How does one begin to describe what has been happening in this country over the past decade plus without using words that many people would consider politically slanderous, inappropriate or for some, even radical?
How does anyone begin to explain clearly observable facts about what has happened to our nation as well as who and what has been responsible for it over the past fifteen plus years or so without wondering what happened to the press? If it is going to offend or indict a corporate entity, it will either be swept aside or purposefully misreported.
The American public is slowly awakening to the facts concerning the way the destruction of our nation has gone unreported and uninvestigated by what constitutes "Journalism" in contemporary America.
How can we expect to have journalism that functions as the Fourth Estate, the intent of the Founders, when the reality is that virtually our entire mainstream press is now corporate?
How is it that at virtually every level of government the debates, if you can call them that, more often than not, are best equated with the common petty squabbling associated with adolescents?
What happened to the heightened quality of discourse familiar to statesmen of decades past, who placed country ahead of political expedience?
How is it that most Americans have increasingly been feeling that the American political system just does not work for THEM any longer?
The answers to these questions can be simple or complicated, but they all lead to a similar final summation...
The American political "Duopoly" just does not work for the people of America any longer.
Following eight years of war and an economy in crisis, the American people in 2008 thought that they were electing someone who promised to pull them out of a war, invigorate the economy, and return some semblance of fairness to government. They ended up with something far removed from their expectations despite all the propaganda on the mainstream news that endlessly repeated refrains describing things otherwise.
Democracy By the Corporation, For the Corporation...
At the Expense of the People
While the political give and take between "moneyed interests" and politicians is nothing new, the 21st century version of the political "quid pro quo" has evolved into an all out conquest of the American "system de politique" by corporate interests, and those who compose the so called "powers that be," to OUR collective detriment.
Ordinary Americans have no place in politics today, except to "exercise" their very vital and visual role of showing up to cast their vote during each election and to not question whether or not their vote was counted accurately in the final analysis.
This point is not at all a cynical one, in that secret vote counting machinery is more often the order of the day than not, and it is positively sinful for any citizen to question such a "technologically sophisticated system" no matter what hiccups may occur.
Thus, the physical apparatus that counts our votes, ballots as such not touched, reviewed or audited by human hands but by machines "programmed" by the corporation, which "count" our votes with traditional checks such as exit polls since outlawed - given that exit polling has a nasty way of getting in the way of what an objective analyst might call "predetermined outcomes."
Such a system does pose questions in the minds of many, leaving many discouraged and disheartened leading to poor turnouts. Low turnouts of course are much more amenable to manipulation. From the corporate perspective, low voter turnout just makes things easier.
If anyone cares to call into question my assertions on this topic, I will be happy to provide objective data from elections from Florida and elsewhere, where data fell dramatically outside the bounds of election integrity. As such, I stand resolutely in favor of a return to hand counting of votes.
The "machinery" used to count our votes stands as the last line of defense for those who today in large part determine both who we will have to choose from as candidates, and in the end, to the 90th percentile, who will be "elected."
In pointing out the fact that advertising is effective, I wanted to ensure that you would understand that I was indeed a master of the obvious. To the average citizen perpetually inundated with advertising in every forum imaginable about an infinite menu of products, however, little thought is given as to how such advertising was paid for, especially when it comes to politics.
Few of us will ever review a document from the Federal Election Commission or state required financial reports of contributions and expenditures by candidates and elected officials. Therefore, the fine print qualifier - quickly read or stated - is as far as most people will ever get.
Who Is Working For Who?
Let's "Play Ball!"
This may seem obvious but it must be stated repeatedly. The corporate lobbyists who are basically the "bagmen" for (Insert name of company or industry) have meetings with candidates and incumbents in order to ensure that the politician in question is ready, willing and able to "play ball." To "play ball" simply means that the politician is sympathetic to the policy wants, needs and desires of the employer of the lobbyist with whom he is having the meeting.
The Political Quid Pro Quo
In return for said politician being sympathetic, the lobbyist in turn will make maximum personal financial contributions from his or her personal bank account, as will his or her spouse. The lobbyist subsequent to having this successful meeting will then spread the word to his or her particular cadre of lobbyist friends who will in turn make contact and make maximum campaign contributions similarly.
My Opportunity to Play -
When I was running for congress in 2006, I received an offer from a Washington DC pharmaceutical lobbyist by the name of Ken Freeman. In what was to be our final conversation, Mr. Freeman made this offer -
"John if you're willing to play ball and work with the pharmaceutical industry, we will get you all the contributions that you need."
I replied as follows - "Well my opponent Ginny Brown-Waite does exactly the same thing, so where would my credibility be if I did exactly what she does. Furthermore, as a health care professional and as someone who understands clearly the problems with our health care policy or lack thereof, I understand that the best way to provide quality, affordable health care to the American people is a National Single Payer Health Plan or Medicare for All Plan."
So that was that! I was not going to "play" that kind of "ball!"
Why Money Is the Most Important Campaign Objective...
So if campaign CA$H, which in a world after Citizens United allows corporations and veiled entities supported with unlimited funds from those fortunate few who can afford to "play" our political system to achieve their objectives, is the most important priority for a candidate, then how important to that candidate are you? The answer is, YOU are NOT!
The very simple answer is that the ONLY people that REALLY matter to most recognizable name politicians are the lobbyists/people that write the CHECKS!
The system is so lost today that corruption has basically been codified/legalized. It is no wonder that so many Americans have chosen to no longer participate in the biennial/quadrennial "charade." They rightly figure "What's the Use?" - sadly, with good reason.
The Bottom Line
It does not require a Ph.D. to figure out that if BIG MONEY is the MOST important facet of any election, and you cannot personally bundle 100 checks together at $2,500 a piece to support your local congressman, then YOU really don't matter.
BIG MONEY is used by the corporately owned candidate to purchase persuasive, often misleading or downright untrue advertising in order to convince you that he/she deserves your vote, which will then be counted by "The Magic Box" in secret by one of the two corporations selected to carry out that task. The two most prominent of these corporations are ES&S and Diebold.
It stands to reason then that if money is the most important variable in determining the outcome of an election, then MOST of the time money WINS! Remember, an election is really about the policy that will or will not result from the officials that are posted via the election process to various positions in government.
Thus, if various industries are positioning malleable officials in government who are sympathetic to their corporate objectives, then policies favorable to those corporations will result.
While it may not be apparent at first, over time, the policies that money BOUGHT will in MOST instances be less than beneficial or even harmful to OUR personal well-being and that of our families and loved ones.
The incumbent in this race represents a legacy of 29 years, "following" his father into office...
Does anyone think that there might be some problems with this given the discussion above?