Third Party & Independents Archives

Democracy for Dummies

I confess. I believe there is a ruling class that sustains the two-party plutocracy running the nation for the benefit of the rich and corporate class. Their broad strategy is deception and delusion. Tactically, they use government, the mainstream media, the financial services sector, funding of politicians and the two major parties, and many other parts of the culture and economy to maintain their power and control.

Elections do not threaten elites. To the contrary, political debate and elections are important to maintain the illusion and delusion of a real democracy. They are key to prevent outright revolution, marginalize dissidents and political reform efforts, and suppress third parties. Would power plutocrats allow election of a president that threatened their control? Of course not. And no Democratic or Republican presidential candidate ever poses a real threat despite cloaking themselves with labels like maverick, reformer or change agent.

If you accept my worldview, then you know that the ruling class would prefer John McCain over Barack Obama, though they can live with Obama, which is why many, many wealthy people and corporations have poured money into the Obama’s campaign and the recent Democratic convention. The chief disadvantage of Obama and Sarah Palin, from the rulers’ perspective, is their relative brief stints as politicians. It takes time to corrupt politicians and cement their dependency on and membership in the ruling class. In contrast, McCain and Joe Biden clearly have shown themselves reliable in protecting the status quo two-party plutocracy.

The best way to view most current events is through the prism of the ruling class. Take lower gas prices and the federal takeover of the two mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Both occurred relatively soon before the general election, as has far better information about the Iraq war. Manipulation and engineering of national and even world events are designed to serve the interests of the ruling class.

Why does deception and delusion work so effectively? When it comes to politics, current events and history, the vast majority of citizens are uninformed, stupid and dumb, regardless of their educational level. As distracted and compulsive consumers, they fall head over hills for political lies and slick campaign rhetoric.

First, consider younger voters. So much talk is about the increased interest in this presidential campaign by younger people, especially evident in the Ron Paul and Obama campaigns. But consider these facts: For those age 18 to 29 just 20 percent read newspapers and just 11 percent regularly surf the Internet for news. Most of what people know about candidates’ positions on the issues comes from what they learn from unreliable and all too often misleading 30-second commercials. Despite far more widespread and extensive schooling, people today possess no more political knowledge than their parents and grandparents. And don’t think that those addicted to The Daily Show and its irreverent view of politics are a lot smarter than those favoring The conservative O’Reilly Factor show. In both groups, only about 54 percent of the shows’ politicized viewers scored in the high knowledge category.

Propaganda and misinformation really work. Just prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq some 60 percent of Americans believed that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attack. But here is the kicker: A year later there was a wealth of information, including the 9/11 Commission report, saying that Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack. Yet an amazing 50 percent of Americans still believed that Iraq was to blame, and may still think so. As Rick Shenkman, author of Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter, concluded: “By every measure social scientists have devised, voters are spectacularly uninformed.” Guess who takes advantage of the stupidity of voters, especially younger ones.

If people can believe Obama when he says that the election is not about him but about them, then they also can believe McCain when he says he is a proven change agent and reformer.

The only real difference between Obama and McCain is exactly how they will screw the public and benefit the rich and powerful if elected, not whether they will. If the electorate was really intelligent, they would understand and focus on the similarity between the two, rather than their professed differences. It is what they share – obedience and loyalty to the two-party plutocracy – that matters the most. As long as voters do not understand this, the oppression and destruction of the middle class will continue, despite people thinking they are free and live in a democracy.

Mostly, Americans are free to remain vulnerable to deception and delusion.

Democracy for dummies is what we have and what the majority deserve. For the rest of us the difficult challenge is to find ways to fight the political system that are not marginalized and only satisfy our egos. As long as you are an enthusiastic supporter of any Democrat or Republican you are a willing participant in our fake democracy. Most voters persist in believing in the myth that some Democrat or Republican can and will reform the political system, fix the economy, and restore American democracy. They refuse to face the painful truth that this is simply not true. They rather keep embracing the delusional myth.

