Vague populist appeals like Al Gore's in 2000 are leading indicators of insincerity, and candidates who lose votes because of it have only themselves - not third parties - to blame.
Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read more about Phoniness, calculation, and palatable hypocrisy
A recent news item highlighted how national politicians aren't sincerely expressing concerns about the influence of money, but playing well-defined roles - and crude ones at that.
When partisans start in with the "most important election of our lifetime" nonsense, it shows how little they really care about your lifeline. The 2000 election qualifies, but it was stolen, and not by Ralph Nader. It was stolen by the Kangaroo SCOTUS, Katherine Harris, and the entire Bush family. What does that tell you? Read more about Partisans and Their "Most Important Election of Our Lifetime" Crap
The Bumper Sticker Platform is Medicare for all, tax the rich, a living wage. Here are some additional proposals for those who want a more detailed platform.
Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read more about Additional planks for the platform
An attempt to create a short, memorable, popular and substantive platform for citizens to call for - and candidates to run on.
Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read more about Bumper Sticker Platform, 2013 edition
Now that the quadrennial dog and pony show is behind us, I have been reflecting on the failure of every attempt to revive the voice of the citizens in post Citizens United America. The dismal turnout numbers that “More Money = More Free Speech” helps facilitate is purely understandable. I can no longer argue with people who refuse to participate in a rigged system. Yet the potential of this group of non-voters is undeniable. Non-voters have been the Holy Grail of progressives throughout our Republic’s history. The 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th & 26th Amendments were all purposed toward adding more voters and thus strengthening the Power of the People. Read more about A New Strategy for the 2016 Presidential Election
(cross posted at The Montana Maven )
Or so Dimitri Orlov would like us to ponder. It's not a new idea, but it is an idea that doesn't get much play in the media and in our discussions with neighbors. We are told over and over that voting is the patriotic thing to do. People died for the right to vote. We get little flag stickers to put on our coats like the purple fingers of Iraqi voters. That the conventional wisdom. So why do so many Americans sit the elections out? And at the same time, if Americans do participate why do we hear over and over from pundits and comments on the blogs that those folks in Kansas and other reddish places just don't get it. "Why do they vote against their own self interests? " progressives ask. The wags note that these voters are like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders. But on the other hand, vast numbers of people including women and minorities vote for the blue team and get nothing substantial out of that too. So what's up? And yes, why do they even vote at all?
Orlov is a linguist and an engineer who has a blog called Club Orlov. He has also written several books, one of which, "Reinventing Collapse", I am reading for advice on how to survive such a collapse besides our two month's supply of Nalley's Chili and two generators. He emigrated to the U.S. in the mid-Seventies and made several trips back to Russia during the Soviet rule and then after the Soviet collapse. He believes that there are many lessons we in the U.S. can learn from the collapse of the other late 20th century super power. That there are more similarities than differences between the two super powers, as Orlov describes them, gave me pause. It's always interesting to look at a common question through a different set of glasses.
Both the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. derived their identities from being either capitalist or communist and the "extreme adherence to one or the other" as opposed to healthier countries that mix it up is what Orlov believes led to the doom of one and the coming doom of the other. Ideologies are all well and good, he says, if they actually work. But when it becomes clear that the average working citizen is not doing so well, the legitimacy of the rigid system begins to unravel and finally collapse. He points out that Albert Camus made the observation that the two superpowers were more alike than not back in the 1950s. Camus said that a specific failure of both systems was their inability "to provide creative, meaningful work." This Orlov says leads to mass depression. Read more about Don't Feed the Animals. Why People Who Don't Vote Could Be the Smart Ones and the Real Rebels
The next dog and pony is the Dem convention where the platitudes and non-specific proposals will fly fast and furiously across the tv, radio,net, and printed media.
And will change very few peoples perceptions.
And then, just to keep the commoners amused, that will be followed by what is called 'The Presidential Debates'. As someone who took a few course in argumentation, it truly pains me to have these scripted shows be called 'debates'.
As the saying goes ""It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes.". And considering all the hoopla over Olympic apparel being made in China, it's incredible to me that there is simply no media coverage or outrage about the fact that the means by which elections are held in the U.S. is on systems made in countries other than the U.S. And that doesn't even take into account all the issues associated with electronic voting.
So to that end, publishing with permission: Read more about It's not who votes but who counts the votes and Ecuador
Read this and the phrase 'Freudian slip' came to mind:
“I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which, of course, we cannot,” Clinton said at the opening of the consulate."
"In Egypt" ? So the U.S. DOES choose winners and losers, just not in Egypt. Let's see, Haiti and Honduras come to mind easily. And like the withholding of aid or forgiveness of debt has nothing to do with whether the U.S. 'cannot'. Read more about Thoughtful quotes
Yesterday I looked at Bruce Murphy's article about the Wisconsin recall, and how Murphy thought Democrats and unions brought defeat on themselves. There is one point he made that fits in with a purely political analysis, which is what I'm focusing on today. He writes: "Had Tom Barrett — or any Democrat — offered an alternative, some approach that would eliminate the abuse of public benefits without crushing unions, while protecting the many public workers who are not overpaid, this could have carried the day against Walker." Read more about The Wisconsin recall: myths and talking points
Since the recall was run as a conventional political campaign, instead of one grounded in the turmoil of last year, it's fair to ask how the latter might have looked. Doug Henwood offered these thoughts:
Suppose instead that the unions had supported a popular campaign - media, door knocking, phone calling - to agitate, educate, and organize on the importance of the labor movement to the maintenance of living standards? If they'd made an argument, broadly and repeatedly, that Walker's agenda was an attack on the wages and benefits of the majority of the population? That it was designed to remove organized opposition to the power of right-wing money in politics? That would have been more fruitful than this major defeat.
It seemed like the Barrett campaign never bothered to make the case for unions in general or collective bargaining in particular. I kept thinking, did last winter just go down the memory hole? Why isn't anyone bringing up the unjust law that was the catalyst for all this? Read more about The Wisconsin recall: how the movement could have helped