One recent morning, while rushing around getting ready for work, I caught MSNBC's Morning Joe interview with Buddy Roemer. "Buddy who" you may ask? If you've never heard of Buddy Roemer, you are probably not alone. Better yet...did you know he is running for president? If not, that is not surprising either. And as I see it, that IS part of the problem with our political system today.
Buddy Roemer served four terms as an US Congressman and was the Governor of Louisiana from 1988-1992. The former conservative Democrat is now a Republican. He is not a typical GOP presidential candidate. He is an outspoken critic of the bank bailouts, and is sympathetic to the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Although I am not necessarily saying I would vote for Mr. Roemer, his candidacy for president has captured my attention. His absence from the GOP Debates is a peculiar thing. PoliSci 101: You've gotta have a lotta money to be a successful presidential candidate. PoliSci 102: You must play by the rules to win. That is, the elite's rules. Buddy Roemer isn't playing by their rules, and has been penalized by being excluded as a legitimate participant in the race. He is perhaps a little too forthright in his opinions. His populist streak is probably more than a little off-putting by the "Blue-Blood Country Club & Trust-Fund Baby" types. Mr. Roemer persuasively argues that money has corrupted our political process. He has decided to limit all individual donations to his campaign at $100.00, which severely limits his ability to raise comparative and competitive sums of money.
A lot people naively believe that our democracy is as straight-forward as a person throwing their hat into the ring, stating what they believe, debating the important issues, and then voters deciding who wins. Sadly, it's more about raising hundreds of millions of dollars, garnering the support of the real power-brokers and acquiescing to the gatekeeper's demands and expectations. Violate these rules, and you have a candidate like Buddy Roemer. Censorship by any other name. Mr. Roemer will not be invited to have a seat at the table unless he does it "their way." So much for real and substantive political dialogue.