Consider these wise words of John F. Kennedy: “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

And so millions of Americans suffering from habitual stupidity will cast their votes confident that they have discovered the truth. Like the march of the penguins diving into icy water without thinking they have any other choice, they succumb to the big myth that this year cost about $1 billion to keep alive. These voters are dummies for democracy. The rest of us will vote for Ralph Nader or some other third party candidate, or refuse to vote at all, and seek ways to ignite the Second American Revolution.

Politicians and media people often praise the smart public and smart voters as if they inevitably make the best, most intelligent and informed electoral decisions. This is sheer hype designed to maintain the political status quo. There is only one smart fact: Every single Democrat and Republican candidate lies. Why do they keep lying? It works.

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through www.delusionaldemocracy.com; he is a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention at www.foavc.org.]

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at September 14, 2008 6:16 PM
Comments
Comment #263007

ALL AMERICANS WANT A LEADER WE CAN TRUST WHO SPEAKS FROM THE HEART & NOT THE POLLS,SENATOR ???


SENATOR OBAMA,THIS JUDICIAL INJUSTICE HAS BECOME AN AMERICAN ART FORM,AND NO LONGER CAN BE KEPT HIDDEN OR SECRET FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE !!!

WHEN AMERICANS WERE TOLD THE TRUTH BY THIS HONEST BLACK LEADER,WHO WENT ON TO BECOME A US PRESIDENT ???

LETS ALL HOPE OUR MEDIA FRIENDS CONTINUE TO SHOW AN INTEREST IN REPORTING ON THIS AMERICAN HORROR FACING THESE (TENS OF THOUSANDS) FORGOTTEN AND TRAPPED POORER AMERICANS, AND HOW THIS PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER HANDLES THIS VERY SERIOUS ISSUE FACING AMERICA?S LATINO AND BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITIES ????

WITH 80% OF THE BLACK AMERICAN VOTERS SAYING THEY SUPPORT SENATOR OBAMA IN THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IT IS ONLY FAIR FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW PRIOR BEING ELECTED OUR NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HOW THIS DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TRULY FEELS ABOUT THIS AMERICAN JUDICIAL INJUSTICE CONTINUING TO INFLICT GRAVE HARM ON THE BLACK & LATINO AMERICAN FAMILIES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE ??????

*** WHEN GOD?S FACE BECAME VERY RED ***
THE US SUPREME COURT GAVE ENEMY COMBATANTS FEDERAL APPEAL HC RIGHTS LAWYERS AND PROPER ACCESS TO US FEDERAL COURTS,AND POORER AMERICANS (MANY EVEN ON DEATH ROW) ARE DENIED PROPER FEDERAL APPEAL LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO OUR US FEDERAL COURTS OF APPEAL, AND ROTTING IN AMERICAN PRISONS NATIONWIDE ?????????

**** INNOCENT AMERICANS ARE DENIED REAL HC RIGHTS WITH THEIR FEDERAL APPEALS !
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE $LOWLY FINDING OUT HOW EA$Y IT I$ FOR MIDDLE CLA$$ AND WORKING POOR AMERICAN$ TO FALL VICTIM TO OUR U$ MONETARY JUDICIAL $Y$TEM.

****WHEN THE US INNOCENT WERE ABANDONED BY THE GUILTY ****
The prison experts have reported that there are 100,000 innocent Americans currently being falsely imprisoned along with the 2,300,000 total US prison population nationwide.
Since our US Congress has never afforded poor prison inmates federal appeal legal counsel for their federal retrials,they have effectively closed the doors on these tens of thousands of innocent citizens ever being capable of possibly exonerating themselves to regain their freedom through being granted new retrials.

This same exact unjust situation was happening in our Southern States when poor and mostly uneducated Black Americans were being falsely imprisoned for endless decades without the needed educational skills to properly submit their own written federal trial appeals.

