Saturday, December 12, 2020

Changing the Rules of the (Political) Game

I've been a political and community activist and organizer for well over 40 years. I've served as a Congressional aide, political strategist and advisor, a citizen lobbyist, speech and campaign writer from local and issue oriented campaigns up to congressional races. 

I've been fundraiser, not to mention a candidate (won three lost two). I was a partner in a successful candidate training "bootcamp" for newbie's to the political game. I've taught it college at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I've been honored with many local, regional, and national awards for my community activism too.

I've pretty much "been there and done that". I've meet some incredible and amazing people in and out of politics that I will never forget. I've also met with some breathtakingly shallow individuals, those with egos the size of mountains, habitual liars, and those who would steal the pennies off a dead man's eyes that I will always remember too.

My aim has always been to make this world; this nation and the community where I live a little better off than it was before I came along. I never gave a damn about partisan dogma, although sometimes it was a necessary evil in the truest since of the word. The goal has always been the people. 

Sometimes I'd come home from some partisan function and want to jump in the shower and scrub the grime off me. I'll let you in on a little "not so secret" secret.  The longer you're in it, the harder it is to get that grime off. The higher you go, the thicker the grime gets.

I doubt I'm telling any of you what you don't already know.  What I want to talk about is about is something much more basic. I want to discuss America. Specifically what we've become, where we are, and where we might be heading.

Right now the main topic of conversation is whether or not Joe Biden and the Democrats "stole" the Presidential election from Donald Trump. The Democrats and the corporate owned media are arguing that the election was totally legitimate; that it's virtually impossible to rig an election.

The Trump camp, on the other hand, is claiming that there were an awful lot of forged, faked ballots, and uncounted ballots; that election sites were cleared of non-Democrats and only Biden ballots were run through. Some are claiming that Dominion, a company which makes election machines, were somehow rigged to throw out Trump votes.  

The Democrats and media have forgotten (or want to the public to forget) that in 2016  they were claiming that the election was rigged. They were flabbergasted that an outsider like Donald Trump could have defeated Hillary Clinton; that somehow, "the Donald" had denied Hillary a Caesarian triumph down Pennsylvania Avenue. Hillary would not receive her political coronation. Almost immediately claims of rigged ballots were everywhere. It wasn't long before we were being told that the Russians did it.

Of course, as we now know (and after spending millions of taxpayer's dollars), the Russian collusion story, as we all suspected, was pure BS. In fact, it now appears that it may have been concocted by Hillary or those close to her to discredit Trump. Besides, she was deathly afraid that Trump would begin an investigation into some of her questionable doings as Secretary of State.

We can't (or shouldn't) forget that Hillary and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz were involved in rigging the 2016 Democratic Primary against Bernie Sanders, including ensuring that none of his supporters would be heard at the convention. She wanted to make it look like she had total party support. An investigation afterwards confirmed that the primary was indeed "fixed". Wasserman-Schultz was fired but hired the next day to work for the Hillary campaign. As for Hillary, not a thing happened to her.

Debbie's replacement, Donna Brazile, was fired shortly afterwards for providing Hillary with a list of questions to be asked at the last presidential debate. Brazille was hired by FOX news and Hillary laughed. The media glossed  both of these instances over. Meanwhile, the media never shut up about the Trump-Russian collusion which never was.

We can go back to the George W. Bush and Al Gore race of 2000 and its claim of election fraud (remember "dangling chads"?). In this case, a conservative leaning Supreme Court ruled in Bush's favor even though the matter should have been decided by Congress.

When Lyndon Johnson first ran for U.S. Senate back in 1948, there were charges of voter fraud amid the "Box 13 Scandal". Six days after the election, a box of some 202 uncounted votes were "found" in Precinct 13 and were allowed to be counted. All but two were for Johnson  and allowed him to barely defeat Coke Stevenson by a mere 87 votes (decades later, research borne out the claim of fraud).

In Trump's case, he's been under attack from literally day one of his presidency by the media, the Left, Democrats, the media, and members of his own party. He was an "outsider". He was not part of the political establishment; the ruling elite. He was upsetting the rotten apple cart. There was no way Trump was going to be allowed to win. Admit it. Deep down, we all knew it didn't we?

Joe Biden has been an insider for 47 years. He's part and parcel with what's wrong with America. Does anyone seriously believe that a 47 year insider who has consistently voted for corporate tax breaks, higher taxes for small businesses and the working class, looser government restrictions and funding wars, is the "answer" to our prayers?

