Third Party & Independents Archives

The Grand Delusion

With an endless, futile and costly Iraq war, a stinking economy and most Americans seeing the country on the wrong track, the greatest national group delusion is that electing Democrats in 2008 is what the country needs.

Keith Olbermann was praised when he called the Bush presidency a criminal conspiracy. That missed the larger truth. The whole two-party political system is a criminal conspiracy hiding behind illusion induced delusion.

Virtually everything that Bush correctly gets condemnation for could have been prevented or negated by Democrats, if they had had courage, conviction and commitment to maintaining the rule of law and obedience to the Constitution. Bush grabbed power from the feeble and corrupt hands of Democrats. Democrats have failed the vast majority of Americans. So why would sensible people think that giving Democrats more power is a good idea? They certainly have done little to merit respect for their recent congressional actions, or inaction when it comes to impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

One of the core reasons the two-party stranglehold on our political system persists is that whenever one party uses its power to an extreme degree it sets the conditions for the other party – its partner in the conspiracy – to take over. Then the other takes its turn in wielding excessive power. Most Americans – at least those that vote – seem incapable of understanding that the Democrats and Republicans are two teams in the same league, serving the same cabal running the corporatist plutocracy. By keeping people focused on rooting for one team or the other, the behind-the-scenes rulers ensure their invisibility and power.

The genius of the plutocrats is to create the illusion of important differences between the two parties, and the illusion of political choice in elections. In truth, the partner parties compete superficially and dishonestly to entertain the electorate, to maintain the aura of a democracy. Illusion creates the delusion of Americans that voting in elections will deliver political reforms, despite a long history of politicians lying in campaigns about reforms, new directions and bold new policies. The rulers need power shifting between the teams to maintain popular trust in the political system. Voting manifests that trust – as if changing people will fix the system. It doesn’t.

So voters become co-conspirators in the grand political criminal conspiracy. Those who vote for Democrats or Republicans perpetuate the corrupt, dishonest and elitist plutocracy that preferentially serves the interests of the Upper Class and a multitude of special interests – some aligned with the Republicans and some with the Democrats. Voting only encourages worthless politicians and those that fund and corrupt them.

Public discontent leads to settling for less through lesser evil voting rather than bold thinking about how to reform the system to get genuine political competition and better candidates and government.

I understand why sane people would not want to vote for Republicans, based on the Bush presidency. But I cannot understand why politically engaged people think that putting Democrats in power will restore American democracy and put the welfare of non-wealthy Americans above the interests of the wealthy and the business sector. Bill Clinton’s administration strongly advanced globalization and the loss of good jobs to foreign countries. Economic inequality kept rising. Trade agreements sold us out.

And in this primary season talk about reforming our health care system among Democrats never gets serious about providing universal health care independent of the insurance industry. And why should citizens be supportive of a party that favors illegal immigration – law breaking – that primarily serves business interests by keeping labor costs low?

Nor have Democrats stood up to challenge the official 9/11 story that no longer has any credibility to anyone that takes the time to seriously examine all its inconsistencies with what really happened and the laws of physics.

Whoever wins the Democratic presidential nomination will not be free of corruption and lies. He or she will owe paybacks to all the fat-cat campaign donors. Voters will be choosing the lesser-evil Democratic presidential candidate. Is that really the only choice? Is there no other action that can advance the national good?

There seem to be just two other choices. Vote for some third party presidential candidate, but the downside of that is twofold. No such candidate can win in the current rigged system. Worse, voting gives a stamp of credibility to the political system, as if it was fair, when it is not. Voting says that you still believe that the political system merits your support and involvement.

The second option is to boycott voting to show total rejection of the current political system and the plutocratic cabal using the two-party duopoly to carry out its wishes. When a democracy no longer is legitimate, no longer is honest, and no longer serves the interests of ordinary citizens, then what other than violent revolution can change it? When the electoral system no longer can provide honest, corruption free candidates with any chance of winning, what can citizens do? Either stay home or just vote in local and state races and for ballot measures.

