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Democracy Beats Oligarchy


Democracy Beats Oligarchy

Katrina vanden Heuvel

“From coast to coast, conservatives score huge victories,” announced a Washington Post headline after last week’s elections. “Liberals Got Smoked Across the Country Last Night,” read another in Slate.


The worse things get, the more frightened people turn to conservatives and the worse things get.


Money in politics will pose a significant threat to our democracy for as long as Citizens United remains the law of the land, ...

Money in politics will pose a significant threat to our democracy for as long as corporations are people with first amendment rights to speak and money is considered protected political speech. There's no way to stop the flow of money as long as corporations can claim human rights. The only way to stop them is to deny constitutional rights to corporations through constitutional amendment.


More B.S. spin to keep the Dem party faithful hopeful.

The Dem party here in Nevada continues to be top-down,
establishment, politics-as-usual:

Winner-Take-All for the elected delegates from the Democratic State Convention;
Super-delegates (but not called Super-delegates in Nevada) are not elected, but chosen by the oligarchy to go to the National Convention;
No political speech allowed before voters choose their candidate groups at the caucus;
If the candidate group is viable, voters cannot change their minds and move to another candidate group;
State legislators must follow the party line or pay the consequences.

Bernie is right -- it will take a political revolution to FORCE the Democratic Party to be more Democratic and FOR the people again, like it was under FDR.

But unfortunately, half the voters think progressive taxation is a violation of the American Dream, and the other half only care about what time the next football game comes on.


You write very well in explaining this country's slide to corruption, can't disagree with your findings. Yet, it seems you have little regard for Americans striving for a more ethical pathway to electing candidates to local office? Meaningful change starts at our own kitchen tables and backyards via neighborhood activism. All major political and social movements have started the size of the proverbial embryo. The labor movement was led by ordinary, organized and fed up Americans. Often demonstrations turned into bloodbaths - citizens murdered by our police while simply trying to make peoples work life palatable. It wasn't Lyndon Johnson who led the country to enact civil rights legislation - he was a known racist. It was the collective action of many groups whom were dedicated to moral social change that led that effort - leaving Johnson no choice but to join.
It wasn't Nixon desiring to lower the voting age to eighteen 'out of the goodness of his heart' - he was pushed by the kids who were destined to fight in Vietnam which had no say in the continuation of that hideous mistake. Obama never would have attempted to pass health care reform if not aware of the monumental size of the citizen advocacy infrastructure, built over decades to make it happen.
We do have power to affect meaningful and lasting change, and the efforts of these fine patriots should never be downplayed or underestimated. Opposition to progress is always better organized and funded - seems we're always reacting or playing catch up. But, make no mistake: the power of committed citizen action is unstoppable. Cynicism only fuels the fire of oppression.