We have six major issues to solve in America, they affect every other aspect about our lives, and they are the reason we haven't succeeded in solving other major issues.
The first three, which are the most important, are: 1) Campaign Finance, 2) the Revolving Door and 3) the Consolidation of Media.
1) Campaign Finance affects everything. Every policy and decision that matters gets warped in favor of whoever has the most money to spend on politicians, whether or not you vote for a democrat or republican, because both have the incentive to get re-elected and under our current system that desire forces them to focus on who's funding them, rather than the general populace. Therefore, policies lean more in their favor because if they don't, the rich will just fund someone else who will favor them.
2) The Revolving Door is also a part of the centralization of power because people are put into positions where they face a conflict of interest. Ex: Working for a corporation, then being put into a position that regulates said corporation, then going back to work for said corporation, give a financial incentive to have a bias to the corporation, thus directing more power and money to that corporation.
3) The Media has become centralized, thus their narrative is less diverse. Its focus is on profits instead of reporting, creating an atmosphere that favors entertainment more than informing the public, which is its societal function. As well, media do not report about certain corporations for fear of losing funding through advertising. This has been seen on cable news channels more than anywhere else, and has had an effect on the psychology of America.
These three issues have consolidated an immense amount of power into the hands of very few people, an “Elite” you could say.
After resolving these, we must fix the structure of our government. The manipulation that has happened to our democracy has allowed the government to become highly unaccountable to the American people. These manipulations include: 4) Gerrymandering, 5) Election Fraud, and 6) Open Debates.
4) Gerrymandering distorts and manipulates our democracy. It disenfranchises voters and allows politicians to manipulate elections in their favor, against the will of the people, by drawing districts however they want.
5) Election Fraud is completely unethical. It is literally the stealing of political positions. This cannot be allowed because it is another form of taking or holding on to power that people did not actually entitle to the individual who won a rigged election.
6) Open Debates are an important part of our democracy. They allow the American people to become informed of our political situations from different perspectives. If other perspectives are not allowed in, diverse concepts and solutions are not heard about. This lack of competition allows politicians who may not have the best ideas or interest to obtain power without challenge.
These six issues take precedent before any other issues, because they are the reasons we can't solve any other issues.
This is why our Federal Reserve is corrupt and has no transparency. 76% of the board directors of the Federal Reserve are presidents or CEOs of companies that the Federal Reserve is supposed to regulate.
It is why banks like HSBC can get away with laundering money to terrorists and drug cartels, and not go to jail, whereas you could spend years in prison for possessing a small amount of pot.
It is why we have the largest prison system in the world, because corporations profit from their labor and how many prisoners they have.
It is why marijuana and hemp (a plant that isn't even a drug) are illegal, even though they provide endless benefits to a society.
It is why we have low wages and high unemployment, because our trade and tax policy export jobs to places like China so corporations can profit off of the cheap labor.
It is why there are 24 empty homes for every homeless person in America.
It is why America’s healthcare is 38th in quality, yet we pay twice as much as France which is number 1, or the UK which is 18th with a single payer system.
It is why we have a Monsanto lobbyist as the head of the FDA, allowing GMO's to be allowed in our food despite the danger they pose.
It is why the “American society of civil engineers” currently gives America a D grade on its infrastructure.
It is why we waste so much money on an illegal immigration policy that is completely ineffective.
It is why the U.S. is 17th in education, even though we annually pay $2,000 more per child than Finland, which is number 1.
It is why we don't address our environment, even though signs such as extreme weather and erratic temperatures are becoming more obvious.
It is why we aren't able to move forward on our energy policy, even though current policies have proven to be incredibly harmful to the lives of Americans.
It is why we are losing more and more civil liberties every day, and turning our country into a police state.
It is why we are caught in endless war, bombing at least five countries and gearing up for war in another.
It is why we have a $16.4 trillion debt and a $1 trillion deficit.
It is why we are 94th in income inequality, where the top 1% own 40% of all the wealth and the bottom 80% own 7% of all the wealth.
This is our system right now. Money equals influence, and that influence over the government causes money to be directed toward whoever is spending it on candidates in the first place. Those that legally bribe politicians get a higher return on their investment, so they end up having more money to spend during the next election cycle. Those same politicians then put corporate employees in regulatory positions, giving more power to corporations. That specifically has aided in the consolidation of media, because media employees end up in positions at the FCC, and those owners get to consume more of the market through deregulation, leading to less diverse media and a less informed public.
The issues mentioned above have given politicians enough power to control their own political careers outside of what the American people want. How else do you get a Congress with a 10% approval rating to end up with a 90% re-election rate. Not through a democracy, but through campaign funding, closed media, gerrymandering, election fraud and closed debates, all of which have seen a consistent increase in recent years.
This isn't a democracy anymore, this is fascism. It is the merging of business and state through corruption, as well as the centralization of power over a country through wealth and political manipulation.
This is the silver bullet: Conflict of interest. It is what we need to fix immediately. If we don't solve this problem, I am left without ideas or hope and I fear that all is lost.
In the words of Horace Mann: "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity."