Third Party & Independents Archives

What Are We Waiting For?

Long before the disastrous George W. Bush administration, I had been waiting for profound, systemic changes in our political system. Perversely, I saw the upside of Bush as motivating more Americans to demand political change. And that happened. But the national yearning for change was co-opted by Ron Paul on the right and Barack Obama on the left while John Edwards with the most authentic populist change message fizzled out early.

It is not enough to want, demand and support change, not when change is more of a campaign slogan than a carefully detailed set of reforms. Critically needed is a firm understanding of what specific changes can restore American democracy and remove the privileged rich plutocrats and corporatists running and ruining our nation.

A huge fraction of Americans have bought into the Obama candidacy because of his polished and effective rhetoric. But Obama does not offer the changes I have been waiting for, or the ones the public needs. A great speaker does not necessarily have the courage or intent to fight for deep political reforms.

Our nation’s Founders did not create the United States of America just with smiles and slick rhetoric; they were bold, risk-taking revolutionaries fighting tyranny. Obama has not defined our domestic tyranny and told us how he will try to abolish it. Obama is no dissident or revolutionary. The change he mostly seeks is moving from senator to president. Not what I have been waiting for.

There is no evidence in Obama’s brief political career that he is a champion for deep political reforms to transfer power from the plutocrats to the people. To the contrary, the more you learn about Obama’s history the more he appears as just another super-ambitious politician making friends, using people and cutting deals to get ahead.

To begin with, I have been waiting for a potential president that speaks out against the over-powerful two-party system that sucks up money from all countless corporate and other special interests. I have never heard a word from Obama to indicate he understands the many harmful effects of the two-party plutocracy and the need to open up our political system to a much wider spectrum of beliefs and strategies. Instead, Obama cleverly talks about bipartisanship just as many other Democrats and Republicans have, because that maintains the two-party status quo.

If Obama believed in opening up the political system he would, for example, advocate opening up televised presidential debates to third party candidates and removing the many obstacles the two parties have built to limit ballot access to third party and independent candidates. He would also openly call for replacing the Electoral College with the popular vote for president.

If Obama truly wanted to get rid of big, corrupting money from corporate and other special interests, then he should be advocating a constitutional amendment that would remove all private money from political campaigns and change the US system to totally publicly financed campaigns. Only a constitutional amendment can accomplish this. Campaign financing reforms by Congress are a distraction and next to useless.

And if Obama really supported universal health care, then he would have concluded as nearly all experts have that the nation needs a single payer insurance system that puts an end to the rape of the public by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Change? Absolutely. But real systemic, root changes that reform and transform the current system by changing the power structure that both major parties have nourished over many decades. What is so clear to millions of people highly skeptical of the Obama-as-political-messiah fiction is that he has not earned the presidency through diverse political and leadership accomplishments.

Sure, none of the other candidates are any better than Obama - not Hillary Clinton, not John McCain. More worthy candidates based on experience and authenticity succumbed to many bizarre forces and media disinterest. It is too late to enlighten ardent Obamatons, but millions of voters will justify voting for Obama as the lesser evil candidate. That proves how bankrupt our political system really is. Now is the time to reject the two-party plutocracy and vote for third party and independent candidates, such as Ralph Nader. Yes we can! Voters that define themselves as independents should assert their independence by rejecting candidates from both major parties.

With a longer view of history, there really is something worse than John McCain becoming president. It is once again upholding the periodic shift of power between the two major parties that stabilizes their tyranny. Just as the Bush administration has built demand for change so too would a McBush presidency. Maybe then in 2012 a true, trustworthy and proven agent of change would have a shot at the presidency. However, electing Obama will set back things back. He will only disappoint us and drain all the pent up demand for change by delivering, at most, some cosmetic actions. Just like his recent decision to wear a flag lapel pin.

The right question is not whether this African American can win the general election, it is SHOULD he be president?

After a few years as president, millions of people would realize that Obama is not the political salvation people have been waiting for. Of course, he would then focus on getting a second term, with more seductive smiles, empty platitudes and false promises. Why not? It worked the first time.

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at May 20, 2008 9:29 AM
Comments
Comment #253187

Reject the two-party plutocracy, Joel?
The “Obamatons” will vote left no matter who the candidate is and the far-right religious people will either stay home or vote against the liberal.
That leaves it up to people like you and me, but even we are just as divided as the liberals and conservatives.
You wouldn’t vote for a Ron Paul type and there is absolutely no chance in hell that I would ever vote for a Nader type. It is that difference which keeps us from becoming a force to be listened to.

What are we waiting for? IMHO, something that will never be.

Good post Joel.

Posted by: kctim at May 20, 2008 9:58 AM
Comment #253196
Joel wrote: What Are We Waiting For?

We are waiting for something to motivate enough Americans to vote more responsibly.

That “something” is already on the way.
Some of the painful consequences of 30+ years of irresponsible voting and abuses is already unavoidable (for many, if not most Americans).

Pain and misery can be an effective motivator and teacher too.

Unfortunately, it is human nature to wait (if ever) until enough of us are finally motivated by the painful consequences of our selfishness, laziness, greed, and corruption.

Our fiscal irresponsibility alone could bring down the economy (with world-wide ramifications).
The following are current debts (not current debt + future interest):

  • (1) Total Domestic Financial Sector Debt = $15.8 Trillion

  • (2) Total Household Debt = $13.88 Trillion

  • (3) Total Business Debt = $10.16 Trillion

  • (4) Total Other Private Sector Foreign Debt = $1.8 Trillion

  • (5) Total Federal Government National Debt = $9.4 Trillion

  • (6) Total State and Local Government Debt = $2.2 Trillion

  • __________________________________________________

  • Total = $53.2 Trillion (that’s 3.81 times the nation’s $13.86 Trillion GDP!)

  • Including the $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching,
    the total is $66 Trillion! (over $216K per person; that is 4.76 times the $13.86 Trillion GDP!)
Young voters would be wise to wake up and start paying more attention, because it is their future that is being stolen from them.

The anti-incumbent sentiment is growing.
Droves of voters have left the Republican party.
Unfortunately, what many of those voters that defected to the Democrat party don’t yet understand is that too many incumbent politician in BOTH parties are too irresponsible and unaccountable.

At any rate, the voters will have the government they elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 20, 2008 11:24 AM
Comment #253198

With the war in Iraq seemingly going nowhere fast, the sub-rate mortgage crisis, corrupt government officials, high energy prices, the high cost of medical care, the high cost of living, stagnant wages, and the economy in recession most folks want to see changes made. The problem here is none of the candidates plan to change anything except who’s in the White House. It’ll be business as usual and the problems facing this country still won’t be addressed.
Until folks demand true change there won’t be any. The problem is there just aint enough misery out there yet for folks to demand true change.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 20, 2008 11:47 AM
Comment #253209

I was with you all the way, until you got back to shilling for Nader, who supposedly had a placeholder in the Green party primary here. Cynthis McKinney won the primary in Illinois. She has 187 delegates from 19 states, and Nader has 117 from 6 states, mostly just California. I would think Nader should accept the VP spot on the ticket.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 20, 2008 1:15 PM
Comment #253231
Ron Brown wrote: Until folks demand true change there won’t be any. The problem is there just aint enough misery out there yet for folks to demand true change.
That’s right.

Unfortunately, pain and misery is a lagging indicator.

By the time we feel the painful consequences, the damage is either already done, or unavoidable for many years to come.

We did not get here over-night.
The painful consequences of 30+ years of these abuses, the deteriorating economy and falling U.S. Dollar (falling since year 1999), are only now starting to cause some pain for some Americans.

It’s hard to see how things won’t get worse for many more Americans, and it will take many years to recover, with so much nation-wide debt ($53.2 Trillion; both personal and government debt combined).

Consider the $53.2 Trillion nation-wide debt. There’s a reason why nobody wants to tell us where the money to pay the interest on $53.2 Trillion will come from, much less the money to reduce the principal (DEBT=Principal+Interest), when that money does not yet exist. At only 4% interest, it could take longer (272 years) than the U.S.A. has existed (233 eyars) to pay off $53.2 Trillion of nation-wide debt:
One-Simple-Idea.com/53Trillion.gif

Of course, it is unlikely this massive $53.2 Trillion nation-wide debt can ever be paid down, because it would require $5.81 Billion per day ($177 Billion per month) to merely stop it from growing ever LARGER each day!

The fiscal situation is just one result of 3+ decades of abuses.

Some people will argue that the U.S. is one of the wealthiest nations on the planet.
True.
However, 80% of all 305 million Americans own only 17% of all wealth in the U.S.
40% of all 305 million Americans have (on average) ZERO net worth.
20% of all 305 million Americans have (on average) negative (i.e. debt) net worth.

