There was a time when it was a common belief that the “Sport of Kings” had something to do with horses, but in our modern times, it could easily apply to politics.
Millionaires have been replaced by billionaires, and there is some evidence that a few are poised to be the first trillionaires.
Back in my early days in Chicago, while we had a strong county commission, the real power resided in the mayor’s office, select aldermen and very powerful financial special interests.
While working my way through six years of college, I was an unpaid associate with a state senator, and I was, as they say, “privy” to many closed door meetings and learned that corruption begins with special interests, and by watching the vote and who benefited, one need not be in attendance at all to understand the outcome.
I’ve known a few millionaires in my time, and the ones I most admired were the ones who did not give into the intoxicating rapture of wealth but realized that one keeps his balance as long as one remembers that “all of us are smarter than one of us,” and that arrogance and the belief of one’s own omnipotence should be resisted, for it drives away allies and interferes with purpose.
Using Chicago standards, I have found Florida cunning in politics to be rather clumsy, but with the influence of money, oddly effective.
The effects of money on the national scene is rather obvious, with many bills languishing in committee and never brought to the floor for a vote on merit.
Our Congress can find money for war but not our crumbling infrastructure. Special interests and defense contractors are the only ones who have the ear of Congress.
It is my fervent hope that whoever receives the honor of becoming commander-in-chief of this great nation realizes that the constant threat of war and instilling fear into the masses, dividing our nation, is unsustainable and will lead to unintended consequences.
Richard Nielsen, Royal Palm Beach