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Bernie Sanders and the Fundamental Crisis of U.S. Democracy


Bernie Sanders and the Fundamental Crisis of U.S. Democracy

John Atcheson

Think of a problem or challenge facing us, and then trace it back to its roots. If you’re honest, you’ll arrive at the role of money and its undue influence in politics and on the media.

Gun control?


". . .for they say if money go before, all ways do lie open."

Merry Wives of Windsor, Act. II, scene 2


Even the US Congress is for getting money out of the political system. Wasn't that why they passed McCain-Feingold? Members of Congress hate having to spend half their time raising money. That isn't really what they sign up for when they run for office. So Bernie has a lot of company. But how you do it?


Brilliant re-frame Lorax! Congress is just like Bernie Sanders!

Members of Congress would much rather be honest decent representatives, instead of the gang of corrupt sold-out leeches that they actually are!

How can we help them get there from here? i can't wait to read the ideas...


With all due respect, please check your numbers, Mr. Atcheson:

"Today, the US has troops in over 150 nations; it has over 70 bases overseas; and its defense budget exceeds half a trillion dollars."

According to Nick Turse, there are an estimated 1000 U.S. military bases dispersed around the world.

From the article:

"Indeed, the fact that we had to establish a new Homeland Security Department after 911 is prima-facia evidence that the Defense Department and the trillions we’d spent on it, hadn’t done a good job of actually defending us."

I take issue with this ridiculous statement. Terms like "indeed" and "fact" assert a certainty that HARDLY exists in relation to the events of 911.

Secondly, since millions of people believe the event was an Inside Job, this idea that "we had to establish a new Homeland Security" is a crock of shit.

THAT was baked into the recipe.

The same forces that FIXED the already planned (Project for a New American Century) CASE for war knew that by declaring war they could lock down on all domestic Civil Liberties while essentially muting the press.

Are you a willing agent of disinformation? It would seem to me that anyone with the intelligence to write the articles you write might direct his journalistic curiosity at all of those unanswered questions... and/or follow the same trail that detectives follow when pursuing the agents of any crime:

Cui Bono?


Have you ever read Dr. Seuss' beautiful and intelligent fable against unchecked materialism? In that book, it's The Lorax who defends Nature against the unremitting attacks of "the business man," or Onceler.

For someone who posts good comments on what's happening to the natural world, I find it strange that you'd use the term "Lorax" to discredit the commentary of LRX. (I didn't say anything the first time you did so, but it's getting old and annoying.)


Surely, Mr. Atcheson, you are familiar with the results of the Page and Gilens Study? What was discovered was that in virtually every facet of government policy-making, citizens' interests, wishes, and preferences have ZERO impact.

That's why I find this statement as inaccurate and disingenuous as the ones earlier challenged:

"Meanwhile, Congress routinely funds weapons even the Defense Department says it doesn’t want, and we continue to pass budgets that are completely out of line with the rest of the world and with our own security needs."

Probably half the world believes in the Law of Karma. That means premeditated murder (in the form of "wars of choice") eventuates in harm coming back upon those who facilitate it.

Just as John Perkins explained in "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man," typically the U.S. military (or its covert CIA agents) acts as the fist in the glove that "convinces" foreign leaders to Do Business.

The robbing of the U.S. treasury to fund a military that goes about the world making profits for a very few in NO way protects this nation or enhances so-called security.

And WE, the people, have almost not influence or agency over existing policies. That's why the Koch Brothers and similar billionaire funding sources literally have their industries WRITING the policies that become law.

The Piketty Study shows where wealth has been directed over the course of the past 10-15 years.

Millions of people know they are being robbed, cheated, lied to, and NOT represented... and that explains why the more right-wing types have gravitated to a putz like Trump; and so many thousands show up to support Sanders.

When a writer takes what POWER does and pretends that these decisions honestly reflect the will of The People, in my book, that's also disinformation.

Most writers who still have MSM jobs seem very willing to prop up the group think which is almost entirely based on lies.

Ironically, you manage to cite the Page and Gilens study at the closing of your article. Its findings refute your claims!

Upon that day that Congress reflects the WILL of the American People, then you can use the WE frame to identify the public and its collective wishes.


Exactly! Double ditto. We need Bernie to win so badly it hurts. We have to get money out of politics and we have to leave behind the neocon/neoliberal policies that have created this nightmare.
The time is now.
Go Bernie


Breaking Big Money's Grip on America makes the same argument and provides strategies for how we can do this. Visit breakingbigmoneysgrip.com for more info.



By this time one would have thought Mr. Atcheson might have gone the way of Solomon, Reich, Borosage, Cohen, et. al.,and trotted out that new-old shiboleth that it is time to get aboard Hillary's broken down bandwagon. Thanks Mr. Atcheson. Another not to be compromised writer is Yves Smith, I love her comment summing up her comprehensive article on why many of her readers support Donald Trump:

"The Clintons, like the Bourbons before the French Revolution, have ensconced themselves in such a bubble of operative and media sycophancy that they’ve mistakenly viewed escalating distress and legitimate demands from citizens as mere noise. Sanders voters are taking their cue from Talleyrand, the statesman who navigated the Revolution and the turbulent 50 years that followed with remarkable success: “I have never abandoned a party before it abandoned itself.”

If my readers are representative, Clinton and the Democratic Party are about to have a long-overdue day of reckoning."

Let's hope so, Yves.



"Eisenhower said it best, nearly sixty years ago:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

Ike also said:
..."Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.

We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. These plain and cruel truths define the peril and point the hope that come with this spring of 1953...."
Address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors
delivered at the Statler Hotel, Washington DC
April 18, 1953

Simply amazing insights for a retired 5 star general of the army.


As Noam Chomsky as pointed out many times, "neo liberalism is neither new or liberal."
It's agenda and it's tactics are as old as greed it self.
They carry out their plans under the idea that " the strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must."


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Sanders is under the illusion we have a democracy. He certainly has demonstrated the reverse. In spades...We can't pick the candidates (and we can't count the votes).


But there is nothing physical stopping Americans from shaking off tradition, and supporting 3rd party candidates, en masse.