Doing the math, it’s not very encouraging.
Not just today, but for many years to come.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 20, 2008 3:06 PM
Comment #253266

Joel,
Why the Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders could do like other Hierarchys have done throughout the Ages and demand their Citizens to build the type of world they want. The Founding Fathers of America are very blount that people like me are not allowed to rule the world, but instead learn how to use the Due Process of Law to show Our Elders and Powers-that-Be that as Individuals, a Nation, and a Society we do have a Common Inherent Interest to build a Better World for Our Children.

So, why complaining what is wrong has been a trademark of the Democratic and Republican Pundits I do hope that My Independent Pundits can roll up their sleeves and find the Politically Correct Viable Political Solutions to the problems faced by Our Generation.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at May 20, 2008 10:37 PM
Comment #253338

Comment #252865
Joel S. and Responders,

I too, have struggled mightly about what should be done. It took 30 years of chicanery to get us into this situation and there are no quick fixes. There must be a little less talk and a lot more ACTION. Cut to the chase. First, what is wrong? Our Government is not much more than a lackey for big business, period. Second, what needs to be done to reclaim/reform our Government? There needs to be ACCOUNTABILITY for elected/appointed officials as part of the political equation. Three, how to invoke accountability? Establish a Third Party w/RULES (www.demreps.com), where elected/appointed officials who are MEMBERS of this third Party must retain a two-thirds approval rating from the Party MEMBERS. If, for example, a Senator from this third Party fails to support the Party agenda and X percent of MEMBERS complain, a state-wide Party vote MUST be held and if the Senator fails to get a two-thirds approval from the majority of MEMBERS (We The People) then he/she is rejected from the Party with no further Party support for his/her political endeavors, ever. Please, think about the consequences of that and then visit demreps.com where we are looking for a little less talk and a lot more ACTION.

Hardball

Posted by: Roy Ellis at May 14, 2008 10:49 PM

Joel & Responders,
I had posted the above in response to a similar article you had previously posted. No response from any corner! So, I’ll try again.
Many agree the two parties are corrupted beyond repair. That a 3rd party is the most expeditious path to change. That the current candidates/nominee are lackeys for big biz. That numerous changes must be made, and soon. “Read the bill” before voting, FEC as only source for campaigning, no amendments in the dark of night, usery law for credit, etc. I could crash this server noting needed changes. I too, will vote for Nader rather than throw my vote away. He could, at best, slow our demise over the next four years. Remember Jimmy Carter, the outsider. You nailed the requirement “real systemic root changes” to the political system. Well, you could throw the incumbents out or install a third party. And in a few years you would have three dysfunctional parties vice two. At one point in our history there was an effort to form something like a fourth branch of Government, made up of citizens to watchdog the three branches. Seriously, what can be done to restore the constitution to it’s original purpose, effect the changes so many want, clean up the political system, empower the voting public, and KEEP IT THAT WAY. ACCOUNTABILITY! (please re-read my first post, at the top).
I would like a wide ranging debate on how we can legally instill ACCOUNTABILITY into the political equation. I believe the most effective and long lasting solution is the one we are proposing with our third party effort. Visit www.demreps.com. While there, read the blog post “How we will be successful”. I would like to hear your ideas, suggestions, criticism, advise, etc. What can we legally implement to give voters more of a REAL controlling hand on the levers of Government?

Hardball

Posted by: Roy Ellis at May 21, 2008 6:44 PM
Comment #253379
Roy Ellis wrote: At one point in our history there was an effort to form something like a fourth branch of Government, made up of citizens to watchdog the three branches.
That’s not a bad idea.

The voters should do that, but a branch that does nothing but that, day-in and day-out, may be a better idea?

Roy, There are some encourage signs … the numbers of independents is growing.

Unfortunately, that motivation is probably coming from the painful consequences of years of government corruption and voter negligence.

But you are right …

Roy Ellis wrote:
It took 30 years of chicanery to get us into this situation and there are no quick fixes.

… there are no quick fixes, and there will be unavoidable and painful consequences, and they will continue to get worse as long as too many voters allow these 10+ abuses to continue.

Education is part of the solution, and the majority of voters will get their education one way or another … the voters simply need to decide if they want to get their education the smart way, or the hard and painful way. Unfortunately, history shows us that we must learn the hard way more often than the smart way. It’s 2.00 steps forward and 1.99 steps backward. Progress (if any) is slow. We’ve been going backwards for a long time (30+ years).

We are now starting to see the painful consequences of a myriad of manifestations of unchecked greed, apathy, complacency, blind loyalties, blind partisanship, delusion, irrational fear, laziness, and corruption.

As the corruption grows, the harder it is to stop.
The only safety mechanism (if any) is the painful consequences that finally (if ever) provide sufficient motivation for voters to stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

Unfortunately, these things take many years to unfold in a nation so large (with 305+ million people): One-Simple-Idea.com/PopulationUS.gif
As a result, many Americans have not yet felt some of the pain and misery that is already on the way (some of it is probably already unavoidable).
We have been warned repeatedly about the following problems, growing in number and severity:

  • lawlessness; many existing laws are being ignored; blatant constitutional violations: One-Simple-Idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations1.htm

  • debt; massive and out-of-control debt; no one can tell us where the money will come from to pay only the interest alone on $53.2 trillion of nation-wide debt, much less the money to pay down the principal debt (LOAN=PRINCIPAL+INTEREST) to keep it from growing ever larger;

  • legal plunder; plundered Social Security surpluses; $12.8 Trillion was borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching;

  • energy vulnerabilities;

  • unfair trade practices;

  • illegal immigration and our politicians despicably pitting American citizens against each other for profits and votes: One-Simple-Idea.com/VoteDemocrat.gif

  • corruption; a severely bloated, pork-happy, wasteful, corrupt, and incompetent federal government;

  • election problems, election fraud, campaign finance, Gerrymandering;

  • government FOR-SALE; as evidenced by 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.15% that make 83% of all federal campaign donations;

  • unfair and regressive taxation;

  • voter negligence; voter apathy and complacency; blind partisan loyalties, wallowing in the distracting partisan warfare; irrational fear; irrational partisan hatred; laziness; delusion;

  • inflation; a dishonest, inflationary, and usurious monetary system that is essentially a pyramid scheme; the falling U.S. Dollar: One-Simple-Idea.com/USD_Falling.htm

  • corpocrisy, corporate pork-barrel and welfare; subsidies for the wealthy; corporatism, usury, fraud, eminent domain abuse, and other manifestionations of uchecked greed;

  • dangerous healthcare; healthcare that is not only unaffordable, but a dangerous healthcare system with 195,000 deaths per year due to potentially preventable medical mistakes (101,000 due to adverse drug reactions); 52% of medical expenditures going to hospitals and doctors; a system that is plagued with unnecessary middlemen, illegal aliens (e.g. 70% of women giving birth at Parkland Memorial hospital in Dallas,TX in only the first 3 months of year 2006 were illegal aliens (www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/parkland.asp); hundreds of over-run hospitals are closing (64-to-80 in California alone)), malpractice, political interference and meddling, etc.; HCA which fraudulently bilked $1 Billion from Medicare (part of the $30 Billion defrauded from Medicare annually); those 195,000 deaths per, since 1999, is over 1.5 million people killed by preventable medical mistakes, which is more than all the U.S. troops killed in all American wars: the American Revolution (4,435), the War of 1812 (2,260), the Indian Wars (1,000), the Mexican War (1,733), the Civil War (462,000), the Spanish American War (385), WWI (53,402), WWII (291,557), Vietnam War (58,209), Korean War (36,574), the Iraq Gulf War (529), and the current Iraq war Mar-2003-present (4,080 as of 21-MAY-2008), combined !

  • wars; some unnecessary wars (7 wars in the last 90 years); we were also warned about Iraq, which, as it now appears, didn’t have any WMD (Hans Blix was correct after all);

  • education; declining quality and rising cost of education; ignorance can be costly too; few (if any) politicians want the voters to understand any of that above; the health and future of the nation is not high on their list of priorities; self-gain and voting themselves a raise each year (as Congress has 9 of the last 10 years) is their top priority, while our troops risk life and limb, go without armor, adequate medical care, and promised beneifts;
The pain levels will continue to increase as the consequences of the above grow in number and severity, and as long as too many voters continue to repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

When will it start to improve?
It’s up to the voters.
In a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount.
Voters will get their education one way or another.
Perhaps, things can start to improve when enough voters finally understand that their increasing pain and misery is their own fault for repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election?

Solutions …

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 11:27 AM
Comment #253380

P.S. For those that think Ralph Nader is the best choice, then that is who they should vote for.

Should your vote be influenced by who the Main Stream Media (MSM) tells you will most likely win or lose?

If so, then the MSM controls the elections.

Since when did voting for anyone but the most qualified person become acceptable?

Also, regardless of who the next president is, voters should not forget about Do-Nothing Congress, who are largely to blame (along with voters) for these deteriorating economic conditions, which have never been worse ever and/or since the 1930s and 1940s. Obviously, repeatedly rewarding Do-Nothing Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates is not working, is it?

Voting Guidelines …

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 11:36 AM
Comment #253391

d.a.n wrote: Should your vote be influenced by who the Main Stream Media (MSM) tells you will most likely win or lose?

Worst reason I’ve heard to vote for someone. But there’s a whole heap of folks that’ll do just that because they want to back a winner. The problem is we’ve had some pretty lousy politicians elected and reelected because of this.


d.a.n wrote: If so, then the MSM controls the elections.

I think it’s been controlling the elections for the last 2 or 4 decades. And that’s just flat wrong. The voters are the ones that’s supposed to decide who’s in office and who’s not. Not the media, bug business, special interest or anything else.


Since when did voting for anyone but the most qualified person become acceptable?

IT AINT! And never has been. But it seems a lot of folks don’t look at it that way.
If the candidate aint from their party, religion, race, sex, national origin, or backed by their favorite special interest, they aint gonna vote for them regardless of their qualifications.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 22, 2008 1:24 PM
Comment #253398

I was impressed with Nader initially - I do think he’s done a lot for America, and definitely has not been adequately thanked (see his biography, The Good Fight (ebooks and audiobooks version), for more information about his consumer advocacy programs). However, I worried about him in the last election cycle because a lot of his big contributors were, in fact, George W. Bush Republicans. That disturbed me…

Posted by: Saira B at May 22, 2008 2:13 PM
Comment #253568
CBS Broadcasting Inc. (CBS) is one of the largest radio and television networks in the United States. CBS Corporation and the new Viacom are controlled by Sumner Redstone through National Amusements, the parent of the two companies.
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group.
NBC Universal is a media and entertainment company formed in May 2004 by the combination of General Electric’s NBC with Vivendi Universal Entertainment (part of the French Media Group, Vivendi SA). GE owns 80% of NBC Universal with the remaining 20% owned by Vivendi SA. The company develops, produces, and markets entertainment, news, and information to a global customer base.
Quotes from Wikipedia

Ron Brown and d.a.n are on the right track on this one. What are we waiting for?

We’re waiting for the big 3 media outlets to feel the pinch of our decisions. Electing the media’s fair haired boy isn’t going to put them in a pinch. Media touts themselves as the people’s guardian against the government, the fourth estate. But we don’t watch them anymore, we watch what they’re forcing us to watch.
I remember the people’s claim there is too much violence on tv. The media countered with “Just change the channel!”

I turned on my tv one night and the first image I saw was a man laying on his back in a pool of blood coming from the bullet hole in his forehead. I changed the channel to see a naked man laying on top of a naked woman in bed coo-cooing to each other. I changed the channel to see cops chasing down a black man at night.
Those are the first 3 seconds of my tv viewing experience that evening. What choice did I have? Negative images were forced on me when I turned the darn thing on.

I try to watch the news but I recently discontinued my extended cable service. I only get the broadcast channels on my cable. The news is on at certain times meaning I must be sitting at my tv at a certain time to get any news at all! I often wonder why I couldn’t see the story I missed on another channel. It’s amazing how the big 3 will not only have the same story, but they will have it on at the same 3 minute time span as the other 2! Can anyone give me a clue why that is?
It’s like the big 3 got together the day before and choreographed the next day’s half-hour news shows. The arguement among us results in different words used to support the same theme. The healthcare debate is about who’s version of healthcare solution has merit, not about what the healthcare problems are! Not about identifying the problem. They’re controlling the debate by dominating the problems.

So, how do we get more responsible tv programming from the big 3? My solution is to make the big 3 feel the pinch. They felt it with the inception of the internet and more so with the advent of cable. But it didn’t make a lasting impression because most people don’t have cable or the internet. Most people rely on broadcast to get their information.

My solution is like a dirty word around here. Local, individual, all dirty words here. But if your own community watched their local channels more than they watched the big 3 channels the big 3 would feel the pinch. Local communities that charter cable companies insist on a public access channel. That’s a good starting point. Add school arts groups, sports events, community affairs and current events to this public access channel along with a relentless campaign to promote this channel over the big 3 and you have the big 3 in a pinch. The greater the number of communities paying attention to themselves and their own problems the less the number of people paying attention and being brainwashed by the big 3.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 24, 2008 1:26 PM
Comment #253641

The FCC is giving away the digital spectrum to the same corporations that have done such a great job at serving the public, that brainwashing is now considered to be a normal acceptable part of our lives.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 25, 2008 7:32 PM
Comment #253646

WW,

Dig up Brinkley, Murrow, and Sevareid. Or clone them. Hell, even Cronkite might do.

Posted by: googlumpus at May 26, 2008 12:03 AM
Post a comment