This devious and deceptive judicial process of making our poor and innocent prison inmates formulate and write their own federal appeal legal cases for possible retrials on their state criminal cases,is still in effect today even though everyone in our US judicial system knows that without proper legal representation, these tens of thousands of innocent prison inmates will be denied their rightful opportunities of ever being granted new trials from our federal appeal judges!!

Sadly, the true US *legal* Federal Appeal situation that occurs when any of our uneducated American prison inmates are forced to attempt to submit their own written Federal Appeals (from our prisons nationwide) without the assistance of proper legal counsel, is that they all are in reality being denied their legitimate rights for Habeas Corpus and will win any future Supreme Court Case concerning this injustice!

For our judicial system and our US Congressional Leaders Of The Free World to continue to pretend that this is a real and fair opportunity for our American Middle Class and Working Poor Citizens, only delays the very needed future change of Federal Financing of all these Federal appeals becoming a normal formula of Our American judicial system.

It was not so very long ago that Public Defenders became a Reality in this country.Prior that legal reality taking place, their were also some who thought giving anyone charged with a crime a free lawyer was a waste of taxpayers $$.

This FACADE and HORROR of our Federal Appeal proce$$ is not worthy of the Greatest Country In The World!

***GREAT SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT PROTECT EVEN THEIR INNOCENT, BECOME THE GUILTY!

A MUST READ ABOUT AMERICAN INJUSTICE:
1) YAHOO AND 2) GOOGLE
MANNY GONZALES THE KID THAT EVERYONE FORGOT IN THE CA PRISON SYSTEM.
** A JUDICIAL RIDE OF ONES LIFE !

lawyersforpooramericans@yahoo.com
(424-247-2013)

Posted by: DOUGLAS FIELD at September 14, 2008 8:09 PM
Comment #263008

Joel:

You authored a good article, except for the tone. I agree with your thesis, but not your tone. IMHO you presented the truth about our political system, but in a condedscending manner. You refer to illusion and delusion as a manner to control the masses, which is in part true, but the third parties have not stepped up since Ross Perot and the Reform party.

I volunteered for and supproted the Reform Party, although I never joined it formally. The main reasons for that choice was the issue of fiscal and monetary responsibility. I am proud that my vote and support led to putting those issues on the forefront of American thinking and led to a balanced budget. It was short lived and therefore we failed in the long term. We failed in educating the American public what the issue was and the ramifications of letting the budget deficit to deteriorate into what we have now.

Let us face it, we are in dire straights due to both our fiscal and monetary policies. We are crippling our children and grandchildren by over spending now. Neither major Party has put forth a plan that comes close to balancing the budget in our lifetime. Senator Obama has proposed close to one trillion dollars worth of spending with only proposing one hundred billion of tax increases. Senator McCain is no better. Where does this leave those of us that are fiscal and social conservatives?

I would love to vote for the Libertarian Party, but I must consider the last Libertairan convention that I watched on CSPAN. They had a chance to sieze the tax and fiscal policy reform platforms, but chose to use their national air time to focus on the legalisation of pot(I agree). I am a social and fiscal conservative, but found the leadership of this party inept because they chose to pick one issue to showcase that did not resonate with the voters versus another that would have. If they would have used that air time to capture the Fair Tax or even a flat tax in the stead of legal pot, they could have captured the hearts and minds of many Americans. They blew it. Where does that leave me?

IMHO, the disagreement lies within the assigning of blame. I feel that I have failed to inform enough people on the issues to persuade them in their voting tendacies. I also blame third Party leaders for not helping me. I do not blame the media for doing what they make profits to do. In the sense that I feel the electorate is ignorant on the issues, IMHO the remedy is to revoke the 17th Amendment of the Constitution and allow the state leglislature to elect the Senators and force them to be accountable to the state for every vote in the stead of their Party.

Posted by: submarinesforever at September 14, 2008 8:49 PM
Comment #263010

How to win friends and influence people. I suppose you and your few friends who share your view are the only smart ones? Give me a freaking break.

Keep saying anyone who doesn’t believe as you do is hopelessly stupid. That should win people over to your argument. Right.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 14, 2008 10:35 PM
Comment #263011

I mostly agree with submarinesforever, although I’m prepared to disagree with some of your claims as well as your tone.

