OK, Boomers! Have the Corporate Establishment neoliberal Democrats dialed the “Money in Politics” control up to a “freaking the f#&k out!” eleven (11) already?1
November 17, 2019 by epoetus
So sad. You’d think they’d have more faith in the existing field of “Sleepy Joe’s” and “Pocahontas’s”, but they’ve already been discounted by those with “the money.” Such losers. (#45IdiOTUS rhetorical references intentional).
Who’s new in the field?
Since Billionaire Steyer officially threw his checkbook onto the field in July, we’ve heard about a “stop and frisk” former NYC Mayor and racist Billionaire selling us on his investment strategy for funding his own election, ‘’third time is a charm” Clinton swooners (where the hell were they in 2016?!) begging her to keep running and never stop, and former sub-prime mortgage lender, and pharma bro Deval (sp?) worshipers coming out of the woodwork. Is there concern that maybe a candidate with a ‘tax the rich,’ Medicare for All, Green New Deal progressive agenda might win the Democratic nomination? What ever happened to engaging in DNC chairman Tom Perez’s legitimate, open, ‘well-defined’ fair game of democracy, complete with ground rules, and a firmly stated lack of focus on disruptive inconvenient issues like “Climate Change?” What are appropriate tactics for driving this discourse in a verifiably legitimate democracy? Let’s discuss.
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Where does America stand in a world that cares about democracy?
Not very well and consistently sinking towards shithole status. Since 2015 the United States has no longer been a full democracy. It fell from 21st to 25th between 2017 and 2018. The top democratic countries are: Norway, then Iceland, Sweden, and “No assault rifles here,” “Call out the Boomers, we’re taking on Global Warming” New Zealand. Heck even Canada is well ahead of the US at 6th place. The United States is now solidly on the list of flawed democracies. Thankfully we’re ahead of Botswana, isn’t that a shithole country according to #45IdiOTUS? But we’re below Chile, which has descended into chaos and rioting recently – apparently they have won the right to a new constitution. Sound familiar? How embarrassing is that?
And Democraticness is next to Happiness
The top 4 happiest countries according to a Vogue (actually it’s the UN’s World Happiness Report) are: Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. Norway and Iceland are in the top 4 democracies as well. Of the top 10 happiest countries, ALL of them are considered to be Full Democracies in the top 20 democracies. The US is ranked 19th – thankfully ahead of Chile on this measure. Botswana is way down there on the happiness list.
Why isn’t this information about the state of our democracy and happiness rankings and the connection between them shared more broadly? Why are Snopes and Vogue the key purveyors of this factual information?
How did we sink so low?
This is not a new topic, but let’s briefly list them again for reinforcement value. The many ways to game a democracy so that it is really all about “Manufacturing the Consent of the People”:
• The mainstream news does not talk about meaningful and actionable newsworthy facts as much as they should. According to Matt Taibbi, who is not alone in this assessment, the drive for advertising money has led to the creation of a newscasting strategy that is focused on segregating audiences into self-selected echo chambers of hatred that verge on addictive. Example: Faux News people don’t watch MSNBC and vice versa.
• Electing politicians that impose un-democratic policies of gerrymandering, voter role purges, Voter ID laws and other laws the prevent people from voting.
• The vicious cycle of wealthy people and large corporations using “Money in Politics” to grow their wealth by purchasing politicians and perpetuating increasingly more vicious and undemocratic cycles over the past 70 years.
• These cycles hobbling democracy further with austerity legislation (e.g. The initiative process and the passage of I-976 taking money out of our road and infrastructure systems in WA – effectively part of a regressive austerity political strategy).
• In reality we don’t have a ‘partisan problem’ as neither political party actually represents “The Will of the People” because “Money in Politics” dominates the election process.
• The Orwellian word bubble we live in today where words like “taxes” are considered evil, because we have only seen regressive taxes on our political agenda for many decades, and the notion of progressive taxation somehow cannot be framed in the context of a different, more positive and democracy enabling narrative. These semantic sleights of hand are the art form which is our news, and the most recent one pertains to impeachment and the use of ‘quid pro quo’ – thankfully the Democrats are catching on and have switched to using the words ‘bribery’ and ‘extortion’ where #45IdiOTUS has taken ownership of the ‘quid pro quo’ Orwellian word bubble narrative.
