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How Big Money Corrupts Our Politics (And How to Fix It)

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/02/how-big-money-corrupts-our-politics-and-how-fix-it

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march
Into hell for a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lay peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To fight the unbeatable foe
To reach the unreachable star

–Joe Darion

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In the short term, only vote for candidates that are 100% small donor funded and that have pledged they will not accept corporate or pac money. I know - this totally rules out trump and biden and about 97% of all candidates in every election.

Then join the movement for a peoples party, the new 3rd party that you’ll never hear about on the MSM but that will soon offer americans the opportunity to vote for people who are not corrupt - something most americans alive today have never had an opportunity to do before.

After Nov 3, 2020, promise yourself that you’ll never waste your vote again on a dem or repub - that’s how you fix the money corruption problem in american politics.


With all due respect to Mr Reich this problem has been plaguing our nation for a very long time. Both major political parties are totally subservient to corporate money, due, in large part, to the expensive campaigns they must fund; a senate seat can cost upwards of ten million dollars to win and the presidency upwards of a billion.
I believe this is no accidents, nor is the common practice of a former senator or representative going to work as a lobbyist for these same corporations, and at outrageous salaries as well.
Elections should be free, the airwaves remain as the biggest giveaway in human history and media corporations should be forced to give free air and print time to all legitimate candidates. Election day should be a national holiday as well, encouraging wider participation.
While machinations to limit voting are widespread ultimate responsibility must fall to we the people for allowing this to continue.
I believe the answer is third party participation in our governance, I look to France, with twelve major parties, and the best benefit and working conditions in the West as a perfect example.

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Indeed, and what Prof. Reich neglects to point out is that both parties are equally complicit. Yes, a Democratic house will pass something as progressive as HR1 if there’s zero chance of it passing in the Senate and/or getting past a president - no problemo. But when they have both houses, and even a super-majority, as with the first two years under Obomber? Crickets.


I completely agree with you, but the need to rid this nation, and this world, of Trump means voting for Biden and then working to achieve the progressive agenda.
My way is supporting thirdparty politics, I am a registered Green and vote, down ticket, for Greens.


I read you, but how well has that worked over the last forty years as the DNC lurches further right with every election cycle, and this being the most regressive lurch of all, without even lip-service to a progressive agenda. Trying to make the DNC and Biden move left is a fool’s errand - worse, as under Obomber, the electorate goes comatose under a ‘blue’ administration. There is an argument to be made (I’m not saying I subscribe to it, however) that a second term of Hair Furor (which is something the DNC and Biden team seem to be striving for) will inspire the revolution that will finally lance the fascist boil that has been rising on the nation’s arse since at least 1980.


Unfortunately, the power to fix the things that need fixing has been traded away in trade deals almost without exception. We’re being presented with a sham system thats been shorn of the power to change the things we need to change, unless its further alienate our rights. So the best thing we could do is stop allowing this as a nation. Pick a completely different government in November who dont lie and cover up the theft of the nation. Put a direct voting system in place so the people of the country decide issues, not corrupt politicians, Also the wages of the politicians who have participated in this travesty of deception should be clawed back and their legislation retroactively nullified. Any trade deals they made and debts they incurred allegedly on the behalkf of the nation should be between them and any claimants alone.

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*…that my heart will LIE peaceful and calm.

Elvis sings the lyric correctly (with LIE) in this version:


P.S. - I know it doesn’t matter very much!

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It does seem to be the word of our times…

In this day and age the need for ‘campaign funds’ is a 100% fraud.

Politics needs to be de-professionalized.

Make it illegal to be paid to produce political advertising and limit political advertising to the Web (in such a way that voters would have to take the initiative should they wish to inform themselves regarding their vote.)

The institution of statutory independent non-partisan state and federal electoral authorities would also help the situation.

Ideas? Questions?

The informal, but effective Big Money Veto,

plus the Big Money written legislation and reform of process

and the capture of the courts

= a likely quick demise of H.R. 1—the For the People Act, unless the Democrats want to pretend for a while that they care about us and democracy.

Why not have a government run central server where people would have easy and organized access to copies of all political advertising, debates, interviews, and speaches. This for every candidate and party in all elections so that we can properly compare them. Also have comment threads and places for rebuttle. It would be much easier to make informed decisions when we all have access all the information needed for those decisions. Make it a felony if access to any of this information is not immediately made available on this central server.


" fascist boil "
If the vast majority of Americans were correct in the premise that ‘life’ extends beyond death, then Benito Mussolini (from his corner of heaven or hell) must be chuffed that his ramshackle take on authoritarianism following the corporatist ‘Third Way’ between ‘Socialism/communism’ and ‘Capitalism’, has become the go to term for all forms of authoritarianism.

See: ‘Corporatism and the Ghost of the Third Way’

‘Fascism’ was a specific authoritarian ideology but there are many forms of authoritarianism. (Despite the ‘checks and balances’, the U.S. Constitution has in its Office of an indirectly elected executive President, authoritarian elements.)

Political structures cemented in the U.S. from its beginning have ample room for criticism and reform without reference to Mussolini’s particular mess.

Exactly. Its so simple isn’t it? Also making videos no longer requires expensive equipment and the web makes access to broadcasting outlets redundant. (The commercial media would no doubt squeal about the lost revenue, but tough!)


Its not just simple, but is obvious, and is doable.

(Also require that low-resolution copies of all the videos are available for people with limited or expensive bandwidth).

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You seem not to understand the serious threat Trump represents, and I would vote for road kill over him frankly. Biden represents a small bit of progress, and , in the face of the extreme peril Trump is to democracy, to peace, to common sense and to world peace that will have to do.

You do know that he’s old friends with his 2016 opponent and her husband, the former President.

Their daughters are very good friends, maybe even best friends.

So something doesnt add up here, don’t you think?

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Unfortunately the Trumpists would vote for the dead skunk next to the ‘MAGA’ cap on the other side of the road if it had Republican endorsement.

Something that I have not kept up with. All I could find was:

’ Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton are no longer friends’

‘Why Chelsea Clinton & Ivanka Trump Aren’t Friends Anymore’

An interview with Stephen Colbert: