Saturday, April 18, 2015

Special Interests and Corruption, The Road to Oligarchy and Neo Feudalism...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


The net affect of the money machine — lobbyists, fund raisers, and campaign consultants — is to severely narrow the field of those who can compete for office, especially national office. If the national presidency were to pass back and forth between two or three families in any Latin American nation we would call it an oligarchy.

But if those families can use carefully built political networks to raise a billion, or perhaps it is now multiple billions, of dollars to seek the presidency, what hope is there for the new voice, the fresh ideas, the innovative policies to address new 21st century realities?

If the corruption of our Republic by interests groups and their money, governance by a Court of rotating insiders, and fresh blood strangled from the political process is the ultimate product of a deck stacked against the Country, we are in for a precarious time in American history.

We will have created a political system and some form of government new in our history. But it will most surely not be the Republic of our Founders hopes and dreams.

Former Senator Gary Hart penned the above and his observations are spot on. Without saying it he is speaking of the Bush family. Hillary is not yet president but the odds are very good she might be come January 2017. Family dynasties controlling the nation's interests certainly cannot not be a good thing.

Our nation's lawmakers have talked about campaign finance reform and even made half hearted attempts to reform the system in the past. Yet the political money funnels and special interest have continued to increase and the greasing of lawmakers palms in exchange for special favors has almost become a national sport or pastime.

With Citizens United, a measure I initially and mistakenly supported, matters were made much worse. The really big money folks now have ways to funnel huge sums of money into the political system to influence outcomes, outcomes that benefit them and their corporations. They accomplish this through a corrupt system and the corrupt politicians and judges that make laws. Laws that do not benefit Joe the Plummer or any other hardworking person in America.

Both parties and their politicians are responsible to one degree or other. However, given the republicans almost unanimous support for Citizens Untied the finger of truth points to the republicans as having a heavier burden. Even the United States Supreme Court has become politicized and its impartiality compromised as a result. Americans became the losers again in the game of power politics where ethical behavior s of little concern.

Gary Hart's letter is likely to have zero impact and this little gripe column serves only as an opportunity for one who is frankly very pissed off to vent. If ever there has been a reason for the average working class individual to rise up and make their voices heard this certainly is the issue. With things trending as they are now we will undoubtedly morph into an Oligarchy and a neo feudalism won't be far behind.

Read Mr. Hart's complete article BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

12 comments:

  1. Well, we're finally starting to hear some popular rumblings for a constitutional amendment regulating political campaigning. Expect no help from the parties and the media - both and all. When the IRS scrutinized paid political advertising for pretty obvious fraud to any decent human observer, the media, the ones collecting the money spent in the end, complained not about the fraudulence of the payers "social welfare" status, but about the way the IRS identified them.

    We're not bright enough a people anymore, Les, to have a bright future. America is on the wain. A main reason I've argued that Objectvism, for example, is not politically realistic in America is not because it is an unrealistic scheme, but we as people are not smart enough to even understand our own interests anymore, let alone act on them, given all the freedom in the world.

    You and I, Les, like the rest of our blogger friends who love debating and arguing and poking each others epistemology, and participating in our democracy, educated and knowledgeably, are a pretty small minority of Americans. If you and I sat down and had lunch together, we'd be dropping historical references left and right, zoom in and out contexts and themes, spanning time and forming complex structure, go wit to wit farther and farther for laughs. If we added any one of most people in this country, they wouldn't have a clue in the world what the hell we were talking about, even if they thought they did, though most wouldn't think that far in the first place.

    We really do need the educated class in this country to come together to do the right thing, and to counter a self-serving new American Bourgeoisie that doesn't seem to care about their country, or even their own legacy, at all.

    JMJ

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    Replies
    1. I agree Jersey. We are not bright enough as a nation to understand, truly understand what really is in our own long term rational self interests. We have become intellectually lazy and bought into what the boys with the money and power have told us to believe.

      Yeah, lunch and a few beers would be great. But alas it is not likely to happen.

      Delete
  2. Jersey, these blogs would be poorer without you.....

    RN: What would you propose? The Move to Amend plan. a simple undoing of
    "Citizens United", or something else?

    -------------

    As for dynasties, all of their politics and policies aside, the matter which Sen Hart mentions has been something I have been marking as a "negative" for both Jeb and Hillary (and even the impossibly early but still heard rumblings about Prescott and Chelsea).

    As I mentioned first here, I am tentatively opposed (after changing my mind based on some arguments presented mainly in your blog), but am waiting to see some sort of good replacement.

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  3. Money buys influence, it corrupts and ultimately is destroying our democratic republic.

    Unlimited money with no traceability is by far the worst kind of money being poured into the system. Completely scraping CI is the place to start. Ideally a constitutional amendment that would set campaign spending limits on federal elected offices, ie, congressional reps, senators, and presidential tied to inflation. All money would be federal money and come from the federal treasury. In this way all candidates would have equal money to spend, the field would be leveled and the opportunity for average Americans to run for these offices would exist.

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    Replies
    1. Nods as you udescribe it...

      I always look for loopholes in such proposals, because like water leaks, money will flow through them. What does this idea do about a Perot or a Trump... someone very rich who can go around just doing publicity stuff for a book, making appearances, etc without saying it is part of a campaign?

      Delete
    2. (I've also been dead set opposed to federal tax money on elections... my argument being that I'll be damned if I am funding Patrick Buchanan's campaign speeches... but I'm willing to change my mind on this as part of an overall reform.)

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    3. My view is campaign spending limits would include personal money spent on campaigns. So wealthy individuals such as you mention could be made subject ti fines (say 300% to 500%) on amounts spent over spending limits. Perhaps enforceable by the IRS? At least that would be a positive activity. ;-)

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    4. It didn't answer the situation of Trump, who has at least one time went around promoting his book, doing publicity, Promoting himself in advance of a campaign, but not actually campaigning.

      Well, might not be so hugely important: tycoons like this rarely get elected. And might not be a big part of the problem?

      Delete
  4. Whatever the legal reasoning, whatever the good intent, Citizens United is wreaking havoc on the electoral process. While the problem has been around for awhile and addressed in one way or another, it
    is, IMO, even more egregious now. Like dmarks, I consider myself immune to candidate ads (or most any other ads), seeking candidates that fit my qualifications. Hardly any do, anymore, so its support
    the least offensive. In a logical world, big$$$$ would almost seem a tag to not vote for that character:
    he/she clearly owes a few folks, hardly the rest of us. But a cursory exam indicates its an illogical world...especially US politics. I have signed numerous petitions sponsoring an amendment to void
    what I believe is a terrible SCOTUS decision. The question is-would the lengthy amendment process
    survive the alarming skewing of our democratic form of government? Impossible, but the banning of
    special interests in favor of the common interests would be a good start.

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  5. Is he speaking of Bush or maybe Roosevelt, Madison, Harrison or Adams. We cannot forget the non-profit move-on.org for their tainting the well.
    The DNC has decide that hillary is going to be the democrat candidate and anyone else who enters is just throwing money, always someone elses money to gain fame. The mighty have spoken and the troops will fall in step or face the consequences.

    Both parties are in it for them and we are just rungs for their climb. Maybe Sanders is the best choice, at least he admits he is a socialist.

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  6. In the Citizens United decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, "We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption."

    Did this guy ever crack open a history book or read a newspaper?

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  7. I'm sure he did, however, it appears to have been quite selective. Either that or he has a short convenient memory.

    ReplyDelete

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