The 14th Amendment in the United States Constitution allows for each American citizen to receive due process of law. This principle of our democracy is of the most fundamental because it provides each American with equal access to the rights and responsibilities given to them as citizens of this great nation.
The most important responsibility for any American is to vote in each election. Our government receives its power from the consent of governed. Without participation of the people, our governing institutions lose legitimacy amongst the our people.
Each year, unfortunately, our political process seems to become more beholden to the special interests who can generate millions of dollars to buy influence with our nation's elected officials. Money is tainting our politics, causing many to abandon their civic responsibilty to vote because they feel their participation means little.
Not every American is fortunate enough to write large checks to leaders in order to receive the opportunity to chat with their Congressman. This fact begins the problem of access based on wealth.
There is unequal access to our political leaders. Those with the means to buy influence spread their wealth amongst the elected. The average American does not receive equality in our system because they can not "buy" their way into speaking with their elected representative.
The growing influence of money in politics is demonstrated by a recent report of Democracy North Carolina. In the past four years, PAC money has doubled and will continue to influence our electoral process until meaningful campaign finance reform is passed.
North Carolina is not the only state to face this problem. All across the country, money is playing a major role in the policy decisions made by elected representatives.
It is time to bring the 14th Amendment into the political debate and allow equal access by returning power to the people.