These black-and-white, good vs. evil dichotomies that hold that everybody voting for Democrats or Republicans are dummies (or worse), and the “rest of us” smart, good, decent and enlightened folks are voting for Ralph Nader or other third party candidates is nonsense.

I admire much about Ralph Nader, believe it or not (his earlier consumer advocacy accomplished many wonderful things), but the man has a vicious temper, says some pretty whacko things, has not exactly always run a clean house as a manager, and can frankly do more good as an independent voice than leader of the free world.

But hey, if people want to vote for him—go ahead. There’s no lack of virtue, however, on the part of those who disagree.

There are many fine third-party candidates, but there are also many white-supremacists, anarchists, communists, and individuals who politically reside on the freakish fringe who might desire to be President of the United States. Simply that they are not Republicans or Democrats is not a mark of virtue—either for them or their supporters.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 14, 2008 10:45 PM
Comment #263023


The greatest move that corporate capitalism has ever made to secure power and dominance over the people and their government was to introduce financial instruments that allowed many workers to invest in the stock market. Investors become vested in the system. They become idolators of idelogy.

The Republican and Democratic parties have become parties which govern, for the most part, on behalf of investors. A large percentage of voters today, especially those who vote to empower the Democrats or Republicans, are themselves, investors. Most if not all of the politicians of these two parties are also investors.

John McCain will govern on behalf of investors.

Barrak Obama will govern primarily on behalf of investors.

One day, the people will awaken to the fact that a handfull of multi-national corporations have assumed control. That is the day that the people will realize that a stake has been driven through the heart of liberty.

The thirst for power is not unique to capitalism. Virtually every economic system ever created has been an instrument for those who have the ability and desire to control. Capitalism has become the most successful economic system for securing control because it has command of the air ways to dispense propaganda, it is quite seccessful at hiding behind a fasade of democracy and it has robbed Peter (banana republics, oil dictators, Mr. peabody’s coal mine, etc.) To pay Paul ( the American consumer).

Any economic system can be controlled by the few to gain power and wealth. When controlled by the people, an economic system can be conducted in the best interests of humanity. When the few are allowed to control capitalism, decisions are not primarily based on the good for society and our advancement towards civilization. Rather, more often than not, decisions are made primarily on the basis of profitability.

People are afraid. That fear provides the perfect means for dividing and conquering the people.

Posted by: jlw at September 15, 2008 12:00 PM
Comment #263027

I agree with his arguement, and his tone. Is a second American revolution, whether social or governmental so far out there?

If the people are discontent with how they’re government is doing, replace the government.

Posted by: John Brown at September 15, 2008 12:47 PM
Comment #263028

Joel,

You’ve been reading my mind. I don’t think he was calling anyone a dummy who isn’t. The polls he cites lay it out plain and simple: Most Americans don’t have a clue.

The clear call to action is to educate your fellow American, but it is a tough row to hoe.

While many may decry the class war that this analysis leads to, I think it is quite clearly real, as Joel has laid out. While I am not an advocate of the craziness of the French Revolution, I wouldn’t mind if the elite class were reminded ever so gently what can happen when you ignore and dismiss the masses, while applauding your own superiority.

When enough people get miserable enough, bad things happen. If the economy collapses, rioting will follow, and perhaps a few lynchings will be in order. “W” are you listening?

Posted by: googlumpuugus at September 15, 2008 12:56 PM
Comment #263030

Good thread Joel.
I don’t believe though that just voting for third party or independent candidates with break the power of the plutocracy. It’s gonna take educating our youngins in the workings of government as well. How can folks make a wise choice when they have no idea of how our government is supposed to work?
This has to start in the 1st grade and continue through college. And includes teaching the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and US History.
These used to be required. But today History is only an option. And the Constitution and Declaration of Independence hardy covered.
But teaching these alone won’t insure that the plutocracy will be broken. An interest in making sure we have the best government possible has to be instilled in the students as well. This aint gonna be easy to do.
With today’s fast pace most folks don’t think they have the time to keep up with everything going on up there in DC. I know I’m finding it harder to keep track of everything. And it’s only gonna to get worse.

