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America Has Become A Tyranny of the Few - But We Can Fight It


#1

America Has Become A Tyranny of the Few - But We Can Fight It

Katrina Gamble

We’re in the thick of the second post-Citizens United presidential campaign, and it’s already clear that allowing unlimited funds to influence political elections was a terrible idea.


#2

When TPTB get to microchipping everyone, then everyone will be registered to vote and everyone's vote will be registered.


#3

Registration should be automatic when a DL is applied for, or an ID. Voting should be mandatory. All voting should be done by paper ballots (It has proven to work extremely well in one of our states). The electoral college should be done away with: One vote, a majority wins, winner take all. Elections should stop running for a year or longer. These politicians get into office and start campaigning for the next one. 30 days should be plenty for anyone and even that's too long. Term limits for all of them: Two and out. No lifetime appointments to the bench for any judge--In fact, they should all be electable positions, not appointed, and have term limits. Corporations are not people--That is how insane this election process has become here. And for the record, this article is just a bit too much Polyanna and much more must change at the local levels, then state, before the real corruption can be taken headon. All this spacing is annoying and unprofessional.


#4

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#5

Thank you Katrina Gamble, for the fine article. I like this kind of thinking and the many well thought out responses here. It seems to me that what we need is something like South Africa's Truth And Reconciliation Commission to publicly deal with the many criminal issues this country has been involved in for many years going back at least to November 22, 1963. Something like an on going public forum for exposing criminality and addressing it before moving on with an extended period of voting.


#6

If every American voted, it would still result in either a Democrat or Republican winning. More people voting also translates into more of the same as most Americans have bought into the mainstream narrative of supporting either HRC or the next bozo who leads the Republican Party. Only the most naive Progressive out there can truly believe that Sander's won't get torpedoed by the DNC by the Spring of 2016. This will leave us with the usual choice between Arsenic and Cyanide come election day. Before we encourage everyone to participate in a broken system, we should first fix the system so that our votes actually matter.


#7

"Half of the funds supporting presidential candidates from both parties comes from a mere 158 families — a miniscule percentage of America’s 120 million households — as documented by a recent New York Times investigation. Largely white, older, male, and Republican, they are also unrepresentative of what our multicultural society looks like.

"As a result of this narrow group of donors controlling what’s on the political agenda, America has a fundamentally undemocratic system in which working class people and people of color are left on the margins, silenced in a political debate, they can’t gain access to — because they don’t have millions to share."

Exactamente!

Thank you, Ms. Gamble for making the composition of what passes for "Democratic consensus" clear for what it is. And it's chiefly because this white male older conservative demographic has written and controlled policy for so long that I 100% object to any language frames that conflate what it values, enforces, and makes into policy as being reflective of (all) Americans, or any variation on the collective implications found in the generic use of the pronouns of us/our/we.

When such time comes that genuine diversified decision-making bodies reflective of all of society's members come together to form decisions and policies... then I will accept the WE "signature." Prior to that, a very selective WE that endorses policies conducive to its own pro war and environmental ecocide proclivities does NOT speak for me and millions who share my sensibilities.

"Our America has become an oligarchy run by a tiny and overly privileged section of its population, whose lives and wishes for our nation are in stark opposition to the lives and dreams of the average American."

Yes! (to the above statement)


#8

Your first sentence says it all.

Since the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) was formed in 1985 the Democratic Party's mission has been to collect more corporate cash than the GOP and push the GOP further rightward by adopting last year's GOP agenda. The GOP has no choice except to move rightward if they want to differentiate the GOP from the Democrats.


#9

It's a funny thing but once a genii is let out of a bottle, it's quite difficult to put it back inside.

The analogy is meant to drive home what it means that positions that DO resonate with voters were heard, some energy was whipped up, and the fever pitch of the citizenry's sense of betrayal with Washington, D.C. "leadership as usual" will not go gently back into said bottle.

Now it's possible, sadly, even probable, that the neo-con brigade who likely represent Deep State and Deep Pocket interests will manage to entangle our nation's military in a bona fide World War III.

There's nothing so efficient as the declaration of war to serve as a bulwark against protests for fairer wages, cleaner rivers, better management of public assets, and so forth. Martial law is something that the authoritarians are no doubt salivating over.

While the "conventional wisdom" of the nation's prized journalists reinforces the idea that Sanders is not electable, it was these same voices that lied the case for War with Iraq, insist that the nation's faux capital economy has recovered, seldom connect climate chaos to oil or militarism or meat-eating, and generally LIE to placate the public or feed them so many false stories that lots of people, thinking they've lost their minds, now routinely ingest anti-depressant (and other mood-altering) drugs.

It works like all of these foreign wars. Did the U.S expect to meet its own caches of weaponry when the enemy du jour morphed into an ally, while "moderate rebels" suddenly turned into sworn enemies? In other words, the "law of unintended consequences" has a way of showing itself... and the disaffected masses, lest they be contained by Martial Law--are not about to return to another deadening version of "American Dynasty" where choice is inevitably limited to a Bush or a Clinton.


