Severe financial inequality and "money as speech" = US oligarchy (rule by the richest few).
Among the blog posts worth taking time to read are:
Erza Klein's: http://www.vox.com/2014/4/11/5581272/doom-loop-oligarchy
Matthew Yglesias': http://www.vox.com/2014/10/2/6889147/winship-tcherneva-inequality-debate
Kevin Drum's: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/09/rich-are-getting-richer-part-millionth
The only way to maintain our democracy is for ALL eligible voters to get informed and VOTE.