Posted by: Ron Brown at September 15, 2008 1:05 PM
Comment #263034

And the “Grand Conspiracy” theory continues. One writer above states, “The greatest move that corporate capitalism has ever made to secure power and dominance over the people and their government was to introduce financial instruments that allowed many workers to invest in the stock market.”

Millions of normal, regular people just like you and me having ownership in America’s companies is a bad thing? Owning shares in the companies that many of us are employed by is a bad thing? The companies that we collectively own are plotting against the owners? Do I smell the stench of some failed “ism” at work here?

Remove all the publicly traded companies in the U.S. and we will have no banks, large manufacturing, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, transportation, food, energy, communication, or anything else we use in our daily lives. I wonder what the writer of the statement above would suggest in lieu of corporate America. Government ownership and management of anything larger than the shoeshine stand at the airport?

Without millions of American’s investing in our engines of commerce where would the capital for these businesses come from?

Calling the vast majority of American’s stupid and unable to think correctly about who they elect to govern themselves is about as elitists as it gets. These are the same American’s who go to work each day and make decisions that affect the lives of us all. These are the same folks who by their work power the engine of commerce and government. These are the same folks who patrol our streets, fight our fires, heal our sick, teach our children, fight our wars, work on our assembly lines, keep our water and electric grid running, etc.

I have enormous faith in my fellow American and little belief in the nonsense being written by some on this blog.

Posted by: Jim M at September 15, 2008 2:58 PM
Comment #263043

Jim M,

If the stock market were a fair market that didn’t cater to wealthy investors, I’d agree with you. I think with the advent of the internet, the amount and quality of information available to the average investor is much easier to come by, but the average investor is really a mutual fund holder. Those mostly make money for the fund managers. A Good treasury over time is much safer and certainly more profitable lately.

The “real” traders get special deals and inside info. That IS a problem, but I do agree it’s not worse than it was in the sixties.

It’s fascinating to watch pitch men sell stocks from year to year. I remember one company I worked for had a financial consultant selling 15% return to investors and how safe it was over time. This was just before the dot-com bust.

The problem is the same as it always was…greed vs. sound investment. Wall Street isn’t known for it’s sound investment. It’s known for greed.

Posted by: googlumpuugus at September 15, 2008 4:59 PM
Comment #263046

Thanks for your response googlumpuugus. You said, “the average investor is really a mutual fund holder. Those mostly make money for the fund managers. A Good treasury over time is much safer and certainly more profitable lately.

I really don’t know how to define the “average” investor. It is true that many do use mutual funds as do I. It’s the best way for the small investor to spread the risk among many different sectors and companies. In addition, many are invested thru their company retirement plans and leave the investing decisions to the fund managers. I disagree that mutual funds “mostly make money for the fund managers” and you have no evidence or facts to back that up.

My wife is a retired Texas teacher. TRS collected payroll deductions in lieu of Social Security for her 31 years of teaching. Astute management of this huge retirement fund is providing her with a monthly retirement check from her annuity of much more than double what she would have received under Social Security. This huge disparity between SS and investing in the equity and bond markets accounts for her much higher income in retirement. Is this not a good result of market investing over long periods of time?

Ask yourself goog, where do most state funded employee retirement funds, invest? Where do union and corporate employee retirement fund managers invest?

Treasuries and other highly rated bonds are usually safe and of course, low risk means low returns. There are some very good insurance products that feature safety with reasonable yields.

My question to you goog is, if you believe your statement, “If the stock market were a fair market that didn’t cater to wealthy investors, I’d agree with you.” What do you propose to take the place of publicly traded corporations?

Posted by: Jim M at September 15, 2008 5:58 PM
Comment #263051

Large votes for 3rd, 4th and No party candidates would provide more of shock to the system than any vote for a duopoly candidate. BHO isn’t as much of a myth yet, as he is a fantasy or fictional character.