I say remove the credibility and legitimacy of the federal government by reducing voter turnout to extremely low levels. Show the world that the vast majority of Americans have seen the light and no longer are deluding themselves about their two-party democracy. A boycott on voting for candidates for federal office is a form of civil disobedience that has enormous power to force true political reforms from the political system. This is the only way to make it crystal clear that the presidency and Congress no longer represent any significant fraction of the people. This is the only way to show that America’s representative democracy is no longer representative and, therefore, is no longer a credible democracy. Just imagine a federal government trying to function in the usual ways when only 20 percent of the eligible voters actually voted.

It takes more courage to boycott voting than to vote for lesser evil Democrats and in the end this is the only way for people to feel proudly patriotic. This is the only way to not contribute to the ongoing bipartisan criminal conspiracy running the federal government.

We have broken government because the spirit of Americans that gave us our revolution and nation’s birth has been broken, in large measure by distractive and self-indulgent consumerism. It is better to recognize that those who vote suffer from delusion than to criticize those who do not vote as apathetic. Non-delusional nonvoters recognize the futility of voting.

Democrats will not restore our democracy. That is the painful truth that most people will not readily accept. Such is the power of group delusion. Voting produces never-ending cycles of voter dissatisfaction with those elected, both Democrats and Republicans. It is time to break this cycle of voter despair. Voters that bitch and moan about Congress and the White House have nobody to blame but themselves, no matter which party they voted for.

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at November 10, 2007 5:51 PM
Comments
Comment #238028

Joel,

I really don’t think that staying away from the polls will send the message that we really want to send.

I say that we go to the polls in droves…not to elect “more of the same”, but to demand a 3rd choice in any election. That choice being “None Of The Above”.

If “None Of The Above” out polls the other choices, the candidates must withdraw and the election held again with different candidates.

I feel that with the addition of the “None Of The Above” choice, the individual voter will have new power. The individual voter’s vote WILL count and will afford that voter an outlet for their dissatisfaction…or rage.

But you need not fear. The “None Of The Above” option will never happen.

Why?

Because it will give too much power back to the people. People will be too free for the power mad tastes of our government.

As long as our representatives have their thumbs firmly pressed on the top of our heads, they’re happy. Any REAL freedom that we the people demand must be met and crushed to ensure the status quo.

Posted by: Jim T at November 10, 2007 6:58 PM
Comment #238029


Joel: Your option is not likely to happen, at least in this election. Continuing with a divided government is going to assure that nothing will be done. So, next to revolution, electing the Democrats with a commanding majority is the best option that the people have. If the Democrats fail to respond to the peoples wishes and don’t get the country back on track and headed in the right direction, the people may then be ready to abandon the two party system.

Posted by: jlw at November 10, 2007 7:23 PM
Comment #238031

Joel, true enough that Democrats will NOT put the country back into a position of sustainable stability. But, there is no question that the majority of Americans believe the Democrats will be a vast improvement over what has been witnessed these last 7 years. The will improve some things and make others worse. On balance, one can hope they improve more than they make worse, but, we will have to see.

Voting for challengers instead of incompetent or corrupt incumbents for Congress is by far, the most important message the American people can send to elected officials. The message an anti-incumbent vote sends to politicians in both parties is that the voters that matter won’t settle for corruption of our system or incompetence in political office, any longer.

And that is a message both the Democratic and Republican Parties need desperately to hear and get from the voters. The 2008 elections will be decided by the burgeoning Independent voters in many evenly divided districts across the country. And if independent voters vote anti-incumbent for the large part, the message will ring clear as the Liberty Bell before it was cracked.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 10, 2007 8:10 PM
Comment #238032

In response:

Attempts to get “None of the Above” on all ballots have failed; the only way that will happen is through a constitutional amendment. And to make it really effective, when NOTA gets the majority, then that particular election should be held again.

For jlw, your thinking has already been tried with the 2006 midterm elections that put the Democrats in charge of Congress. What happened? They have vividly shown that they too deserve no respect by the electorate; all they have shown over and over again is that they too are dishonest and corrupt and to not really believe in the rule of law and obeying the Constitution. Enough is enough already - you Dems will not fact the truth because you are delusional and refuse to see that the two-party SYSTEM is totally corrupt.

