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Spoiling Corruption by a Popular Front Strategy

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I outline and argue for an interim strategy for activists, hoping to receive critical input. It's a true grass roots, do-it-yourself strategy for many locally known citizens to announce their independent write-in candidacies for single-term, state-wide and national offices. It aims to raise voters' awareness and pressure major parties toward actually doing some things against our severe, deepening problems.

This must be made to happen, even when it conflicts with powerful wealth concentrations. It's a popular front strategy along the lines of Ralph Nader's Unstoppable. Anticorruption is a least controversial strategy appropriate for a popular front to reach voters (see Zephyr Teachout, Corruption in America, and Sarah Chayes, Thieves of State.) One doesn't have to emphasize increased weather volatility, disinvestment in infrastructure and education, the boiling "melting pot" of American races. Both parties grant the endless disappearance of well paid, secure, private employment.

Small business people can appreciate the endless governmental favoritism for the giant Walmarts that squeezes them out of business. About half of us have some participation in stock ownership. Many stockholders know the private-to-private corruption when CEO-picked Boards of Directors (of other corporations) cheat stockholders of performance gains by excessively large CEO compensation, especially when corporate goals have not been met.

Nothing here is intended to preclude holding one's nose and voting for a slightly lesser evil in a general election! Many well intentioned, uncorrupted citizens run for and provide honest service in local governments. This strategy is aimed at the major party system of self enriching, professional, panderer politicians who run for statewide and national office. Indeed, I would exempt from criticism as "corrupt rental politicians" members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, similar candidates, "Bleeding Heart" Libertarians and any liberal Democratic governors of states currently taken over by the Koch -- Fox --Talibangelical axis.

America's true regime has become Corruptocracy. Because of Supreme Court free speech absolutism we have to qualify it as only "moral" corruption by big financing of campaigns. We badly need regime change! But now is not a time when we can get it.The current situation creates a teachable moment with room for humor and ridicule! It's timely to engage in a popular front, anti-corruption, repetitive, grass roots campaign of locally known volunteer candidates. It's a strategy to seek local media attention and educate people. Anyone can announce in local media that they are running independently for state Senate or House or Congress or the Presidency and that they are un-bought by big money. They can try to educate voters by exposing conflicts of interests between people's groups and the special interest money sponsorships for which Republican and Democratic incumbents and candidates put out.

Independent candidates can advocate officious boycotting of major parties, especially de-registering from them, refusing them all contributions and assistance. "More than 2.5 million voters have left the Democratic and Republican parties since the 2008 elections, while the number of independent voters continues to grow" (1.) Candidates can ask to be written in for holding only two or maybe three positions: 1) Anti-Corruption, 2) Entitlement Stability and maybe 3) Disengagement from wars in the Middle East. "As president, I will sign any legislation to increase funding for any enforcement of anti-corruption laws, including prosecution into jail, if possible. Also I will veto any legislation to cut funding or enforcement of them. Second, I will sign any legislation to increase Social Security to a living wage, increase or preserve Medicare, Medicaid and Affordable Care."

Objections: "What about the national debt?" Just tell the truth. That far - off "harmfulness" is just a Big Lie like Iraq's WMD. It's a gross exaggeration by conservatives before which Democrats and establishment economists have also bowed their heads. We have currency sovereignty. The Federal Reserve bailed out the mega banks, and CPI inflation has remained low since 2009. Our government continues throwing $ trillions away on Middle Eastern wars for control of oil we no longer need, because we've become self -- sufficient in oil production (etc.) "You're a spoiler?" "Yes, of my opponents' self -- enrichment and bipartisan corruption." "How do you differ from a liberal democrat?" I haven't taken any campaign money and I won't take any. I'll take just the salary and perks for a single -- term in office. My promise is no less trustworthy than those of the Republicans and Democrats who put out for money. (No disrespect to honest sex workers is implied; only that to those who work in our state - wide and national legislative red light districts.) Since I don't have a reasonable chance to win, a vote for me this time is a message - sending protest vote. Don't both these corrupted nonperforming major parties need a lesson?"

Taking further positions is an educative opportunity, but can be a trap into partisan controversy. Candidates could say only "My personal opinion is 'X,' but policy is made by groups, not a President alone! I have to and will follow Congressional law and intelligent, informed advice of my own advisors." Imagine a thousand local presidential candidates advocating "military disengagement (cease fire and evacuate) from the Middle East!" Or again: "Reform the Federal Reserve so family home buyers, students, and small business owners could get lower interest rates than the still gambling megabanks." Although the chance of victory is minute, volunteers should realize that effective anti-corruption work in any office level can be extremely dangerous. Beware of ambushes of any sort. Answer every loaded question with "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?"

Small demonstrations targeting state-wide and national parties could use Monopoly money, and "For Rent -- Congressman X" signs. Burn the elephant and donkey party symbols, Congressional and Presidential seals, never the flag! Officious boycotting of major parties, mockery, public scorn, refusal to contribute to state-wide and national campaigns, to post signs, to tell pollsters anything, to work the polls, plus running for office oneself, independently, does not preclude holding one's nose and voting for your deemed slightly less evil in the general election.

(1) Richard Wolf, "Voters leaving Republican, Democratic parties in droves," USA Today, 12/22/11.

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I could be Bernie Sanders older brother by similarity. I was born in Manhattan, 1940, he, about a year later, in Brooklyn. I too am a white male American. A retired college professor of philosophy. We both were born of Jewish parents. I was (more...)

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