Saturday, November 20, 2021

Ways to Manage the Political Deceit in America

It's no great secret that the two corporate owned political parties, the Democrats and Republicans, are minority parties, with the Democrats only slightly larger than the Republicans. The largest political bloc in America are the Independents. As of the end of October 2021, Democrats and Republicans were tied at 26% each while Independents had 44% of registered voters. 

However, the media, which is owned by some of the same corporations which own the Democrat and Republican parties try their best to suppress that little nugget of information and act as if there are only two parties to choice from and everyone else is are either nut cases or don't count.

Both parties do their level best to keep Independent and third parties out of the political process by creating numerous barriers such as blocking them from participating in debates (especially televised), imposing unrealistic signatures requirements of petitions to get on the ballot, and preventing them from obtaining access to big money donors to name just a few.

Independents and third parties are often bypassed when it comes to political appointments to boards, commissions, and  offices. They aren't even represented on Boards of Elections. They are typically just lumped in with which party has the fewest registered voters in a particular county.  

But are we really surprised? After all, it's not about representation of us anymore. It's about power and control. Besides, our Founding Father's warned us against political parties. They felt they would devolve into special interest cliques run by a handful of powerful individuals or groups, depriving citizens of their influence over government.

Oddly, it's little wonder that many of the descendents of the Founding Fathers actually approved of the Confederate Republic (not that they agreed or disagreed over the slavery issue). The reason was that the Confederate Government operated with a generally weak central government and much of the power retained by the states.

In addition, under the Confederate Republic, there were no political parties (although there were small ad hoc cliques which would form and dissolve over various issues). If you want to know more about how the Confederate Government was structured and functioned, you might want to check out "The Confederate Republic: A Revolution Against Politics" by George C. Rable.

Without political parties  it also meant that regardless of who won, everyone was represented since there was no partisan loyalty to adhere to. No dogma to blindly follow. Under out current "winner-take-all" system, those whose party wins are represented while those on the losing end are not. Plus the more people involved in the political process the harder it is to corrupt, especially if they're non-partisan.

Perhaps that's why all the other democracies in the world are based on the English parliamentary system in which everyone is represented on a percentage basis so even if your party loses, you still have representation.

Those descendents of the Founding Fathers thought that the design of the Confederate Republic was more like what the Founders had in mind. Besides, after the Civil War ended in 1865, the Federal Government quickly begun to acquire more and more power and control while the states became increasingly more beholden to Washington.

Today's two main parties represent corporate interests, despite their well orchestrated propaganda to the contrary which is designed to give us the illusion of choice.  If we received any benefit, it's usually an accidental byproduct of some compromise between competing corporate interests. But it doesn't have to be that way. While it may not seem or feel like it, we do still have some power left (at least for the moment).

There are things we can do such as demand term limits of no more than 12 years. If refused, we can impose our own defacto "term limits" by voting against incumbents who've held office for more than 12 years. We can also start voting for Independents and third party candidates, especially at the state and local levels.

Additionally, we can demand that our federal and state election officials along with key legislators institute a fair and level election playing field. No more defacto rigged elections by requiring Democrat of Republican candidates three or six signatures to get on the ballot while making Independents and third party candidates get one hundred or thousands at the federal level, not to mention jumping through all sorts of legal hoops (designed jointly by lawyers of both parties) to qualify separately in each and every state.  

Along with term limits, we could implement Rank Choice Voting which lets voters rank candidates by preference (party membership can also be removed too), which eliminates the need for partisan primaries. The top candidate wins. In case of a tie, there can be a run off.

Also key to restoring fairness in our elections is putting an end to partisan gerrymandering. Gerrymandering basically allows the two parties to draw districts in a way in which they get most of the registered voters for their party instead of drawing around natural boundaries or keeping neighborhoods and communities intact. Essentially, the parties select their voters. Redrawing districts could be done by a local university. To avoid partiality, there could be a rotating series of colleges and universities used.

Citizens should also have the right to put issues directly on the ballot without going through partisan gatekeepers. Where I live, in Kentucky, we are only allow to submit a petition to the legislature for their approval, which, if granted, will be put on the ballot with any changes as they see fit. Basically, we have to seek their permission.

Along the same lines, voters should have the final say on any tax, rate, fee, or elected official salary increases. Politicians are nefarious when it comes to our money. Only the threat of a "no" vote will keep them honest enough to submit a increase proposal that's truly needed.

