Corporate Greed Controls Both Parties

Corporate Greed Controls Both PartiesLike the massive catastrophic disaster in the Gulf, how much longer will we citizens of these United States maintain our complete disconnect from reality and facts? How much longer will we buy into the continued corporate greed machine that dominates our elections and our airwaves?

Whatever happened to truth, justice and the American Way? We gave it away. We said good bye to it when we stopped investing in ourselves and our society. We walked away from our nation when we thought it was better to be a flag-waving corporation and that taxes were the end of the freedom train. No New Taxes is the cry of simple-minded people who don’t invest in their nation.

This past week, I’ve spent time talking to people about the value of establishing full public funding of elections. I’ve spoken with right-wing racist Fox News-watching angry people, conservative religious high school students coked up on dogma of the corporate faithful, and frustrated libertarians who have never even registered to vote.

I watched The California’s Fair Elections Act go down in flames on the ballot (Prop 15) for reasons everyone expected—the fear it would raise taxes. Of course, that was a lie, but all the same, Political Consultants who put out fake paid endorsement fliers looking like they came from the Democratic Party all said “Vote NO,” even though the Democratic Party endorsed Prop 15. The Republican mailers did the same—the opposition’s money was well spent, for 83% of the population either didn’t show up to the polls or voted against it all because they don’t want to invest in a more trustworthy democracy. That’s right, that’s what fair elections are, voter-owned elections. Forget-about-it.

This all comes from the insanity and hypocrisy of Conservative Libertarian beliefs, which are as baseless as any form of religion that envisions a man in the sky holding sway over the entire Universe. Sam Harris rightly stated that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Now don’t take my personal opinion on religious belief as an attack on your beliefs, I’m just making a point. Libertarianism in its purest sense is anarchy, and their hypocrisy and selfishness abounds in a society that does not even care about its future, just what it can buy right now with a credit card and screw others in the process. Who cares about the future?

Well, back to my conversations with the true believers in capitalistic greed. Imagine having the sense to provide these conservative ideologues with enough rope to hang themselves by their own foolish dogma based on lies and racial innuendo that they scrape up from Rush, Savage, and the Murdoch machine gone insane—a la Beck. Frankly, it is just too easy. They want corporate freedom, no taxes, no regulation and free trade—but they want you to fight their wars and not pay for it, close the boarders to illegals yet eat at restaurants and run businesses that hire them for low wages. They don’t want to pay taxes but want to drive on public roads, fly in government-controlled skies, and have police, fire and emergency services. They just don’t want to pay for them.

These folks come from a place of fantasy as if their world is all-consuming, swarming with pseudo-truth and faked facts made up out of thin air and spilled onto them for profit and the sales of gold and advertising dollars. Their reality is now our reality—birthers, homophobes, chicken hawks all—sending innocents to kill other innocents in far-off lands for corporate oil under their soil and seas. Bloodsuckers fooling suckers now born every minute.

On the other side, I’ve spoken to so many Democrats who have no clue how they are played by their party and have little sense of what is on a ballot or what affect it may have on their lives. Most Democrats didn’t even come out to vote! Shame on their house and this party! The California Democratic Party didn’t even spend a penny to send out endorsement fliers for the Propositions that clearly the party had positions on and now the damage is done.

While Conservatives scramble for survival, they see everyone as their enemy, especially if they aren’t white. The Right Wing congregate mostly with their white kind, and one can only assume anyone and everyone who doesn’t sniff the behinds of their hero liars is clearly a socialist or worse, Nazi communist. That’s right, they don’t even have the facts of history on their side, but they are gamed and cajoled to hate and fear by people who have alternative goals for their stupidity, that being profit and power.

The disconnect is astounding. I almost don’t know where to begin, but they and their money have the loudest megaphones, and they use them. Tea Party? Check your history, folks. It was about dumping a corporate tea monopoly, just like we have now with our oil, medical, insurance, and military machines—but these folks think those are the good guys! PLEASE!

They hate Corporate Obamacare (while they love the overcharging monopolistic Health Insurance Corporations) but say don’t take away their Medicare, thinking it isn’t government health care. Astounding! They want to stop gays from marrying yet they themselves are the worst at keeping healthy families together and support politicos who screw around in every way imaginable but are forgiven easily for their sins. Unbelievable!

