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Posted on Feb 28, 2012
Lillian Thurston

Stewart Alexander, Socialist Party presidential candidate in 2012.

By Scott Tucker

Stewart Alexander believes fair elections are worth a fair fight and he’s asking for your vote. The Occupy Wall Street movement encouraged a more honest discussion of class and capitalism in this country, but Alexander is not simply a critic of big banks and high finance. He is a democratic socialist, an African-American community activist and the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party in 2012.

Alexander believes the candidate of “hope and change” is a defender of the status quo and of corporate rule. In his words:

“The phrase that came to mind immediately upon hearing President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech is ‘too little, too late.’ After spending the last few years coddling the banks and the richest 1 percent, Obama has the nerve to now call for ‘economic fairness.’ To him, this means tweaking payroll taxes and making a rhetorical call to reverse the Bush tax cuts for the rich. For working people in America, real fairness means the right to a job, a guarantee of health care for all and an end to the military-industrial complex. Obama won’t deliver this. That’s why I am running for president against him.”

The boom-and-bust cycles of capitalism require a semblance of representative government, even though Congress has become the front office of the corporate state. Even the most “progressive” reforms of the tax code now proposed by career politicians remain a form of institutionalized robbery of the working and middle classes.

“This is why,” Alexander says, “we propose creating a progressive tax structure where the rich pay far more than the average working person. In a democratic socialist society neither Obama nor Romney would be allowed to pay an effective tax rate of 26 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Corporate taxation, financial gains taxes and personal income taxes will be modernized—all loopholes will be closed and the rich will pay a steep tax on their income. This is what economic fairness looks like to a socialist.”

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Is a radical revision of the tax code the whole program of democratic socialism? No, but it is certainly one reform consistent with social democracy in the realm of the economy. Alexander is not simply a “left-wing Keynesian” reformer. After all, economist Paul Krugman plays that part admirably in the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times. Krugman repeatedly insists that the Obama administration must ramp up a “stimulus package” that might actually stimulate, rather than stifle, the economy. But Krugman would need genuine social democrats in the White House to listen to his advice, whereas Obama has filled his inner circle with Wall Street aristocrats such as Timothy Geithner. Alexander’s reform of the tax code has a much deeper foundation in workplace democracy, and in working class solidarity across national borders.

Alexander has also been a strong critic of Obama’s “continuation of the Bush era security state policies.” He has the same moral fire and political clarity as Eugene Debs, a Socialist presidential candidate who won 6 percent of the national vote in 1912, and gained more than 900,000 votes in 1920 even when he was behind bars at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. Debs called for working class unity against war and imperialism, and he paid a high price. We now live under a regime of escalating state surveillance and police repression, and Alexander’s class conscious policy of peacemaking will not earn him a Nobel Peace Prize:

“Obama’s approval of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) annihilates centuries of civil rights protections,” Alexander writes. “The president now has the right to indefinitely jail any citizen in America without having to work within the protections of habeas corpus. Added to the NDAA is the fact that, as I write this, Bradley Manning is rotting in a jail cell. Manning is Obama’s prisoner—a moral testament to the president’s commitment to continue the job of restricting civil liberties.”

Alexander was born in Newport News, Va., in 1951. He was one of eight children of Stewart Alexander, a brick mason and minister, and Ann E. McClenney, a nurse and housewife. In 1953, the family moved to the community of Watts in Los Angeles. Bricklaying and masonry jobs were scarcer in Los Angeles, and the family endured some hard times. At the age of 16, Alexander worked nights with his father cleaning airport terminals.

In the late ’60s, Alexander attended George Washington High School in Los Angeles County. Though integration of public schools had become public policy, the foundation of the educational system fractured along lines of race and class. By the time Alexander graduated from high school in 1970, the school had fewer than 50 white students. This was part of a wider social pattern that became known as “white flight.”

In December 1970, Alexander joined the Air Force and trained as a transportation and cargo specialist. Later he attended college full time at a Cal State University campus. One professor actively discouraged his studies, and when he quit college he began working 40-plus hours a week as a stocking clerk. During this time he married his first wife, Freda Alexander, and they had one son.

After working as a licensed general contractor and with Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, Calif., he returned to Los Angeles and applied for a job as a warehouseman and forklift driver. Though his military experience made him well qualified for the job, the warehouse manager refused to interview him. Only the threat of a lawsuit (including filing a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) gained him the interview and the job.

The manager later confessed to Alexander that it was his policy to hire only blacks who were “twice as good” as whites on the job. Having fought to get that job, being “twice as good” also meant that Alexander (one of only two African-Americans among 200 employees) had to work more than twice as hard.

During this time Alexander began working with civic and community groups, including the NAACP. He later traveled to Tampa, Fla., working as a grocery clerk and as an organizer with the Florida Consumer Action Network (FCAN). In 1986, Ralph Nader was the guest speaker at the state convention of FCAN, and Alexander joined him in political discussions during the event. Alexander also worked briefly with an affiliate organization, the Long Island Citizens Campaign. Both groups were formed to protect the environment and the health and safety of consumers.


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By - bill, March 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

Korky, whether we’re ‘leader types’ or just have independent minds the net result is that we make decisions for ourselves rather than have others make them for us.  In the case of the Green party, our decision seems to be that not only is it irrelevant now but it has been for the past decade and, given this record of inept leadership and the refusal of its rank and file (like you) to recognize it, appears likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

Under those circumstances it seems a poor use of our time and effort to join it and attempt to wrest that leadership away from the current group of incompetents so that we could try to do better rather than try to find something more promising to start with (and just about ANYTHING looks more promising at this point).