We need to remember too that corporations, through their lobbyists, write most legislation. They fund both the candidates and the parties while we have no input in the writing of laws or citizen based lobbyist organizations representing us. That's why the voters should have a right to introduce initiatives directly onto the ballot (after review by either the county attorney or state Attorney General to ensure the proper legal wording and that no laws are being violated). It's also why voters should have the last say on any increases.  All lobbyist involvement should be an open record without exception.

Finally, and without a doubt, the most important issue that must happen if we are to reclaim our power over government is to get corporate money out of politics. Perhaps the worst thing that has happened in politics was the approval of Citizens United by an uninformed Supreme Court. Citizens United affirmed that corporations are, in some magical way, "people" and thus not just "entitled" to the same rights as you and me, but when it comes to money (which was erroneously equated with "free speech").

The High Court said corporations could donate whatever they wanted. No more caps. meanwhile, you and I are still limited, not that we could compete with corporations anyway. Not even unions can match corporate donations (for every dollar a union donates, corporations donate a minimum of five).  At the same time, Independents and third parties are locked out.

That's because we are a Corporatocracy, which is a de facto merger or close partnership between Big Business and government. As an aside, a Corporatocracy does not, as you may have guessed, have anything to do with "socialism" unless you mean "corporate socialism". A Corporatocracy is managed by a small group of the very wealthy commonly called an Oligarchy though a Kleptocracy or other terms are sometimes used.

A Corporatocracy is a neo-fascist entity which, like any form of fascism, borrows from the Left and Right based on a country's history, traditions, and values.  It's why the fascism of Nazi Germany was different from that of Spain, which differed from Argentina's which differed from Italy's, which differed again from Hungary or Romania.

It will play groups---race, gender, class, religion, ideology, and so on--- off of each other while trying to create as many divisions as possible in what's called "Identity Politics". In 1939 it was the Jews and Roma gypsies who were the designed scapegoats. Today it seems to be whites and Asians. The more divided society is the easier it is to control and manipulate. 

It may even promote violence from behind the scenes to create chaos and raise the level of civil frustration with the state of affairs, and as way to vent aggression until it's ready to exploit it. It will manufacture wars for its own economic gain behind a mask of freedom, liberty, and patriotism.

A Corporatocracy will act incrementally to avoid attracting undo attention by the public, but, like water pushing against a dam or wall, it will push everywhere simultaneously looking for a weak or soft spot. It may even retract now and again, only to advance somewhere else.  Meanwhile, this neo-fascist state will attempt to demonize whatever it fears, and what it fears the most is whatever can replace it or take its power and control away. Remember that. In today's world, it's important.

As an aside, the media is part and parcel of the Corporatocracy. It serves as the "propaganda wing". 96+% of all media outlets---TV, internet content, movies, video games, magazines, books, newspapers, the news in all its forms, etc.---are owned by just six corporations. They set the agenda and the slant. They decide what and how we see or hear what we do. They manipulate our perceptions.  When they do "endorsements", they are openly trying to influence your vote. 


Personally, I don't think the media should "endorse" anyone. It's not their job. That's being biased. The news is about facts, not opinions or innuendos. I was (and remain) blacklisted by a one trick pony newspaper for exposing the endorsement process.  What we want is the unvarnished facts. Tell us where they stand on various issues. We can make our own decisions from there.

If any of this looks or sounds familiar, it's because it is and it's by no coincidence. It's been repeated and refined down through history. There are things we can do as I've outlined above. But it will only happen if we put aside all the petty divisions which we've been manipulated into believing. It will also only happen if we come together and focus solely on the "man behind the curtain" to borrow from Dorothy in Oz.

Alternatively, we can pretend all these divisions are real and continue to be divided further and further apart until only a fuehrer like individual can put us back together again...in his or its image. It's happened before, often starting out with the best of intentions but it never ends well. Never.  So, what do you want to do? Which path do you want to go down?   


 

FairVote: How RCV Works


Initiatives and referendums in the United States


How Congress can stop gerrymandering: Deny seats to statesthat still do it


Ending Gerrymandering

 

Gallup: Party Affiliation


 

 

1 comment:

South Ender said...

Ah yes. The real owners of the US Government IS corporate America.

But the American sheeple just love it because it still hasn't gotten bad enough to rebel.

America has no one to rescue her.
We must do it ourselves if it is to happen at all.