Want an Honest Government Of, By, and For We the 99%? Here's How.
I cannot stress this enough: whatever your issue, however righteous and important it might be, it will never get a fair hearing as things now stand.
The ONLY way any issue might receive a fair hearing is if we FIRST achieve Electoral Reform and restore integrity to our government.
I was inspired to write this call to arms by two articles I read today, one by Chris Hedges here at OpEdNews, "The Most Dangerous Woman in America," and the other by Barbara Hollingsworth in CNS News, "Economist Tells Congress: US May Be in 'Worse Fiscal Shape' Than Greece."
Let's start with the short-comings of both articles. First off, Chris, whose books earn rave reviews from me and whose articles are generally featured at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, is hyping one person in one election at the local level. How nice. Also very much on the margins. To suggest that this one election means anything in the face of the absolute corruption of all three branches of the federal government and the general corruption of all state and local electoral processes, is at best a cosmic joke and at worst a cruel misrepresentation. Nothing personal, I love Chris and his genius, but if we don't stop making happy faces over isolated instances of hope we are all toast.
And then there is Laurence Kotlikoff. I know Laurence, we talked when we were both running for President ever so briefly in 2012. I like Laurence as well, and the point he is making, that we are bankrupt, is absolutely correct. What he fails to mention is that David Walker, at the time Comptroller General of the USA, said precisely the same thing to Congress from 2006 to 2008, when he finally resigned in disgust. Today David, after years of earnest campaigning for a balanced budget (worthy but mission impossible as an isolated issue) he is running as an Independent for a Senate seat in Connecticut. For Laurence to think for one moment that anyone in Congress cares about his opinion or our deliberate bankruptcy is delusional. The two party-tyranny agreed to start borrowing a trillion dollars a year in the 1980's for their own selfish ends, and they are not going to stop as long as we let them block everyone else from power.
Who Am I? Who Are We?
I am empathetic about this delusion, I believed for many years that if I could just wait for one more election, one more "great leader," things would get better. Not so. I was radicalized in 2008 when I saw Barack Obama break his promise to run only on public funds and then take in close to a billion dollars, of which over $300 million have still not been accounted for to this day. There is no difference between the two parties that monopolize power, and every "leader" we "elect" is in fact a captured pawn of powers beyond the government -- 42 billionaires, by name, tell Congress what to do at our expenses and to their benefit.
I was so outraged at the utter crap that David Plouffe and David Axelrod were spewing through their captive candidate that I wrote a quick book, free online, ELECTION 2008: Lipstick on the Pig. I was further radicalized by Theresa Amato's 2009 book, Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny coincident with -- in the same year -- Chris Hedges' Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. Today we know that Barack Obama is if anything vastly worse than his predecessor -- what he lacks in the venality of Dick Cheney he more than compensates for in his subjugation to the military-industrial complex, big agriculture, big pharma, and of course our beloved banks too big to fail, but so big they can destroy entire economies including our own, with impunity. I credit Matt Taibbi and his first blockbuster in 2011, Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History, with leading me to join Occupy, focus on electoral reform in earnest, and run for the Reform Party nomination for President. Here is the paragraph from Matt's first book that most citizens have not grasped (it appears on page 32):
What has taken place over the last generation is a highly complicated merger of crime and policy, of stealing and government. Far from taking care of the rest of us, the financial leaders of America and their political servants have seemingly reached the cynical conclusion that our society is not work saving and have taken on a new mission that involved not creating wealth for us all, but simply absconding with whatever wealth remains in our hollowed out economy. They don't feed us, we feed them.
Partly enlightened by Matt Taibbi I noticed Occupy, and in October 2011, when I saw they had an electoral reform working group, I was moved to apply for an invitation to speak to them. They gave me six minutes, a guy named Philip Small recorded it, and that video, after making the front page of Reddit and went viral. I tried -- and failed -- to get that working group to go to the General Assembly to propose that Occupy move indoors for the winter -- specifically, into the home offices of every Senator and Representative -- so as to demand the Electoral Reform Act of 2012.