Step 9 Rethink Democracy

If we really want to restore or Democracy and end corporate corruption, it is time to change the way we think about elections – which are the foundation of our Democracy. The corporate controlled media would like to divide and conquer us by using artificial terms like liberals and conservatives, right versus left and Democrats versus Republicans.

While there are certainly differences between the values we as people hold and the solutions we propose to our many problems, there is an increasing awareness that the real enemy is not the right or the left. It is people versus corporate greed. Put another way, it is the increasing divide between the reckless and lawless greed of the super rich and the rest of us who must suffer severe hardships such as loss of jobs, homes, health care and life savings in order to pay off the gambling debts of the super rich. Even the tax burden is increasingly transferred from the wealthy to the rest of us.

Corporate Wealth Buys Elections
The corporate media would like us to believe that either the Democrats or Republicans won the last election – or will win the next election. They want to mislead and distract us into believing that elections are about choosing between Democrats and Republicans so we do not notice that we are being robbed regardless of who wins. But the truth is that corporations have won and will continue to win elections because most of the politicians in both parties are bought by corporations who pay for their extremely expensive re-election campaigns. These entrenched politicians from both parties then pay back their corporate masters by passing laws strongly favoring corporations and stacking the deck against the rest of us.

The problem is that it is not generally the candidate with the best ideas for solving problems who wins. Over 90% of the time, it is the candidate with the most money who wins. And over 90% of the time that candidate with the most money is the entrenched incumbent. Sadly, the candidate with the most money is also likely the candidate who is most corrupt and least likely to seek solutions that are fair to the rest of us. We all need to learn to follow the money.

We also need to seek a new political alignment. It is not right versus left, but right versus wrong. It is long term human needs versus short term corporate greed.

Money corrupts and destroys Democracy
We cannot have democracy as long as the super rich are so easily able to buy our elections. We need to start voting for the candidate who raises the least money and stop promoting the candidate who raises the most money.

Polls show that the vast majority of people understand the corrosive effect that money has on our politics and they favor eliminating at the very least the recent disastrous Supreme Court decision.

Reframing the Election Debate
Our political discourse needs a new set of terms, a new spectrum on which to place people and organizations that illustrates whether they tend to side with corporations or people.

To keep things simple, we should just tell it like it is:

People versus corporations.

The rich versus the rest of us.

The 99% versus the 1%.

Progressives versus Regressives.

The term Progressivism also has a long bipartisan history. This was a term created by a Republican President (Teddy Roosevelt) during his fight with corporate monopolies. Teddy started a new party called the Progressive Party in 1912:

The term Progressive Democrat was later was adopted by a Democratic Presidential candidate, Franklin Roosevelt, during his fight with corporate greed which had corrupted both political parties in the late 1920’s. Before FDR adopted the term, there were only Progressive Republicans – basically followers of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

Another useful term is populism. I have been called a populist by my opponents. I think this means that we are on the side of the poor and middle class working families.

For our opponents, the old debate was between progressive Democrats and Corporate Fascists. But this is no longer accurate. Even old time fascists like Hitler and Mussolini believed in following some set of laws and rules. They also understood the need for full employment. Clearly our new corporate opponents do not believe in either laws or full employment.

The modern corporatists are nothing more than thieves and robbers. Ralph Nader calls what is happening now “a corporate crime wave.” So rather than dignifying our shortsighted corporate opponents by calling them fascists, I think we should use the more accurate term by calling them greedy corporate criminals who are robbing the rest of us blind.

The Real Purpose of Government is to protect the people from excessive corporate greed

Most accept that the government should protect us from foreign attackers and also protect us from domestic criminals. Since modern corporatists are criminals, keeping them in check can and should be done without any new laws… simply enforcing the laws against theft and fraud that are already on the books.

Organizing a Progressive People Oriented movement
The history of this country has been the drive toward a more and more inclusive democracy — a democracy which would fulfill Abraham Lincoln’s beautiful phraseology at Gettysburg in which he described America as a nation “of the people by the people for the people.” For our government to be of, by and for the people, it must not be allowed to by corrupted by bribery from for-profit corporations. For-profit corporations must be prohibited from making contributions to or expenditures in political campaigns.

We can use this as a rallying cry for organizing people. If we do not organize, and change the way we think about elections, democracy itself will soon be lost.

(Originally published here.)

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