Dear Editor: Enlightenment thought played a role in shaping historical events and promoting understanding of their significance. Enlightened thinkers gave us the idea that nation-states are accountable to their citizens. The idea is that, in principle, basic rights and liberties should be distributed equally; within the political sphere equality reigns.

The reality is that many democracies have sometimes accommodated egregious political inequalities that have brought about events like the Emancipation Proclamation, trade unions, women suffrage and 1960s civil rights movement.

In recent times we have seen four economic bubbles that have crashed the economy and caused enormous human suffering.

But the greatest shadow to fall across the nation was the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court in 2010.

Not since the 1890s with the railroad, timber, oil and steel barons have plutocracies had such control of government. Not since slavery have we seen such stratification of society and the siphoning of the GNP into offshore banks.

Journalism failed the American people during the last election and we are struggling with the aftershocks of "alternative facts." It is no longer a matter of sheer volume of media controlling the message but its factualness. We need to return to the era where campaigners had to deliver their messages face to face to the public and be accountable to their constituents, where every citizen could make their voices heard and get questions answered.

Open town hall meetings and mikes are a thing of the past. When campaigners/officials do appear they control the conversation by screening people and deciding who will have the right to ask a question.

The only way to make our voices heard again is to repeal Citizens United.

Appreciate these insights? Get Cap Times opinion sent daily to your inbox

David Parker

Madison

Send your letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.