Posted by: Joel S. Hirschhorn at November 10, 2007 8:31 PM
Comment #238040

Wow, you don’t think much of your fellow man do you? What a way to influence people to your side. Not.

Talk down to us some more, I love it.

Posted by: womanmarine at November 10, 2007 11:47 PM
Comment #238044

In order to break away from the 2 party system and the lesser of two evils approach to voting we must have more choices when we vote. Unfortunately to run and have a chance to win it takes substantial finances which it seems the 2 parties have locked up. Until we can get the corporations out of the process not much can change.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 11, 2007 1:24 AM
Comment #238045

Joel, you are painting with too broad a brush. 41 Democrats in the House, most Freshman, (meaning they replaced incumbents) in 2006’s elections, reached across the aisle to 41 Republicans to co-sign the SAVE Act, which the American people want.

j2t2, you can’t remove the corporations from the equation until remove the incumbents who are beholding to them instead of the voters. All roads lead back to the voters, and all progress forward leads to removing substantial numbers of Democrat and Republican incumbents. Then, and only then, will the two parties acknowledge that the voters have more power over them than the corporate donors.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 11, 2007 2:07 AM
Comment #238051

David, I agree constant turnover is a good step but we need more choice to make headway. To get a new dem to replace an old repub or vice versa only goes so far in solving the problem. Seems to get elected the candidates have to go through the parties to get the money to run. They are tainted out of the gate.
I dont want to advocate for a new party or the libs or greens but we need choice. So far “none of the above” seems to be a step on the way.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 11, 2007 7:35 AM
Comment #238056

I say Bull. Democrats do not have the majority they need to push through changes in congress.

Furthermore, I ask you, would we be in this mess if Gore had been president? No. Did the U.S. at all resemble the mess it is today under Clinton? No. Blaming Democrats for today’s situation is is not right. You want someone else to blame other than the Republicans responsible? Blame Nader. Blame everyone that said that there was no difference between Democrats and Republicans and threw their votes away.

Posted by: Max at November 11, 2007 11:43 AM
Comment #238059

Isn’t it more effective and efficient to take over a party from the inside rather than create a third party? There has been no national level of succes here of recent note. I too want send a message but it is a third party doing this?

Posted by: Edge at November 11, 2007 11:54 AM
Comment #238061

Joel,

If you want to have a third party that might be successful, find us a candidate that has a clue, and a snowballs chance of being elected.
“None of the above” does absolutely nothing but allow the status quo to remain in power.

If NOA sends any message at all it is so oblique as to be meaningless.

Posted by: Rocky at November 11, 2007 12:08 PM
Comment #238063

All the admonishments and pleading to break towards 3rd. party candidates is still not a reality. There are no viable candidates. The votes aren’t there to make a change, so what will that get us?? Oh wait, ya, now I remember……

Posted by: Jane Doe at November 11, 2007 12:19 PM
Comment #238075
Joel wrote:The second option is to boycott voting to show total rejection of the current political system and the plutocratic cabal using the two-party duopoly to carry out its wishes. When a democracy no longer is legitimate, no longer is honest, and no longer serves the interests of ordinary citizens, then what other than violent revolution can change it? When the electoral system no longer can provide honest, corruption free candidates with any chance of winning, what can citizens do? Either stay home or just vote in local and state races and for ballot measures.
Joel, I understand the frustration and disgust for the perverted voting system, but there is a better way.

Theoretically, the voters (if they want it bad enough) can do the one simple, safe, peaceful, no-brainer, non-partisan, logical, common-sense, and responsible thing that the voters were supposed to be doing ALL along.
The voters, theoretically, have the power to peacefully reform their own government.
Since over 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money (usually incumbent politicians), and since Do-Nothing Congress has enjoyed a very cu$hy 95 to 99% re-election rates since 1980:

  • Stop repeat offenders!

  • Stop rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 95% to 99% re-election rates (96.5% seat-retention rate on average since 1980; 93.1% in the last Nov-2006 election).

  • Stop voting for incumbents that understand and capitalize on Congress’ extremely high re-election rates, as evidenced by their arrogance and disdain for the majority of voters.

