Saturday, December 02, 2023

America's Political Divide: Exposing the Duopoly

America is a duopoly as everyone should know by now, but if not, let me briefly explain what a duopoly is.  A duopoly is simply rule by a two party political system, which our Founding Fathers never intended for America. In actuality, they never intended for the country to develop political parties at all!

While they recognized that a kind of ad hoc clique based issues would likely develop, they felt that the creation of fixed parties would ultimately grow into competing special interest groups which would come to usurp citizens of their political power. Of course, they were right.

Today, we've gone from the creation of a two primary political "cliques"  have evolved into the creation of a political class controlled by an artificial entity which didn't exist at the time of the Founding Fathers. I'm talking about corporations of course. Corporations are merely legal fictions which exist to serve a specific function and make money  for their shareholders.

Nowadays, these man-made legal fictions have been granted "personhood' just like you and me, but with one key exception thanks in part to a mistake made by the Supreme Court in 2010. That's when, in a 5 to 4 decision, they upheld Citizens United and in doing so, magically turned money into "free speech" as if they were some sort of legalistic alchemists. 

According to their decision, Corporations, which didn't represent the interests of its employees or even the majority of its stakeholders, could now  invest as much "free speech" as they wanted in any political election, party, or issue.  Thus politics became a commodity to acquire no different from any other. 

They could now legally and openly  "rent" or "invest" as much as they wanted in a candidate or issue of their choice short or long term like a commodity or share of stock.  Or, if they prefer, collectively just buy a controlling stake in the political party of their preference just as they would a subsidy, to hold as long as it remains profitable.  So far, I'd say they've gotten their money's worth wouldn't you?

So you could accurately equate the two dominate political cliques with being merely the public front for competing corporate cliques. I like to think of the blue donkey and red elephant as being on par with Quaker Oat's "Cap'n Crunch" or Post Cereal's "Sugar Bear".

While the two parties may disagree on certain facets or details concerning how our tax money is spent, much of the public disagreements you see on the evening news are superficial. In truth, they agree on certain core principals which centers on protecting and growing the interest of Big Business and the super wealthy (which naturally includes them).

This is done through the use of corporate money to not just underwrite the two parties and fund political campaigns but also by using corporate lobbyists to advise members of Congress and/or their staff about legislative issues, and by writing legislation which Congress will vote on. They also use the media to provide whatever spin is needed to manufacture the illusion of public support.

All of this helps to ensure that the cost of financing a political campaign to challenge the Status Quo is well beyond the reach of most average Americans. They also use their control of the election process to ensure that national and state election laws are written to make it as difficult as possible for Independents, third party candidates or certain reform related issues get on the ballot. Thus, the "common riff raff" are kept out and the running of government is left to our economic and social "betters" to fulfill their natural right to lead.

As an example, while a Democrat or Republican candidate may need as few as three to five signatures to get on a local election ballot, a Independent or third party candidate may be required to have 25 or more! In Nebraska, for instance, a partisan candidate needs only to pay a filing fee to get on the ballot for a federal office, which is quite doable. 

However, an Independent or third party candidate in Nebraska needs to obtain 4000 signatures on a petition to run for a federal office plus the filing fee. In Kentucky, they need 5000 signatures to get on the ballot! In Georgia it's 7,500 signatures. One set of rules for thee but not me.  What do you think, would you consider this biased or rigged?  

About half of the states prohibit voters from introducing a measure on the ballot. Some states require citizens to petition the state legislature in order to try and find a sponsor the potential ballot initiative. That's no guarantee they'll put any effort into getting  the measure through the labyrinth of committees in order to put it on the ballot.

Of course, it's imperative that any issue to be introduced on a ballot needs to be properly written to avoid any ambiguity or possible conflict with another law. It must also be constitutional. But assuming these can be properly addressed (perhaps through the use of a constitutional attorney or review by a state judge), is there any reason citizens should be prohibited from putting an issue on the ballot?

The two parties also use their control of key committees and government bureaucracy to limit or even exclude Independents and members of third parties from serving on committees and boards, even if that means leaving positions vacant.  Does that sound fair or unbiased to you? 

What about the fact that both parties have election officers to oversee voter registration and address election issues, and yet there is no one for Independents or the third parties. In most instances, the party with the least number of registered voters are assigned Independent and third parties voters "as if" they'll give them the same attention as they would their primary party.

When it comes to debates at the federal level, the Democrats and Republicans came together to form the Commission on Presidential Debates in 1987 (it had previously been handled by the League of Women Voters). It's worth nothing that some of its rules have been altered to all but prohibit third parties or Independents from participating. This came about following the 1992 debate which involved Independent candidate Ross Perot.

Ross Perot, for those too young to remember, was a very successful businessman who ran as a non-partisan candidate in 1992 against Democrat Bill Clinton and Republican George H.W. Bush. Needless to say, Perot kicked butt! If you get the chance to check the debates out, I urge you should do so (I've provided a link below). It wasn't  often that you saw Clinton or Bush flustered in a debate!

Nowadays, Independent and third party candidates are called as "spoilers" or treated as a circus sideshow. The reason? It's simply to psychologically influence voters into thinking they're "wasting their vote" or  not taking them seriously. It's all a mind game.  The candidacy of Donald Trump proved that. He wasn't a political insider. He also wasn't vetted by the powerbrokers. As a result, he couldn't be controlled and they knew it. That's why they went after him from day one and they're still going after him.

So, if you think our political system smells like a open dumpster at a daycare on a hot August day you'd be right (and for much the same reason). The average citizen has been essentially excluded from participating in election process. Congress caters to the wants of Wall Street, not to the needs of Main Street. That's tantamount to taxation without representation. Our Founders fought against that very notion, and yet here we are!  The single most important question is what are we going to do about it?


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Video: America's Two -Party Corporate Duopoly by Second Thought

Video: Bush, Clinton, Perot: The first 1992 Presidential Debate

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