In the stock market, there are traders and investors. Investors look for companies that pay dividends and increase their shareholdlings. Traders just try to make a fast buck. There is a mythology that private enterprises are better run than government, but some private enterprises are well run. They pay dividends to their investors, regardless of the share price.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 15, 2008 6:27 PM
Comment #263052

That last line should be “regardless of the fluctuations of the price of their shares”.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 15, 2008 6:28 PM
Comment #263061

Sadly if what I read here is the least bit true — where is the next generation going to get the education they need?
/link”http://www.thememoryhole.org/edu/school-mission.htm/a>

“In 1888, the Senate Committee on Education was getting jittery about the localized, non-standardized, non-mandatory form of education that was actually teaching children to read at advanced levels, to comprehend history, and, egads, to think for themselves. The committee’s report stated, “We believe that education is one of the principal causes of discontent of late years manifesting itself among the laboring classes.”

By the turn of the century, America’s new educrats were pushing a new form of schooling with a new mission (and it wasn’t to teach). The famous philosopher and educator John Dewey wrote in 1897:

Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth.

In his 1905 dissertation for Columbia Teachers College, Elwood Cubberly—the future Dean of Education at Stanford—wrote that schools should be factories “in which raw products, children, are to be shaped and formed into finished products…manufactured like nails, and the specifications for manufacturing will come from government and industry.”
Thus the dumbing down of america. — Savage

Posted by: A Savage at September 15, 2008 9:51 PM
Comment #265352

Mr Hirschorn:

Agreed. This statement is in the interest of solution, not blame. The Democratic and Republican Parties have convinced the public, through the media, that they are the only credible choice.
EX - The media reports the current U. S. Senate as Democratic. The fact is 49(D) 49(R) 2(I). (Mr Sanders of Vermont and Mr Lieberman of Connecticut are registered Independent.) Mr Liberman ran as an Independent after the Democrats failed to endorse him as the incumbent. With the “Wisdom of Solomon” both Parties recognize him as a Democrat to save their baby, create a majority, and invalidate the swing vote position of alternate Parties.

To any objective viewer, the Democratic and Republican Party are one. It is a self-serving Party.
EX - Real ongoing issues such as housing and health care will remain unattended long after the Wall Street Bail Out Bill becomes law. A scan of the draft and three sections raise concern.
Page 61. Title I, Sec 120 – TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY (On the surface, it appears all enforcement authority is terminated on 31 Dec 08 with a possible extension up to two years.)
Page 98. Title III, Sec 301(d) – SPECIAL RULE FOR CERTAIN PROPERTY NOT HELD ON SEPTEMBER 6, 2008 (What certain property was not held on 06 Sep 08 that is noteworthy in a $700,000,000,000.00 Bill?)
Page 106. Title III, Sec 302. (b). GOLDEN PARACHUTE RULE
This Bill would not be considered by anyone operating in the best interest of this Country. Both Presidential candidates have expressed their support.


Federal Government became brazen during the Reagan Administration when the solution to any problem was to “throw money at it”. The Gross Federal Debt grew from .9 to 2.6 trillion dollars from 1980-1988. During those years, permanent Government positions were plentiful and were filled by anyone, regardless of prequalification, willing to apply. Today, 25 years later, they are key employees with 10 more years before retirement.
In 1992, businessman Ross Perot, ran on an economic platform on Federal debt reduction, $4 trillion at that time. He was qualified, capable, honest, personable and entertaining. The right man at the right time.
The average American is unaware that multiple Independent Parties exist, and view them all as one. To be labeled as Independent and misperceived on the ballot is an obstacle in itself.

At this time, if you are not in a swing State, please vote third party in an effort to send the message of dissatisfaction. Otherwise, please vote.

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/Sections/NEWS/PDFs/ayo08c04_xml.pdf


Thank you for your time.

Posted by: CyClops at October 1, 2008 7:02 AM
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