If there is a "bright" side, it's that Biden won't be in office very long. The man is obviously not all there mentally. I don't know what it is, dementia or some other health issue, but he's not who we want in the Oval Office for anything more serious than lightening the White House Christmas Tree (and then under supervision).

Kamala Harris will be the first female President of the United States. Her background is law, mostly as California's Attorney General. She is a junior Senator with no prior legislative or foreign affairs experience. Doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy? But don't worry. She's very tight with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and, of course, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Yelp, the ole gang is back in business. The Oligarchy out of the shadows again.

As for the Republicans, don't put too much stock in their crocodile tears. They aren't all broke up about Trump's pending departure. "The Donald" was just as much a pain in their butts as the Democrats. Now, everyone can get back to business as usual with their corporate lobbyists pals. The only ones who might actually miss Trump is the media. They've spent the last four years brow beating him and his staff endlessly. What will they talk about now? I'm sure they'll find some make believe story to soft soap us with.  Perhaps shortly after Biden's  inauguration we'll have some new "crisis" to distract us. Ah, happy days again!

There's some murmuring about Trump coming back in four years for another bite at the rotten apple. I hope not. I think the man and his family have been through enough. I wouldn't wish that on anyone but my worst enemy. Of course, I fully expect the Democrat and Republican party chieftains to rewrite the rules to make sure that no one like Trump (that is, a political outsider) can ever seriously challenge their lock on power the way they did after Ross Perot ran back in the 80's.

Let's also do a little soul searching here. America is not what it was intended to be. We are not a Constitutional Republic or representative democracy if you prefer. We pretend it is, but it isn't. Professional and academic studies , reports, surveys, and polls have confirmed and reconfirmed it. Sorry to pop any bubbles out there.

We are a Corporatocracy, albeit one with a thin veneer of representative legitimacy.  A Corporatocracy is not "socialist". It's not "Communist", and it's sure not "National Socialist" or Nazi.  It is a tight  partnership between big business and government. If anything, it's has more in common with Fascism or medieval feudalism than anything (as an aside, Fascism's founder, Benito Mussolini, said that fascism would be better named as corporatism).  Government serves the needs and interests of Big Business and the uber wealthy while keeping us in line and pacified.

If, for instance, Big Business wants to get its hands on some country's resources and the normal means of negotiation fails (like bribery, threats, blackmail, etc), then they turn to the government to rev up the patriotism engine and the next thing you know we're off to "save" some country from a despot who had previously been a "valued" ally weeks or months before or spread some good ole Grade A American democracy.

Occasionally, just the threat of military intervention is enough to work. Other times, we simply manufacture a coup or assassination like in Chile, Vietnam, Argentina, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Brazil, Panama, or dozens of other nations.  Regardless, the Oligarchy gets what they matter the cost.   

When corporations screw up and need billions of taxpayer money to bail them out (and pay executive bonuses) and taxpayers say "no", what happens? That's right. They get more than they asked for of our money. When we demand a stop to illegal immigration, but corporations want the cheap labor, who wins? Hint: it's not us. When some government entity wants to raise taxes, and we say that we can't afford it, what happens? You know. They get it every single time.

When developers want to pave over play lots for kids, quiet forested acres, what happens? The Zoning Boards have already ruled before announcing a hearing (usually at some time and place where most residents can't make it because they actually work).

We can protest...if we get permission from the city and secure a "permit". We can write letters to the newspaper editors voicing our outrage, but if it doesn't coincide with their agenda, it won't see the light of day or it's made to look like a minority position as suddenly massive "pro" letters magically appear. We can try call in radio shows, but we rarely ever get heard. Let's fact it folks, if you think elections are fixed, it isn't anything compared to the system itself. 

The U.S. has a "winner take all" political system. When one side wins, everyone else is essentially unrepresented for the term. Consider Independents. We're the largest political bloc in America. Larger than Democrats or Republicans, yet both parties collude to make it nearly impossible to participate in elections due to unequal (and perhaps illegal) election laws. Same for third parties in some states.

Many state legislatures forbid voter referendums because it doesn't serve their interests; it dilutes their power. We can't even represent ourselves!  But since the system serves the interests of the corporations, we are all unrepresented anyway. Perhaps it's time we take back our power and restore our Republic.


1948 United States Senate election in Texas

United States involvement in regime change

Elizabeth Warren and Donna Brazile both now agree the 2016Democratic primary was rigged

WikiLeaks Proves Primary Was Rigged: DNC UnderminedDemocracy



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