Their fear of immigrants drives them to pass crazy unconstitutional laws against immigrants yet they fail to notice that the workers are here to take jobs at low pay because they won’t go after the criminal employers and raise pay for jobs to a living wage. They hate unions, which built the middle class, and don’t realize it is their declining incomes and debts from the destruction of unions that now leaves us all without the basis of a sustainable economy.
My friend Mark Pash, says it well, if you don’t have good customers, you won’t have a viable business. We don’t even make anything anymore; we just consume ourselves into debt! Is this a great country or what? We must be so proud!

Our elections are counted on machines without audit trails owned by corporate entities that can be hacked nine ways to midnight, and often less than half of us turn out to vote at best—which side is the smarter side, the ones who vote or the ones who don’t? People don’t even care to find out what is really going on with issues or with candidates and what they stand for. You know what? They think politicians only care about getting into office and then getting re-elected within a party incumbent system ideology, especially on the Democratic side.

People think the Pledge of Allegiance and the flag is more important than that piece of paper called the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, you know, those communist documents. It is all so simple that way.

The Tea Bag Astroturf nation in all its forms is the creation of powerful right wing politicos whose wealth and power brought us the eight destructive years of Cheney/Bush. They use the conservative radio talk show airwaves and Fox News propaganda networks they built for decades to drum up the inherent fear of a nation now run by a black man and white woman from California by labeling them with anything disrespectful. The people buy it and the Democrats just cower and pretend they want to just get along! In my talks with these conservatives I heard terms I won’t even mention here because you would need to take a shower and not sleep well for weeks. The hate is infused in this nation’s blood, and it is only going to boil and burst as this cancer eats this nation to death.

My, we love to hate, don’t we?

It is anything but respectful dialog, far from fact, far from truth, far from reality. It is a complete and total disconnect, and it surely will destroy what was left of our democracy, because even Democrats like Obama have shown their true colors in failing to stand up. They are Crony corporate clowns themselves, fearful of speaking truth to power for the powerful own us all. What a joke this has all become.

The leadership of the Democrats just says, “What can we do?” They keep filibustering. The only thing we can do is shut the government down because we can’t stop the filibuster. Well, Harry, if you can’t get anything done, let the people know why and shut it down, go on the offensive and kick some conservative ass with our Progressive agenda! You are just turning us all off failing to do what you are doing now.

You see, the RNC has been hijacked by the Tea Baggers (hardly, they have always been there, fostered by racial fear, hypocrisy, and stupidity), and the DNC has been hijacked by the powerful corporate greed merchants who brought them the tons of money to keep them fighting wars, dishing out weak pseudo healthcare reform and a tremendous lack of backbone to set our nations ship right by standing up for the Progressive masses who came out to put them back in power in 2006 and 2008.

The Democrats are nothing more than an incumbent reinstallation machine no longer based on ideology, jobs, and the people’s well-being. They are now a “get reelected at all costs” machine, no longer with a basis for followers. Wake up people! Democrats are Blue Dog’s who are really Republicans, weak-kneed moderates who think standing up for people against the powerful is the best way to lose their jobs. Now we know how Senator Bernie Sanders feels everyday! The Progressive politicos are told to stay in line or lose our support, and that is what they do, with their tails between their legs. ENOUGH!

So where does that leave us? Sadly, behind these drivers with their hands on the wheel of a bus filled with people who have disconnected from reality, heading over a cliff with no hope of stopping. Stupidity has solidified; the bus’s glass windows are painted with the advertising decals of a beautiful scene that bears no resemblance to reality.

Okay, now for those still awake and frustrated by all this insanity, you are not alone. Yet the fact is, the vast majority of Americans have checked out, given up, closed their eyes, and decided there is nothing that can be done. They just don’t care anymore.

With the Supreme Court majority appointed by the Bush weasels, we will likely lose the last chance to grab the wheel away, bringing the complete corporate takeover of our nation, that last chance being the voluntary process of full public funding of elections.

People, you are toast and there is nothing left you can do. This is the price of checking out long ago. The chickens have come home to roost, just like climate change’s fast-approaching the point of no return. So sorry, we’re on the edge and too few are paying attention. Our nation’s mind is so completely and perhaps now rightfully defined by the Right Wing dogma of “government being the problem” (that it has come true) and only crony capitalism is left as the ruling force. The people are just going to let it happen, for it is just easier than asking questions, evaluating facts, and investigating and demanding the truth. Later Dude, you say, you are just going to text something of irrelevance to fill the time while you watch TV and play video games. What more do you want? How about an active brain?

Oh, there are the few of us who search out the voices in the wilderness like Olbermann, Maddow, Krugman, and Ratigan, but they are but echoes of a once great nation of thinkers ala Edward R. Murrow and what was once a questioning media. Not even the Internet, now too diverse to hold a focus will reach the apathetic or ignorant minds of a disconnected public.

