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The Devastating Cost of Monetized Elections


#1

The Devastating Cost of Monetized Elections

Ralph Nader

Corporatized and commercialized elections reach a point where they stand outside and erode our democracy. Every four years the presidential and Congressional elections become more of a marketplace where the wealthy paymasters turn a civic process into a spectacle of vacuous rhetorical contests, distraction and stupefaction.

The civic minds of the people are sidelined by the monetized minds of a corrupted commercial media, political consultants, pundits and the purveyors of an ever-more dictatorial corporate state.


#3

One dollar one vote, what could be more American? /s


#4

The corporatists who are the public face of the PTB will not be "flushed" easily. They will respond with false-flag terrorism, martial law, covert assassinations, etc. If Bernie even begins to look like a winner (as he already has in Iowa and New Hampshire), I fear for his life.


#6

Dr. King, a democratic socialist like Bernie, suffered a fatal dose of "lead poisoning", a covert assassination done by the PTB. They will do anything to remain in power including WWIII.


#7

It's not a horse race, it's a human race...that's pretty good! But the ellection homework is easy: just vote the candidate with the smallest corporate "war-chest". The money announces the allegiance in the present system.


#8

The U.S. is and has been a military dictatorship just like all Banana Republics where the CIA has assassinated leaders that it could not bribe economically. And America is no different. Every time some political leader comes along that is a perceived threat to the corrupt, elite and he refuses to cave in.. he has been eliminated.


#9

Once in a blue moon, a real reformer infiltrates the Party. This is the case with Bernie Sanders. We have an opportunity here to vote against 'business as usual' instead of wasting our vote on someone whom 99% of the public has or will never hear of. Whether we like it or not, if corporate media chooses not to recognize a candidate, then the electorate will never know that an alternative exists except for those very few of us who go beyond the MSM to research potential candidates. And if Bernie wins the early primaries, the MSM will have no choice but to introduce Bernie to the rest of the country... albeit it will be done in a biased and negative manner.
The public were equally enthusiastic when they voted for Obama almost eight years ago only to discover that he was either a fraud or incapable of resisting the establishment. So many voters were disappointed with his failed presidency as time wore on and consequently many won't be inspired to vote again. However many voters, especially our younger age groups, realize that we must double up our efforts rather than retreat into a hole of hopelessness and despair. Even if the growing support for Bernie fails to materialize into his nomination, this will ultimately translate into further galvanizing the majority of Americans in their struggle to restore public representation in government. Once Sanders is removed from the political arena, we will only be left with the usual charade that Ralph Nader refers to. Even fewer Americans will bother to vote recognizing that both parties are almost indistinguishable from each other but a shift in focus may be reflected in Congressional, Senate and State elections as the failings of the current system should become obvious even to the most ardent supporter of corporatism. Change will not be as simple as casting one vote for one candidate at one time as we have learned over the years. That doesn't mean we should surrender. It means that change will come only if we are persistent and stay on message.


#12

From the article:

"... the over $300 billion a year in computerized billing fraud in the health care industry, or why corporations are given free exploitation of our public property –"

Is that figure a typo? $300 billion a year? That may be what's taken in, but all of it is not fraud.


#13

I wonder if you suffer from ADD or could perhaps have a brain injury?

Nader describes a landscape rife with all sorts of corporate corruption and the role the media plays in it; and from that vast evidence you resort to the same PARROT line.

Flushing out congress is not going to change rule by oligarchs since the system sets up a paradigm where anyone who runs for office is subject to the same climate of graft, the same exclusionary metrics, and the various covert ways that the moneyed class (1%) games the whole thing.

You simplify the issue and turn it into something that can be instantly done with one flush.


#14

Pass legislation to take 75 cents from every dollar spent on lobbying or election to pay off our national debt, because those elected by all that money can't seem to get that job done.


#15

Thank you, Peter is either a one-trick pony or a wind-up doll.


#22

Ralph you are always the man of reason and activism, thank you for all you've done over the years. It must be hard to see our democracy slip away but you still fight the good fight and encourage others to do the same. Thank you.


#23

The fact that you are undoubtedly bright and offer so many thought-provoking comments - including condemnations of people in authority who are uncharitable toward others - makes it incomprehensible that you resort to vilifying other commenters rather than relying on the obvious intelligence of your own reflections. Please try to restrain yourself, even when you know others to be misguided or dissembling.


