Let me start this by explaining how I came to the realization of how the American political system works. Like many other Americans, I had certain beliefs and perceptions about this country and its history. During the end of the "60's and the beginning of the "70's, I realized that we were engaged in an unjust war. I say unjust because it was a war that was fought by young men on the lower end of the economic spectrum. Most young men from wealthy families skirted the draft with college deferments and letters from doctors and psychiatrists claiming that they were unfit for military duty. Those that had the money went to Canada. It was a racket. Since I wasn't from a well-connected family, I enlisted for four years in a specialty that gave me a good chance of not being sent to "Nam.
During the Vietnam War, from 1968 to 1973, I demonstrated against that war. Luckily, I was never arrested and the Army never knew what I was doing. One time however, I wrote to a lady whose son was killed in Hue. She wrote back to me and invited me to join a peace group made up of military people. My battalion Commander got wind of it and flew into my base in Korea and had a chat with me. He told me that even though we had a democracy, the Army wasn't a democratic institution. I learned to keep my mouth shut after that.
During the run up to the war in Iraq, I became disgusted with both political parties and the media. I decided to start a political party. This was the big awakening. I started writing on different websites and was contacted by people that believed we really did need a new political party. We called it The Liberal Party of America. The term liberal wasn't very popular at the time but it gathered attention, and that's what we wanted. I met a computer guru and he designed a very professional eight page website with speeches from JFK and other notable liberals. Soon we had small organizations in eight states. I was thrilled to death as the party was really catching on.
That's when I found out how difficult it was to put someone on the ballot. Some States had relatively easy requirements, but other States made it mission impossible. It was then that I found out that you could hire a company to get voting petitions signed and the average signature was about a dollar a pop. Since some States required 60,000 signatures, I realized that we were out of our league. It was then that I started looking at ways that other political parties used to raise money. Needless to say, I was dumbfounded. I started researching campaign financing and I saw how corporations cajoled their people to donate to political campaigns, sometimes giving them a bonus and having them use it as a campaign donation.
So for about 15 years I have been looking at campaign financing. I've written almost 50 articles about how corrupt the practice is. I called for campaign finance reform calling it "The reform that enables all other reforms". It really is. Then recently the Supreme Court ruled on the "Citizen's United" suit. That just about killed any faith I had in the American political system. When some write that our political system is an "Oligarchy" or a "Plutocracy" or a "Corporacracy" they are all right. In most Federal (and State) elections, you get to vote for the people that are backed by big money. Most of the time most people vote for the lesser of two evils for President. Oh yeah, you could vote for a Green candidate or a Libertarian or an Independent, just don't hold your breath waiting for a win. The mass media won't cover their campaigns and few people know who they are or what they stand for.
Since I served almost 21 years in the military (Army), I am acutely aware of when they are pumping us full of hot air. When Bush and Cheney and their Neo-Con minions claimed that Hussein had "Weapons of Mass Destruction", I knew that they were lying through their teeth. How could he have amassed those weapons when we had control over his airspace and draconian sanctions on him for almost a decade? Meanwhile, I saw most Americans playing along, like it was some kind of sporting event. It disgusted me. I was seriously considering leaving the country (maybe I should have).
Year after year I saw our government (if you could seriously call it "our" government) pass draconian laws that tore the Constitution to shreds. The Patriot Acts, The John Warner Defense Bill (That eliminated Posse Comitatus), The Military Commissions Act and many more (like those that guarantee "Freedom of Speech" under the 1st Amendment by providing pens far away from what you are demonstrating against). These are laws that are supposed to make us "safe", but in reality they are meant to control us. I'll put in footnotes so that you can read these laws for yourselves.
Then there was the economic collapse of 2008. Corporations (including Obama's largest campaign donor Goldman Sachs) started going belly-up because they had rigged the system and were betting on everything under the sun like it was a giant casino. A bail-out was proposed and the American people went ballistic, writing their Congress critters telling them not to give these crooks anything. The outcry was so great that they voted against the bail-out. Then, in a closed door session, and after the Senate voted for the bill, the spineless dogs of Congress were told that if the economy went down the tubes, martial law would be declared.