  • Stop throwing money at incumbent politicians that get most of their money from only a very few of the very wealthy that abuse their vast wealth to control and influence government (NOTE: Only a very tiny 0.15% of all 200 million voters make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more); the remaining 99.85% of the 200 million eligible voters don’t stand a chance of outspending the wealthiest 1% of the U.S. population that owns 40% of all wealth in the U.S.).

Or, keep doing the same thing, keep pulling the party-lever, keep whining and complaining and giving Congress dismally low 11% to 18% approval ratings, and watch the deterioration, and disparity trend continue to worsen.

It simply makes no sense to give Congress such dismal 11% to 18% approval ratings, and then reward them with 95% to 99% re-election rates.
That is, it does not make sense until you understand the human factor and how some are masters at capitalizing and using that human factor for their own nefarious purposes, and cleverly perverted the voting system to take advantage of the voters’ apathy and complacency:

  • One of the best inventions EVER by the two-party duopoly was the party-lever/button.

  • It capitalizes on the voters’ apathy and laziness, because they don’t have to research who they vote for.

  • Most voters don’t even know who their senators and representatives are, much less their voting records.

  • It’s easier to simply pull the party lever.

  • It’s easier to blame the OTHER party, than recognize the failings withing THEIR own party.

  • It’s easier to turn a blind eye to the fact that incumbent politicians in BOTH parties are so corrupt and irresponsible, that it really makes no difference.

  • It’s easier to ignore that fact that the majority in Congress got us where we are, and the majority of voters keep rewarding them for it, and expecting a different result.

  • It’s easier to ignore the truth … at least, until that becomes too painful.

  • And 40% to 50% of voters do not even vote at all.

  • Too many voters blindly pull the party-lever and pat themselves on the back for voting.

  • Politicians know this, and fuel the partisan warfare to make sure a majority never exists to understand and reveal their fraud.

Either way, the majority of voters have the government that they deserve (that is, at least as long as they still the right to vote or get an accurate vote count).
Rewarding bad government will breed more bad government, corruption, and continue the worsening disparity trend (caused by many regressive systems the did not all come about by mere coincidence).

Posted by: d.a.n at November 11, 2007 3:01 PM
Comment #238076

Voting Guidelines

Posted by: d.a.n at November 11, 2007 3:03 PM
Comment #238079

j2t2, you are half way there to understanding why the Vote Out Incumbents concept will work. You are absolutely right that the duopoly parties control the money system that elects politicians.

But, you must not forget the goal of the parties. To elect politicians who will remain in office and thereby prevent the opposing party from making inroads. That is precisely why a high turnover in incumbents of both parties will motivate the parties to select candidates backed by money who will respond to the demands of the people where the people have a majority view on an issue, and there are many.

The duopoly parties want the most power that money can buy. But, if the voters won’t reelect their incumbents, incumbents who won’t or don’t address the issues the Independent voters side with one or the other party on, then the parties will alter the profile of the candidates they run, to those who reflect the will of the majority of the people on the major issues Americans agree need addressing.

Just some of the issues that Independent voters can alter American politics on by voting against incumbents who haven’t solved these issues:

—Campaign Finance Reform
—Illegal immigration and border security
—Ending deficit spending
—Tax reform which is fair for all (not unfair tax schemes that call themselves FAIR. Americans aren’t buying that Orwellian rhetoric and Newspeak any more.)
—Judicial oversight of government surveillance of Americans
—Saving Social Security intact
—Halting health care inflation costs
—Affordable health care for all American citizens
—Affordable Energy policy
—An end to no bid contracts and waste, fraud, and abuse of tax payer dollars engaged in by politicians and private business
—Criminalize many political ethics abuses
—Insure fair, accountable, and transparent voting in America for federal elections.


These are just some of the issues which, if independent voters vote against incumbents for not having solved, would force the Political Parties to promote candidates who will solve them, instead of paying lip service to them to get elected, and simply point fingers at the opposition party after elected. If independent voters will vote Results, and not campaign rhetoric, this nation would turn around pretty damn fast, in as little as 3 election cycles.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 11, 2007 4:57 PM
Comment #238081

Edge said: “Isn’t it more effective and efficient to take over a party from the inside rather than create a third party?”