#10

I think you're one of this forum's more astute posters, but I also think you're rather trapped in a sports-style paradigm when you make statements like this.

This is why: You're setting up a team rivalry between the Dems and the Repugs and your argument is that it's the Dems--having sold out--that theoretically force the Repugs to move further to the right.

This frame demonizes Dems while either missing the fact that a greater power is calling the shots, or purposely keeping that Power invisible.

The 1980s were fraught with 2 imperatives that did much to lead to today's Inverted Totalitarian financial (and military-assisted) tyranny.

Foremost was the need to demonize Government. When government, which arguably is the force that represents The People's Interests is constrained (due to all of its imagined sins, transgressions, and insisted-upon incompetency), then nothing can stand up to Big Business Interests.

Second, the demonizing of Govt. and its various public services set the mood for deregulation. Deregulation, in the form of trade treaties, eviscerating the Glass-Steagall Act, shifting the media Fairness Doctrine, and "ending welfare as we know it," allowed for business to take over services that were formerly govt.-run.

That included militarism (where private outfits like Eric Prince's were paid 4X what typical soldiers were paid), and operations like Halliburton delivered everything from poorly designed showers (some soldiers were electrocuted) to soup at premium prices, and increasingly, public schools morphed into privately run charters. As many know, the Post Office is the next target.

Tons of money poured into Washington through lobbyists.

Incredible sums were needed to mount any successful campaign from congressman to senator to President.

The Supreme Court gave this "purchasing of political office" its legal imprimatur.

My point is that the stage was set for Big Money to control govt. functions, media, and any candidate's chance of winning office. And once a candidate is beholden to his or her funding sources, a little thing known as "quid pro quo" kicks in.

Thus when the People Magazine species of political commentary is emphasized along with team affiliations that tweak deep atavistic tribal loyalties, the true nature of corruption is hidden. Attention is riveted to the two teams on the field rather than those forces that conscript political potentials ONLY to those two theoretically opposed factions.

What is far more important than assigning relative indecency to one party over another is recognizing the dynamics of the game and who runs it.

Big Money has tainted it all; and Big Money renders elections a farce.

Blaming the Dems for what Big Money has done in the way of systemic corruption is either a flawed diagnosis, or one kept in play primarily to keep viewers' eyes off the real ball.

The rightward sweep is not due to the Dems. You're conflating effect with cause. It's due to Big Money wanting an absolutely "free" field for its version of "Free Enterprise." That version leaves copper mines like open sores to poison local water, and it turns other community water supplies into burning flames (the frackers). It leaves the cost of decommissioning nuclear power plants to citizens, and it privatizes services that cost taxpayers far more than was the case when these tasks were government-run.

Big Money is writing policy; and that assertion is supported by the nature of the TPP and TIPP... what it grants to global corporations and what it denies citizens in the way of basic rights, protections, and respect for established law. And note, like Obama's "health care plan" (legalized extortion if ever there was one), it too was decided behind closed doors.

Both parties are beholden to Power. Still, Dems may not do enough for The People but they are not Christian fanatics who want to toss every woman's reproductive rights under the bus; they don't universally hate and fear Mexicans; they don't think freedom is found at the end of a loaded gun; and they care more than the average Paul Ryan about things like living wages, protecting social security, and warding off the rigors of global warming.


#11

Your entire post down to the last paragraph is point on. Then your last paragraph leaves us again with what so many have been doing for so long; "voting for the best of the worst." As I have said before, voting this way only gives credibility to a form of Democratic government which is, and has been for a long time, broken. What to do? There are many kinds of revolution and most start in the street. The 99% have to somehow scare the pants off the government puppets who pretend to run "our" country. After that, and if that doesn't work, we regroup.


#14

Right... because unlike the paid-to-comment soldier boys and girls, I'm motivated by getting The Truth out there. And when my commentary refuses to march lockstep with official narratives, it becomes somewhat of a problem... particularly when said comments receive positive feedback. THAT can't be allowed, right, Brat?

You are all over the board. Showing up here stating that you were a Conservative and then often sounding a lot like me (coincidence?) while pushing ideas that hardly conform to orthodox Conservative ideology.

Altruism is impossible to conceive on the part of those who are governed by money...


#15

It used to work "extremely well" in the past, too. For the incumbents. "Stuffing the ballot box" is not just a phrase.

Paper ballots are anonymous once cast. They cannot be audited. So anyone with access to the boxes can provide the result they desire.

Computer-based balloting with public-domain software and strong public-key encryption is far more reliable as far as honesty goes. Of course, none of the political-party bosses are interested in honesty if it would produce a win for the other side.


#16

Really? What's going on? I've never had that happen to me. What's the "ugly brown banner" look like, and is it dismissable? I'm wondering whether you have a virus or similar. What kind of system do you use, and what version of the operating system?

I don't think we're being censored, and Susan just happens to be a prolific writer who's nearly always got something useful to say.


#17

Hundreds, millions hopefully, in the streets in a peaceful manner will serve to force government's hand. Then the how might magically appear. Remember that word Karma.