By Frank Wessling
It’s still almost a year and a half until the national elections in November 2012 yet the news is already heavy with stories of candidate activity. Especially here in Iowa, where our party caucuses next February draw so much attention, we can expect the usual flood of political traffic.
Here is something to keep in mind for the coming months. Most of this activity will be driven by money and people who have money. The talk, the issues, the policy proposals, the promises, all are shaped to fit the desires of money.
This is not cynical, only a reality in American life, especially since the Supreme Court has knocked down almost all limits to the way money can influence our politics. What it means for us as Catholics is that it becomes harder to ensure that justice is done. It becomes almost impossible to effectively hear what Scripture calls “the cry of the poor,” those who are particularly close to God because of their need.
Virtually every candidate we will hear from needs to satisfy people with money. He and she can keep every other constituency that doesn’t fit this imperative in the waiting room. Money is the special interest that gets first hearing.
That’s why the Church tries to get a voice into the national political conversation: to speak for those who don’t have the money megaphone.