The corporate greed machines won, our culture has collapsed, the people have lost by their own choice, the wealthy and powerful have figured out how to destroy a once great nation. Yet like their own devious heritage, they too will soon turn against themselves. Like Madoff sucking his rich clients wealth, BP and Goldman et al., will do the same until they all are the only ones left standing, and then continue to eat each other alive for the last polluted morsel left. Leaving us all without even air to breathe or water to drink, at least none without a very high price to be paid.

It will be all our fault.

There is only one thing you can do. Live your life as you wish to see the world become. Talk openly and honestly about your truth based on facts and reason. Stop buying into the corporate greed machine, invest in greening your life and your surroundings, for it surely couldn’t hurt and it will make you feel better at least trying to be a part of the solution rather than an irresponsible party to the destruction yet to come. Be true to yourself and kind to others no, matter how foolish you know they are. See them all for the bloodsuckers of crony capitalism—Democrats and Republicans alike.

Am I upset? You think? Oh well, so it goes. This was not the great nation I thought it was. It is a corporate dream machine of unconscious idiots, but how do I really feel? Just plain angry, that’s how! I’ve given my all by playing by the rules, working with the system only to find out the rules rig the game against the people and the people don’t give a damn.

So, “let it be, let it be, there will be an answer, let it be, let it be?”

Tell you what I’ve got in mind on the outside chance the Democrats can wake up. I suggest Progressive activists and bloggers do the same – that being, let us have a Summer of Silence. Let us not support the Democrats even with our outrage at their incompetence. Stop the talking, the complaining, the organizing, the blogging. A Summer of Silence, that makes them fear the fall—wondering if we will be there in the end with them in November. For there is no difference between “do nothing compromising corporate Democrats” and nutty “just say no” Republicants. Let us let them wonder if they really need to worry by winter if they will have their jobs because they didn’t give us a reason to stand and support them.

Until they get money out of politics, stop the wars, hold corporations, banks, polluters accountable, set regulations to stop the destruction of this nation and the planet, invest in our people, our infrastructure, education and our environment we will not raise a finger or our voices. Let them know we mean it by our silence!

We will watch, we will think, we will consider and if necessary we will come together and organize for their Progressive actions or against them by letting them LOSE. After all, we Progressives are 30-40% of the Democratic Party right now, and we’re tired of being taken for granted. That’s a big number, and you can’t win elections without us. SO Democratic Politicos, you better get to work, we will be watching!

In physics, they say all force is opposed by equal and opposite force to keep bodies in place. Progressives, it is time to stop pushing back, its judo time. I’m stepping out of the way, let the chips fall where they may. Let the real Democratic Party stand up or collapse. For there is little difference between them and the Republicans in truth, now is there?

I’m off to watch John Stewart’s The Daily Show, because if the Democrats won’t stand up and get to work for the Progressives who brought them to power, I might as well laugh while we burn.

What will you do?

Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a board member of VDU and Secretary/Treasurer of the California Clean Money Action Fund, the 501c(4) who worked to pass the California Fair Elections Act on the June 2010 ballot.

Reprinted with permission from the Valley Democrats United newsletter, Margie Murray, Editor, where the article first appeared.

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Comments

  1. David says

    Great article, its refreshing to see that someone sees the truth.
    I agree there is really only one thing to do…

    “There is only one thing you can do. Live your life as you wish to see the world become. Talk openly and honestly about your truth based on facts and reason. Stop buying into the corporate greed machine, invest in greening your life and your surroundings, for it surely couldn’t hurt and it will make you feel better at least trying to be a part of the solution rather than an irresponsible party to the destruction yet to come. Be true to yourself and kind to others no, matter how foolish you know they are. See them all for the bloodsuckers of crony capitalism—Democrats and Republicans alike.”

  2. Ro Ro says

    Is it really that important that the govt take on the tasks of reinvestment? Why is it that a grassroots effort can not do the reinvestment for our communities and nation. We are naturally selfish beings. If we do not have ownership through personal involvement, none of the investments will be appreciated and no one will put in the effort to monitor and maintain the investment.

  3. Robert says

    It is time to take back the language. We are not the progressives or the socialists, we are the true conservatives. We want to conserve our living space, we want to conserve the future of our neighbours, we want to conserve the work place and we want careful well though out and researched conservative politics.
    Those right wing freaks that claim to be conservative are liars, they are blatant, up front, ruthless exploiters of everything they can get hold of. All the resources, all of the environment and all of us are their prey, to be exploited at every turn.
    It is time to label the Republicans as they truly are, the exploiters party not the conservative party, by no stretch of the imagination can they be considered conservative, not in the lies they tell or in the fawning to corrupt big business interests.