Given the control the duopoly Parties have over the election and campaign system, at third Party candidate doesn’t really have a chance in federal politics. Ask Perot and Nader how formidable that system is.

That said, the concept of a third party ideology taking over the Democratic or Republican Party is a fantasy. The Libertarians can no more take over the Republican Party than the United Socialist Workers Party can take over the Democratic Party.

The key is not to try take over one or the other of the major parties, (as the Fundamentalist Right Evangelical Christians tried to do with the GOP), but, to feed the Duopoly Parties election results based on previous results. Independent voters now outnumber either Democratic or Republican voters. If Independent voters will vote for challengers when there was no progress on the issues that matter to them, and vote for incumbents when their issues have been resolved, the Democratic and Republican Parties will be forced in the war with each other, to yield to the Independent voters who will make or break both Party’s incumbents reelection bids for lack of progress.

As long as voters vote on the campaign promises which a billion political dollars support every 4 years, nothing will improve. They are simply playing into the rigged game the Dem’s and Rep’s have set up. However, if the Independent voters vote for, or against, incumbents based on whether they saw problems solved during the last election cycle, the Parties will have no choice but to solve America’s problems, and back candidates who will solve those problems. To do anything else, means that party’s incumbent would lose reelection.

The power the 2 Political Parties can be forced to serve the Independent voter’s will, if Independent voters will vote based on Results instead of campaign promises. This is the new reality and opportunity in American politics, brought on by the unprecedented growth in Independent voters over registered Dem. or Rep. voters. The Independent voters can be the power brokers of American politics going forward, if they can be informed that they have this power for the taking and exercising.

That is why it is imperative for America that Vote Out Incumbents Democracy and similar organizations focused on informing Independent voters be supported and succeed. There are no other realistic options in our future.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 11, 2007 5:15 PM
Comment #238085

Increasing numbers of independent voters is almost a certainty, because:

  • (01) In the last Nov-2006 election, voters chose Democrats over Republicans.

  • (02) But little changed, and voters are possibly more unhappy now, as evidenced by Congress’ dismal 11% to 18% approval ratings, their increasing awareness of the worsening disparity trend, worsening economic factors, and the nation’s pressing problems being ignored and allwed to grow in number and severity. It doesn’t really matter which party wins, since the IN-PARTY always grows more corrupt, and finally is replaced with the OUT-PARTY, and the two-party duopoly simply take turns running the nation into ruin.

  • (03) A growing number of voters are leaving both parties. First it was the Republican party that lost 35 seats in Congerss (a 5.6% decrease in the incumbency-retention rate). Next time, it may be some of BOTH.

  • (04) A growing number of voters are already well aware that even if they can never get their third party candidate elected, they can disrupt to the two-party duopoly. That’s a good thing that helps make the two main parties a little more honest.

  • (05) The only question is how long will it take enough voters (e.g. 35% of 200 million eligible voters) to finally understand that rewarding crooked politicians only makes politicians more crooked.

  • (06) More corruption translates into more erosion of society, the economy, and injury to the nation, which translates into more pain and misery, which finally translates into enough voters with enough motivation to change it, and finally understand that focusing only on winning seats for THEIR PARTY and pulling the party-lever is not working, but was actually making things worse and worse all along.
This process has repeated itself over and over throughout the millennia.
    ,-(1) corruption, oppression, pain and misery,
    | (2) courage, responsibility, outrage,
    | (3) liberty, growth, abundance,
    | (4) selfishness, complacency, fiscal irresponsibility
    | (5) apathy, dependency, fiscal & moral bankruptcy,
    ` - - return to step (1)
There’s no reason to believe the U.S. is immune to it. Already, things have slipped a long way in the last 30+ years. The Constitution is being violated, government is FOR-SALE, bloated, and corrupt, too many voters repeatedly reward THEIR politicians with 95% to 99% re-election rates by repeatedly pulling the party-lever. So, it is just a matter of time before the corruption grows too painful. It can’t last forever, because the pressures of massive debt, wars, injustice, illegal immigration, inflation, unaffordable shelter, healthcare, energy, and the growing disparity grow will finally cause enough pain and misery to trigger the self-correction mechanism.
However, he longer that is delayed, the more painful it will be later.
What led up to the Civil War and the Great Depression are two good examples of it, and also two periods of the highest anti-incumbent voting.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 11, 2007 6:51 PM
Comment #238090

The real illusion here was that the Republicans would see the writing on the wall. It looked like that might happen, but it did not.