• The Orwellian word bubble has moved the playing field for democracy to a place where democracy is not even possible. Progressive taxation is a key ingredient of a functioning democracy.
• And so on …
In short, those with the most money are using their money to maintain and increase their influence over our political and democratic processes – wealth and income inequality poison democracy. This intuitive idea promoted by people like Louis Brandeis back in the day, was proven by economists like Thomas Piketty as factual – nobody argues against it and with it died the notion of ‘trickle down economics.’
All is fair in love and war … and democracy too?
For one, there is a compelling amount of money to be made by investing in politicians and the agenda they can control. Based on that the answer is a most definite “Yes.” But as we have seen with the recent Washington election, while we see initiatives like I-976 passing we are also seeing people like incumbent Kshama Sawant overcoming the “Money in Politics” of Jeff Bezos and Amazon to maintain her City Council seat. There is hope. The war is real. Kshama barely won again, though.
Awareness is the first step — Understand the problem and know your *enemy*
What is the problem? We need to defeat candidates who are not actively working towards bringing democracy, equality and justice back. While we can argue that the Republicans are worse, it is also clear that this is a problem amongst Democratic candidates as well. Which Democrats want to bring anti-trust suits against Amazon? Which Democrats support abortion? Which Democrats support progressive taxation? Pretty much all Republicans are defined by their positions on these issues and have achieved homogeneity on their political “Purity” test. Instead of seeing this for Democrats, the Orwellian word bubble calls those in favor of anti-trust suits, abortion and progressive taxation “Purists” rather than people who are taking a common sense stand that is anti-oligarch, anti-status quo and pro-democracy – somehow picking one of those issues is fine, but choosing all as part of a consistent use of logic makes you a “Purist.”
The concept of “Manufacturing Consent” says a key tenet of driving the political process is to move the field and the goal posts to where nobody will ever ask the right questions. The very ground that you are on pre-empts the idea that you would even get a suspicion of what is really wrong since you aren’t even in the right frame of reference – the hall of mirrors is complete, and the brainwashing has become terminal. And if you did ask a relevant question, you would be treated like a nutjob because the question would sound like “Why are we here in this hall of mirrors? Shouldn’t we be outside in the real world where we can see, and feel the truth and reality?” A good example is to reveal your nutjob “Purity” by saying that we must vote for candidates who are pro-democracy, and that means that they are pro-abortion, anti-monopoly, and supporters of progressive taxation among other things.
Where do existential threats like Climate change belong? How do we frame this issue so that we can keep the world from being fried for profits? It seems that maybe a functioning democracy has clearly become a prerequisite for our political process as “Money in Politics” drowns out our discourse and plays a dominant role right now.
We are what we hear, and if what we hear is coming from an Orwellian word bubble then we are not even asking the right questions. We need to take charge of our information sources as the discourse we need is not part of our mainstream news, and engaging in that discourse reveals how far away we are from the playing field we need use for framing this work. Maybe newer, lower profile (volunteer) and local news-ish organizations have a role to play here, at least temporarily while the situation is remedied?
The real challenge is that democracy needs to win in an existing system where true democracy has been and is actively being marginalized, and because of “Money in Politics” the rules to marginalize them have been easier to implement than those to bring democracy back. Since there is money to be made in investing in the “Hate Inc” news business model, and money to be made in purchasing candidates – the restoration of democracy faces a stiff uphill battle. To preserve democracy over the long haul in many situations will demand that our constitution be modified at the state and federal level. In short, we have a lot of work to do to bring democracy back, tackle the existential threats confronting us today, and then secure and preserve our democratic processes into the future. Maybe we should ask the Corporate Establishment neoliberal Democrats to calm down and allocate funds for a democracy that will makes us all happier too.
Hillary may be implored to come off the bench
Deval Patrick throws his neoliberal hat into the Democratic Presidential Primary ring
Deval Patrick Pharma bro
Deval Patrick, Subprime mortgage mogul
Snopes on the Democracy index:
Chile protests and will draft a new constitution
Bribery and Extortion
Matt Taibbi and Hate Inc
NZ bans assault weapons
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