CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Last spring, I ran in the Republican primary because, while our West Virginia's Second District Rep. Shelley Capito does a wonderful job representing the wishes of the nation's wealthy, she is ineffectual at dealing with the health, safety, educational, environmental and economic crises that the people in this district are living with every day.
During her 12 years of getting paid to represent the people of the Second District all of those measurements of well being having gotten worse, but her real constituents, the super wealthy, have made out like bandits. In fact, many of them are crooks. Less than 30 years ago, during the Savings and Loan Crisis of the Reagan administration, thousands of bankers were prosecuted and hundreds went to jail for fraudulent behavior very similar to what the Bush administration allowed bankers to get away with and which came close to causing the collapse of our entire economic system.
And through it all, there was Ms. Capito, supposedly protecting our interests in Washington, not only as our congressional representative, but even more so as a member of the financial services committee that is charged with ensuring that the banking sector played by the rules.
Either our representative was asleep at the wheel, or once again, she was taking care of her wealthy buddies who gave so much to her campaigns. They gave our representative thousands of dollars so that in turn she would help give them millions (of our tax dollars) in tax breaks, corporate welfare, and non-enforcement of financial, environmental, and health and safety rules. It is not a law of nature that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. In fact, for the 40 years before the 1980s, prosperity was growing for all Americans, especially the poorest among us. It is true that you get what you pay for, and wealthy individuals and corporations pay for our representatives election year after year.
Recently I looked up the meaning of the word "Republican." It is a person who supports government by the people, democracy, as opposed to rule by a monarchy. Obviously Ms. Capito is not a true Republican. She does the bidding of the kings of finance and corporate America. If she supported democracy she would work against the lie that corporations are people and that money equals speech. Today, money buys speech and the wealthy have used it to buy our politicians. Today it is government by the rich and for the rich. When they repeat the lies often enough, people begin to believe they are true. Their money buys them the loudest and slickest most honeyed voices.
Over and over they say that they are the job creators. Well, maybe in China. They repeat the lie that they got where they are because of hard work. The truth is they used their privilege and power to write the rules. And anytime someone even mentions the growing "income inequality" in our country, that person is drowned out by mean-spirited accusations of "class warfare" and "socialism."
The wealthy have been waging war on the rest of us since before the 1980s and they are winning. The truth is that by being their lackeys, Ms. Capito and her cohorts have turned our democracy into a plutocracy where government is run by the wealthiest individuals and their corporations. And Ms. Capito's answers to our problems? Lower taxes for the wealthy and fewer regulations. These are the same failed policies of the Bush Administration that created these problems.
The facts speak for themselves. If the incumbent supported democracy and respected her constituents, she would have debated me in the primary and Howard Swint, her Democratic opponent, over the last few months. If the incumbent respected her constituents, she would release her and her husband's tax statements.
It has been 12 years now. Are you better off? Do you feel more financially secure? Are your personal freedoms, civil liberties and right to privacy under attack? During her 12 years in Congress, the incumbent, by supporting tax cuts to the wealthy, by supporting two unfunded and immoral wars, by supporting a bloated military, and by not enforcing the financial regulations she was charged with upholding, the incumbent has made our national debt much worse and put our entire economy at risk.
During the last 12 years, the incumbent has become one of the wealthiest members of Congress, and her buddies have become even wealthier. It looks like legal bribery to me, and it has no place in a democracy.
I cannot vote for the incumbent because she has abandoned the Republican ideal of government by the people and for the people. Even when it goes against the welfare of most of her constituents, Ms. Capito works for the wealthy few that ensure her re-election time after time after time.
Davis, of Elkins, was a Republican candidate for Congress during the 2012 primary election.