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Letter: Americans have forgotten democracy

(Mark J. Terrill | AP) A U.S. flag covers the outfield during the national anthem as F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft fly over prior to a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres on Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Los Angeles.

“Government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Abraham Lincoln first spoke these words at Gettysburg and they are widely considered the definition of democracy. Many Americans seem to have forgotten about this — to our detriment.

In 2018, 96% of the candidates for representative or senator who spent the most money were elected. Do big donors get favors in return? For example the lowest individual and corporate tax rates of any major country? Or, three times the expenditure on armed forces than any other country and the equivalent of the next 10 countries combined? Surprise — 70% of retired generals become lobbyists.

Health care companies were the biggest political contributors at the last election. Coincidentally, our doctors, hospital administrators and insurance executives are the highest paid in the world, and drugs cost twice as much as in Europe. We are alone among the 33 most developed nations not to provide universal health care and our life expectancy at birth is almost two years less.

We need to get back to “government for the people.” Let’s start by voting out all incumbents.

Frank Fish, Park City

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