posts as concise as possible, so I will stagger the details of this topic for another day. But I want to tie this issue back to an organization that is putting a strong foot forward in bringing transparency and fairness to the election process with a focus on engaging youth.

“Democracy Matters informs and engages college students and communities in efforts to strengthen our democracy. With campus-based chapters throughout the country, we focus on the issue of private money in politics and other pro-democracy reforms. Democracy Matters in this way encourages the emergence of a new generation of reform-minded leaders.”

Although a bit long, their video is a fabulous description of their mission and work. Check it out and spread the word if you are someone you know can take advantage of organization.

2 responses

  • Thank you for your beautiful picture and your passion about getting rid of the domination of private money in politics. Our student organization, Democracy Matters, knows that there actually IS a new way to get big money out of politics. It is called “Fair and Clean Elections” and is a system of public financing of campaigns that is now the law in various forms in AZ, ME, CT, NC, NJ, NM, VT and in Albuquerque and Portland OR. It means people can run without being beholden to rich funders. Check it out at We can take back our democracy!

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