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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/13/14

Crowdsourcing Our Way Out of the Crisis of Democracy

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Co-author: Margaret Flowers

Democracy Rebellion Rolls Across United States as Americans Are Repeatedly Shown How Anti-Democratic the Government Really Is

More Americans are fed up with the phony democracy that exists in the United States. Across the nation people are engaged in democracy rebellions as many re-examine the nation's roots, especially with the 4th of July weekend just passing.

The Declaration of Independence proclaims that when a government does not support the rights and needs of the people, then

"it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Rolling Rebellion banner at FCC protest seeking to ensure net neutrality. Act now, public comments end July 15th,

The Rolling Rebellion banner at FCC protest seeking to ensure net neutrality. Act now, public comments end July 15th, click here

Have we reached that point? Many think so. A recent poll found 74% of Americans agree the broken political system needs to be fixed first. The poll found that "corruption of government by big money and frustration with the abuses of the political ruling class: incumbent politicians, lobbyists, the elite media, big business, big banks, big unions, and big special interests unites Americans." And, "the battle lines of the new political order are emerging. When presented with the proposition that 'the real struggle for America is not between Democrats and Republicans but mainstream America and the ruling political elites,' over 66% of voters agree."

According to the poll, Americans see the sad reality of the state of the country and are ready to rebel:

- "Eighty-six percent of all voters believe political leaders are more interested in protecting their power than in doing what's right for the American people.

- Eighty-three percent believe the country is run by an alliance of incumbent politicians, media pundits, lobbyists, and other interests for their own gain.

- Further, 79% believe that powerful interests from Wall Street banks to corporations, unions, and PACs use campaign and lobbying money to rig the system to serve themselves and that they loot the national treasury at the expense of every American."

Rolling Rebellion was part of the Occupy Venice Beach 4th of July Parade 'Rebel Alliance'

The Rolling Rebellion was part of the Occupy Venice Beach 4th of July Parade 'Rebel Alliance'

We have highlighted how representative democracy often does the opposite of what super-majorities of the people want (see also this and this). The people see this lack of representation and turn off -- half do not register to vote and in most elections tiny minorities of registered voters bother to vote. Recently there have been reports about how government no longer represents the people but represents a small minority of the wealthy (see these three reports here, here and here). Academics are beginning to describe the United States as an oligarchy, plutocracy or managed democracy. All this adds up to: The US government has lost its democratic legitimacy.

Americans Faced Blatantly Undemocratic Actions

Repeatedly the people of the United States are shown how anti-democratic the government really is. We saw this multiple times just in the last week.

The power of the big business corporate interests is regularly seen in the government where there is massive crony capitalism and corporate welfare. Policies are designed to help the corporate interests even if it means undermining jobs at home and expanding the wealth divide. The government is pursuing rigged corporate trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership in secret. This week, TPP negotiators fled thousands of miles across Canada to avoid protesters and public scrutiny.

We also see it with President Obama's landmark legislation, the Affordable Care Act. While sold to the public as providing healthcare to all and controlling the costs of healthcare, Obamacare will do neither. It is really a market-based approach to healthcare which enriches the corporations, e.g. insurance, pharmaceutical and for-profit hospitals. Although fewer people are uninsured, they still face financial barriers that make necessary care unaffordable.

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Kevin Zeese is co-chair of Come Home America, www.ComeHomeAmerica.US which seeks to end U.S. militarism and empire. He is also co-director of Its Our Economy, www.ItsOurEconomy.US which seeks to democratize the economy and give people greater (more...)
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