  4. tallarchitect says

    Wayne, you say: “Progressives, it is time to stop pushing back, its judo time. I’m stepping out of the way, let the chips fall where they may. Let the real Democratic Party stand up or collapse. For there is little difference between them and the Republicans in truth, now is there?”

    All preceded with a rational and well thought out essay. However,the end is a silly cop-out. Heard it all before, like in 2001: no difference between the parties? What ever your disappointments with Obama, giving up without a fight and all you can do to get out the vote for Obama may well allow the Republicans and their right-wing base to take power. Do you really want Boehner, McCaine, Eric Cantor, Sharraon Angle, Palin, Bachmann, Ron Paul and their ilk the gratification of defeating Obama and taking power? I think you are being short sighted at best, and maybe by your influence put this country at risk as never before.

    • Wayne Williams says

      Tallarchitect,

      Judo is a simple marshal art where combat is secondary. I no longer wish to fight with the Democrats who fail to push for real reform. They are members of a party of incumbency first. Look to the way so many Democrats backed Bush supporter Jane Harman (even leading progressive elected’s) rather than Winograd here in LA. The game is rigged, and they count on our showing up and take us for granted.

      I’m no longer concerned about getting the Republicans back, they are already there in the form of do nothing Democrats! Health Care reform is anything but… the wars are still waging, we don’t have Habeas Corpus or an end to the Patriot Act. The White House starts negotiations from where they would like to end up and fail to stand up and fight for real change. The Bully Pulpit is vacant against the onslaught of Right Wing media and you want me to stand up for these folks still?

      The public gets exactly what it wants, for about 2 weeks after an election and then it’s here comes the new boss, same as the old boss… because they can always count on us Progressives.

      Let me be clear, I said let there be a Summer of Silence, letting them wonder whether we would show up, I did not say drop out. I did not say what we should do specially after the summer… but we all need to take a breath, think about where we are and who we are, including elected Democrats. Are they just there for reelection? Sure seems like it, even at the cost of their ideals and those of the public who expect so much more than what we’re getting.

      Thanks for listening.

      • tallarchitect says

        Wayne,
        Thank you for your comment and an opportunity to respond. I’m not convinced about the need or justification for a Progressive summer vacation. It sounds to me more like a typical democratic but well meaning drift into passivity. I understand your objective to let them wonder about Progressive support. I don’t think there should be any doubt about Progressive support, given the extremes of the opposition, the most divisive of all Republican parties we have ever seen. They almost make me miss GWB.

        Remember when Obama was criticized for not getting out front forcefully early on in the health care debate? He almost lost all. Remember the democrat’s weak and tardy efforts to support their candidate in Mass? An easy election win for Brown.

        Yes, I agree with you, such as this is a pathetic record. On the other hand, the right wing is extremely well organized behind the scenes, well financed and dedicated to their cause, as confused and contradictory as it sometimes is. They do not let a moment or a day go by without spreading their dissent, their insidious rumors, outright lies and misinformation. They appear every day on TV to offer a critique of anything and everything Obama does. They own and control a TV station, FOX. A religious fanatic owns the Washington Times. They leave not any remark, not any action, not any behavior untouched as a source for their unrelenting criticism, however trivial. The dumbest leaders of them go on TV and radio and people tend to believe their tortured logic. They dominate talk radio around the clock and around the country. Who do you think those thousands of long haul truck drivers are listening too every day? How many millions more across the country are listening to right wing religious fundamentalists? Air America radio could not compete. It failed in part because Democrats and Progressives would not provide the financial and managerial resources necessary to maintain liberal alternative radio. Sadly, they did not believe enough in the cause to continue supporting AR even at, unlike Republicans, the expense of losing money.

        Democrats and Progressives do not now have an alternative to the power and influence of right wing media. A media that has convinced too many voters to align themselves with conservatives and, unbelievably, vote against their own self interests.

        By the time your proposed summer hiatus is over, the power and influence of the right wing machine onslaught may well be insurmountable. Instead, I suggest become a dedicated and determined loyal opposition, an opposition that can think and act as one for a change (now there’s a concept for you), at least for now. I would urge Progressives to get it together, organize and coordinate their voices loud and clear. Give us a realistic vision for a fair and equitable America, and perhaps even more importantly, offer daily convincing and powerful rebuttals to the conservative noise machine. Expose their real threat to American’s religious, political and economic freedoms. Also, stress the very real importance of getting out the vote, especially among the young. It will take time. Don’t encourage Progressives to sit out this election. There really is a difference between the parties, despite what it may seem. Olberman and Maddow can’t do it alone. Imagine what might have been if Nader had joined with the Democrats in 2001 and worked his point of view slowly from within the party. We’ve seen democratic sit-at-home passivity before; lets try something new for a change.