The other trouble was that we expected people whose entire political career took place during the rise of radical conservatism to understand the critical threshold had been passed, not to approach things too cautiously.

Do I expect the almost certain gains of the Democrats to help? Somewhat. But I have few illusions about it bringing a utopia. I believe that the process is one of evolution, and therefore, we need to consider things over the long term. If we expect instant political saviors, quick fixes, well, things will pretty much continue as they have or get worse.

I think the solution is more complex. In fact, really we shouldn’t be talking about one solution, because the problem is really many problems, and those problems each have their individual issues that need involved attention.

We don’t need more blame games, we need to start thinking about the issues apart from our politics, and then start talking between ourselves, negotiating, and start making our wishes known in no uncertain terms.

What’s more, we need to be persistent. Evolution doesn’t occur in nature unless pressures are persistent, long-term. I agree with voting out incumbents who aren’t doing their job, but voters need to insist on those definitions through their votes if they wish to see those changes take place. Fast-food politics will not solve our problems. What we need are general improvements in our political diet.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 11, 2007 7:45 PM
Comment #238095

David,

“Ask Perot and Nader how formidable that system is.”

Perot imploded, he actually had the kind of support needed to be a political force, but only until the voting public realized just how nuts he actually was.
Don’t get take me wrong about Nader, but do you really think he would have a shot even if he was nominated by one of the two “mainstream” parties?
Nader is a bright guy, perhaps too bright.
Nader has some great ideas, but Nader doesn’t communicate well enough to get elected, and is incapable of delegating any kind of authority.

Posted by: Rocky at November 11, 2007 9:37 PM
Comment #238103

Rocky, every candidate has their flaws. EVERY candidate. Hillary is tied to corporate money, Obama wants open borders for immigrants legal and illegal. Edwards wants unbridled spending domestically at the cost of foreign agendas. Hillary is a woman, Obama is Black, and Edwards is a White Lawyer.

There is no such thing as the perfect candidate for the masses, only those who win by an infinite dance of variables at play, not the least of which is the packaging, marketing and advertising of a candidate which enormous sums of money can buy.

Nader didn’t have the money to turn the marketing of himself over to the experts in that field. It’s not that he was lesser than any candidate running today. He was simply running without a major Party’s infrastructure and funding. Those were his limitations.

Bush was a far, monumentally far less capable communicator than Nader. At least Nader could carry a logical argument and debate forward. Bush however, with all his illogical references and language mashing, had a major party’s infrastructure and enormously more funding to package him to the people in as deceptive a way as necessary to get him elected.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 11, 2007 11:23 PM
Comment #238104

Stephen said: “I agree with voting out incumbents who aren’t doing their job, but voters need to insist on those definitions through their votes if they wish to see those changes take place. Fast-food politics will not solve our problems. What we need are general improvements in our political diet.”

Very well put, Stephen. It will take, as you say, both a vigilant focus on the future and where we want to get to, and holding the politicians accountable for making clearly defined and readily visible incremental successes in getting there. Campaign promises should be listened to only by Freshman candidates. When dealing with incumbents, the record of what they accomplished since last elected is all that should count. Results have to be what matters to voters to get their vote. No results, no incumbent vote.

It is what our democratic form of elections was always intended to be and how it was always intended to work, from the very beginning of this nation. We need to get back holding ourselves as voters accountable for our vote, and in so doing, holding the politicians accountable for their results or absence thereof.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 11, 2007 11:31 PM
Comment #238131

David R. Remer-
Actually, I would say both look at the record AND listen to their campaign promises.

In the course of the Bush Administration, I’ve found that Bush has been very good at times at fulfilling his campaign promises whether they’re the smart thing or not. If people had listened to what he really wanted, they might have given themselves a moment of pause before they cast their vote.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 12, 2007 9:46 AM
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