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Our Deteriorating Democracy Can Be Rescued by Those Here and Outside of OpEdNews

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Thomas Jefferson said, “An informed citizenry is the only true repository of public will.” Never has that been as evident today as when people flocked to Rob Kall’s article titled, “The DCC Just Hung Up On Me.”

In that article, Rob highlighted the main points that have become redundant in the OpEdNews community lately. They are: that Americans “know Democrats could end the war by ending funding by NOT voting on legislation”, that Americans should “dump a whole lot of incumbents this election” and do this by “banning candidates from running for the same job twice in a row, that Americans “need to level the playing field for third party candidates”, and finally and simply, “Democrats in Congress are not doing enough.”

While it would seem Rob covered the gamut here, people herded over to his article to hold a proper dialogue on our broken democracy and added even more points that have become redundant lately. Gary Kleppe highlighted the fact that we must end “the influence of money, and the lack of any mass communications media through which a candidate can get a message out to a lot of people without spending big bucks.” Michael Chavers spoke up and said Americans must institute “public funding [for] all elections from dog catcher to president. We need Independent ethics board, with complete autonomy and financial independence. We must have verifiable voting machines so that our votes will count.” Mr. M suggested that Americans “target the elites that have over the past few centuries created this situation.”

Rob stepped in to respond to the swarm of comments he was receiving saying that Americans “must enable citizens to pass laws without politicians in the middle,” which is the case in California because by doing this it will allow us citizens and taxpayers to “pass laws that the politicians would never pass.” And in response to comments by people like John Riggs who called for “proportional representation” for third parties, Rob said, third parties “are a must, but we need to get them equal treatment and instant runoff voting. Until then, they are not viable.

On other articles today we saw people building off Rob’s article which amounted to our own “town hall meeting.” David Swanson proved with Senator Chris Dodd’s recent vote to block a bill legalizing unconstitutional spying and immunize criminals who have engaged in it that a “single senator with nerve has the power to block a bill.” Therefore, there is no reason for Harry Reid to make excuses about not being able to end the war. And Jayne Lyn Stahl spoke out congratulating the House’s recent passage of the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007.

As we close in on our primary elections (that continue to be moved closer to December 2007), let us in the OpEdNews community and outside of it take note of the fact that, as Gore Vidal said, our democracy has become “a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.” And let us also take note of the fact that Ralph Nader said, “If you don’t turn on politics, politics will turn on you.”

That said, I would like to herein establish known “laws” that as writers (Americans) we can stop trying to prove because they have already been proven time and time again. In what we talk about, we will speak of trying to repeal these “laws.” While in science, laws are definitive in this country, we function under a democracy where laws can be repealed and redefined, which is what must happen. These “laws” are:

-The war could be defunded right now because all the Senate has to do is get 41 votes or as Dodd did on the telecommunications bill, block passage of legislation on Iraq.

-Public funding of elections is necessary

-Third parties must be granted proportional representation and/or instant run-off voting to even the playing field so Americans can quit choosing from the lesser of two evils.

-Citizens must be able to pass the laws. And indeed, Mike Gravel’s National Initiative calls for just that: citizen power.

-Media consolidation needs to be tackled so that the airwaves can be public airwaves. Only in doing that will candidates get more access to media than they do now, and they won’t have to spend big bucks to purchase air time.

- “There ain’t a dime’s worth of difference,” as Waylon Jenning says between Democrats and Republicans. The two are run by the corporate establishment and are meant to create the illusion of disagreement between the two parties. And in elections, Democrats are required to throw out more social concessions than Republicans but in the end, they both want what? Power to run the corporate establishment in this country---to be our nation’s next CEO.

With all that noted, we can save time by no longer proving these “laws” and instead working to pound away at getting these realities changed. Instead of being redundant, simply keep a repository of articles on these "laws" that can be cited in future articles and that way you won't have to worry about spelling out what's already been spelled out.

Lastly and most importantly of all, this comes from the closing remarks in a recent video by Naomi Wolf:

“The violence is escalating. And you know the thing about a fascist shift s when the people start to wake up, that’s when they start to crack down harder. And I’m very worried about these reports of massacres in Iraq---very, very worried reading today that the State Department is protecting Blackwater in Iraq from being investigated. And I’m very worried about these tasering scenes and scenes of people being pepper sprayed and scenes of women being dragged away in the Phoenix airport that keep showing up on AOL in eerily good video cause you know National Socialists created a lot of good footage of atrocities early on to freak people out and intimidate them. So, what I’m saying is we need to ratchet up our efforts even as they ratchet up the violence or suppression. And now at this point, I am persuaded by the historical record that a national uprising to restore democracy is incredibly urgent but that it’s going to take more than that. And I never thought I would say this because impeachment is so destabilizing but what we’re faced with if we don’t is even more destabilizing. There is no alternative. And history shows it’s not enough to impeach criminals and murders---that you have to put them behind bars. I think we need to prosecute for treason.”

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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