  5. harry says

    Darn, strange how facts get in the way of opinions. Our social programs take most of our tax dollars, social security, and SCHIPS, meidcare, and medicade. I did not look it up yet, but I remember the defense departmant taking 5% of the taxes. If progressives are only a third of the dems, when you then count the repubs and independents, that looks like you are 15% of the population so why should you be in charge? As angry as you were, as vile as you were, why should I care a thing about you? So you are not a person of faith, I do not demean you in writing.

    • Wayne Williams says

      harry,

      Seems to me we Americans invest in our programs like Social Security and Medicare our entire lives just for the purpose of getting that investment back should we need it in the future. This is not discretionary spending for our government, sorry. When you look only at discretionary spending, you find… wait for it… our Military Spending is a substantial amount of this spending, and it is well in excess of 45%-55%. Nice try.

      Progressives are far more mainstream in this nation than just those you see writing here, or participating in the politics of the Democratic Party, for polling, depending on the ways questions are asked, find Americans far more Progressive than most realize. Yet we live in an if it leads it bleeds corporate media society. Tea Bagging Right Wing media is far more prevalent and has a much louder voice than outlets from MSNBC, LA Progressive and The Nation. There are many reasons I won’t dwell on, but the damage is being done with the lies and deceit pressed forward by the likes of Fox et al.

      You are correct to perceive my anger, for I see our nation heading down the tube because of such stupidity and ignorance propagated by the Greed of the Right, and the apathy of the rest. As for being vile, sorry, vile would be Bush/Cheney and the wasteful wars for Oil they waged, I’m just a man speaking my mind.

      I do not expect nor did I ask you to care about me, yet you say you do not demean me in your statement, yet you do just that calling me vile. Reading your statement was just another example of how Right Wingers mistake their failure to see their own minds at work.

      Have a nice day.

  6. says

    Public funding of candidates’ election campaigns is for some a symbol of progressivism. However, at best this symbol equates to a minor (especially for the Internet era) fix on our totally outdated constitutional model of public decision-making.

    This model features adversarial and partisan YES-NO winner-take-all contests rather than inclusive and cooperative deliberations, and it both violates democracy and (per Lord Acton’s warnings) promotes corruption by concentrating decision power and empowered participation in an oligarchy of a few long-term-serving officers (elected or otherwise).

    The lasting way to get corruption and special-interest money out of public decision-making is to insist on a more rational and democratic decision-making process.

    Such a process, with fair and empowered participation to all who desire it, can usefully dispense with special long-term officials (elected or otherwise), with mass popularity-contest elections to choose the officials, and with mass adversarial YES-NO initiative or referendum elections to adopt or reject measures.

    Decision instead can be by deliberative teams (alias juries) of ordinary citizens, chosen by lot from among volunteers for manageable short-term public service. Some teams will consider problems and agendize solution proposals, others will decide on the proposals, others will independently review (and confirm or veto) the decisions.

    This approach is proven and far from new. It just updates the best (but rarely noted) features of Athenian democracy, without the needless negative (but much more publicized) features (such as citizenship restricted to native free adult propertied males, and whimsical decisions by demagogy-prone mass assemblies).

    • Wayne Williams says

      Joe,

      Wonderful concept, would be nice to implement something along these lines, however it would require an educated electorate… something drastically lacking in our society today.

      We’d also need to totally toss out the Constitution. Talk about a challenging task.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      WW

  7. garry walsh says

    Our creator distributed the feeble minded and the easily influenced in equal porportions everywhere. In
    America this massive group has been effectivly organized into tea parties,facist christians, patriots and Fox viewers. In america, aided by a deeply flawed system of government, the psycopaths are able to influence and control most of what goes on in the institutions of government Very very rarely does an outspent candidate get elected. Never does progressive legislation get thru the senate. Your supreme court has 4 anti-democratic facists to empower the corporations. Your military sucks up most of your tax dollars.Your media speaks with one voice. I could go on…bottom line is you are not going to get anything decent happening until you get money out of political campaigns and stop warring on the helpless (200 + military interventions since 1776)..on 2nd thought maybe u should get a 2nd political party to opposse the Corporatist party as well

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