#24

I was wondering about that too. It must be a suspected number because if they had proof of that amount of fraud they should be going after the perpetrators. Of course, we should thank the Republicans for their endless efforts to defund the government so that it can't be effective in all kinds of oversight.


#25

I'm not sure that it's really the CIA. The Powers That Be never actually name themselves. They hide behind their minions.


#26

Yes. We are not "cowed by these threats". Whatever bullshit happens on the national level... organize locally, form cooperatives, put solar panels on your roof, grow some of your own food, etc.


#27

You are hilarious. I can't tell if you're an illiterate southern soldier or a farm boy.

In your earlier post you steal Dr. King's quote about a man not being willing to die for a cause isn't fit to live but you can't different between the words your (possession of an item) and you're. In other words you malign Dr. King's words!

You constantly harp on about some even 50-50 split in this nation's financial status quo when that is not the split at all.

I guess you missed all the noise about a FEW people owning close to what HALF the nation owns!

You are a simpleton and a fool. I am a published writer. You may not like what I write, and you may not like me. That's fine. But an illiterate fool is in NO position to critique comments that go way over his head... and understanding.

BTW: The term is logic... but needless to say, the term and premise are alien to you!

You wrote: "And all your insults and negative logit makes most confusing the issue."


#28

You don't talk about changing the rulers. Your Talking Point is about flushing out congress.

You have zero interest in, or any apparent understanding as per how the system of MONEY corruption works.

In other words, genius, like an assembly line that's FIXED in place... should one "batch" be tossed out, the established political assembly line (Supreme Court-endorsed Money Purchasing Political Operatives) will just draw in the next SET.

And don't condescend to me as if I applaud the existing power structure. I dissect it from a number of directions.

YOU harp on ONE thing and it's inadequate. Plus, in my view, this singular Talking Point is used to dissuade focus from the larger causative aspects. I am suspicious of that tactic because I've seen it used in this forum by people who demonstrate some very pro status quo loyalties.


#29

I would agree with you were it not for a few things, and granted, since the site shifted away from disqus and whatever system it used prior to that, the PROBLEM has been largely alleviated (although not completely).

Those things are:

  1. People come here to post and use technologies that in the past allowed ONE poster to utilize multiple accounts. Through that fraudulent practice (and process), they could generate a sense of consensus where one did not organically or honestly exist.

  2. It is a fact (and if I have to post links, I will. I certainly have done so in the past and those exposures seem to work in the same way that the morning sunlight chases away vampires) that outfits that have pro-business and/or right wing interests DO pay people to push opinions in chat rooms and on message boards.

  3. When one poster (today's example is Aquifer posting 34 comments out of 140 on the Gosztola article thread) dominates a discussion, I find it suspicious.

The issue is not whether or not I am bright, nor is it whether or not I show "political correctness" towards individuals I KNOW are not here for honest purposes.

I have taken enormous heat (and have a file that has several hundred PAGES of organized attacks) for pointing out what should be obvious ... that there are people who post and they tend to post "first up" who set the direction of discussion into motion.

Human beings are social creatures and most don't like to feel excluded or marginalized. That means that those in a position, by their numbers and "free time" to direct the discussion understand the strategic advantages of such.

I will continue to call out FRAUD where I see it.

If I am the only one who takes people who attack individuals like Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben to task because THEY can't spell at a level suggestive of a 4th grade reading level, then something is wrong with the "tolerance" of the commentators.

Oh, and it's always amusing how one-sided these "backhanded compliment" style critiques are... I am well-aware of how few people had the integrity to say anything when I was quite clearly under MASS attack here. But "my behavior" is always under scrutiny.

Of course, it could just be sexism... plenty of Feminists have reported the types of hate speech they experienced for stating what a just society would fully put into practice: total gender parity in all things.


#30

The military industrial complex gets HALF up front. Half of the trillion dollar budget, and I think it was Chris Hedges who pointed out that that doesn't include Homeland Security, the costs of upgrading the nation's generation of nuclear bombs, or care to returning Veterans.

Yet the putz John Ellis tries to say that the funding of Medicaid-style programs eats up the lion's share. Of course, one must "consider the source." In spite of all sorts of evidence about a vanishing middle class, and the fact that millions of Americans are 1-3 paychecks away from homelessness added to the new statistics that show a relative handful of billionaire own more than half the nation's people... and STILL he clamors on about some delusional 50-50 split!

Unbelievable...