Unfortunately, the national political revolution will not be televised. After Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders lost the New York primary, many analysts, including myself, are ready to call the race. Hillary Clinton’s commanding lead in both pledged delegates and superdelegates has all but put the nomination out of reach. And while Sanders has done an admirable job of moving Clinton further to the left, the fact remains that registered New York Democrats weren’t “Feeling the Bern.”
And even if Sanders had won, as I mentioned in last week’s column, he would be nothing without a supportive Congress, and that is unlikely to change in most congressional districts. However, New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District looks like it might be about to feel the ripple effects of Sanders’ revolution. The district is made up of parts of Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties. Since roughly 1990, the district has been under the control of one the most powerful political machines in the United States.
Currently, Donald Norcross is serving as the representative for the district, which seems a little fishy to me, since his brother George runs most of the financial dealings around the first legislative. George Norcross has his fingers in many different facets of the area, including Rowan University.
The political machine that runs South Jersey is more like a feudal kingdom from the hit HBO show Game of Thrones.
Into this current political climate steps Alex Law. In this columnist’s humble opinion, he offers a breath of fresh air to the regime.
For starters, Law is in favor of campaign finance reform. I have held the opinion that Citizens United was the worst Supreme Court verdict since Dred Scott, and Law would work to overturn it and get the near unlimited money supply out of politics.
He also wants to work on student loan reform. He talks about how unjustified it is that students borrow money for college loans at a higher rate than banks.
He urges for better care of soldiers that we have sent overseas to fight. Many of these young adults return home with crippling mental illnesses and are immediately sent to substandard government health facilities. They deserve better, and it’s up to us to provide those types of services.
He also wants to begin decriminalizing marijuana, arguing that both the criminalization of the drug and the war on drugs has led to nothing but negative side effects in American society. And for those of you who think that is baloney, let me provide you with a quote from John Ehrlichman, one of Nixon’s staffers, talking about how the drug war was started in the first place.
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
With the energy and a groundswell of young voters behind him, is it any surprise that he’s given Norcross fits? Even giving his positions nothing more than an eye test should tell you that unlike his primary opponent, he has new ideas on how to move his district forward.
All of these and more are the reasons I am throwing my support behind Alex Law in the Democratic Primary on June 7. To me, he represents the best shot that we as people have had in a while to unseat the representatives who win elections to avoid the unemployment line, rather than those who work for the good of the people who put them there in the first place.