I’m certainly not waiting for the Green Party to become ‘big and powerful and slick’:  I’m just waiting for it to show at least some significant portion of the promise that it seemed to be showing back when Nader was heading up its ticket (and I’ve given specific comparative metrics indicating how it has failed since then, so I won’t bother repeating them here).  Until that happens I’ll explore other approaches - and continue to make my own decisions about what’s “all right” in terms of strategy, thank you.

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By Korky Day, March 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

It is fun to call people bad names.  Often they deserve it.  However, I restrain myself on fora like these to try to win people over.  I apologize for anyone in my Green Party who does otherwise.

Nevertheless, such a fault in my party should say to our critics that if they joined us, they could help me to stamp out the fault. 

Staying instead in a party which violates everything humane and peaceful and feminist on the “lesser of 2 evils” principle has been proven a bad strategy for 200 years in the USA. 

It’s all right to support the Democrat Dennis Kucinich and the Republican Ron Paul in the Duopoly, but not pro-Duopolists like President Obama.  If it weren’t for people voting “lesser of 2 evils” in the rigged 1-X plurality voting system, my Green Party would be a big successful party in Congress, as it is in other countries.  Such growth would end most of my party’s faults described here by commenters.

Any party will be more to your liking if you join it.

If you prefer presidential candidate Stewart Alexander of the Socialist Party, fine.  They need your help, too.  Do anything that doesn’t perpetuate the barrier to democracy in the USA:  the 2-party system.

While I appreciate suggestions on how I can improve my party, I will continue to try to recruit all of you to help me to accomplish them.

Waiting for us to be big and powerful and slick before you join us is the attitude of sheepish followers.  You people seem more like the leader types.

Less than 1% of the public is active in any political party.  That’s shameful and a contributing factor in the general failure of the country.

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By - bill, March 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

You’ve responded once again with your characteristic incompetence, ardee.  I’ll remind you that the only virtue to be found in such consistency is when the object of the consistency is itself virtuous.

I’ve said, multiple times, here and elsewhere where you’ve been present, that my current focus (for lack of a better one, in part due to the irrelevance of the Greens in this country) is to DESTROY the Democratic party, at least on the national level, in order to MAKE ROOM for potentially effective third parties to grow.  I don’t expect everyone to agree with that viewpoint, but do seem to be able to discuss it amicably with those whose viewpoints differ.

You, however, don’t seem able to discuss much of ANYTHING amicably, even when you agree with someone’s viewpoint (as from your most recent rant it appears you agree with mine in this area which you highlighted).  If you’re too illiterate or functionally incompetent to be able to understand what you’ve read, perhaps you should find an activity where that isn’t as significant an impediment as it is here.

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By Shenonymous, March 11, 2012 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

The alleged Greens on this and other TD forums retard the Green
effort with their shallow perception of what the Greens are about
and what they can do.  They come up with some manifesto talking
points without any cogent discussion about them. They would
rather rant their gaseous rhetoric and bludgeon physically if they
could, unsympathetic participants on the forums.  It is either a
shrunken-brain syndrome they suffer, or they are intentionally
trying to destroy the Greens completely for they only spend their
time aggressing against those who are not impressed enough by
a quasi-political party that is not attracting national attention the
way a political party would that is in earnest.  Just look at the over-
pretentious ardee who has let his loathing contaminate his self-
control and his obsessive malice toward me in particular who cannot
stop himself from making denigrating vitriolic comments.  It looks
like a kind of cancer of the spirit.  Surprisingly, a few of them have
been removed by Truthdig who it appears also found them disturbingly
against comment policy.  He is not the kind of supporter that gives the
Greens an appearance of integrity.

-bill’s post is as articulate as anyone can make for a case of why the
Greens on Truthdig do not captivate the imagination of those whom
the blusterbags attack. 

As –bill recognized I am not happy with the voting record of the
Washington Democrats and i have expressed that many times.  I
work to get them replaced by those who genuinely will represent
the people’s interest.  The Democrats-at-large do not quite enough
of the public voting numbers, however, to stop the Republicans in their
relentless anti-democratic project to end the democratic process.  It is
my absolute agenda to stop them!  So far the Democrats are the only
party able to effect a halt to the Republicans.  And that is why I will do
all within my power to increase their numbers. 

As I’ve indicated repeatedly I would vote for Bernie Sanders in a
heartbeat were he to run for president.  He won’t.  At least not this
time around.  Maybe in 2016.  I see some morning light coming from
Obama to resist the Republican onslaught.  I am singularly and tunnel-
visionedly interested in the welfare of the American people and I have a
growing optimism Obama will be instructive in implementing the liberal
purposes that define bettering the lives of the people.  I do not see
anyone else capable in politics on the tract to be president. The election
in November will be crucial, utterly crucial, to bring to an absolute halt
the goose-stepping Republicans (thank you Godwin, but the storm
boots fit
) from implementing their project of destruction of democracy. 
The majority in Congress is as important to change as it is to keep a more
liberal than not President in office.

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By Leefeller, March 11, 2012 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Alleged quasi humans such as Rush Limbaugh avoid facts just as cockroaches scurry around to avoid sunlight.  An old saying; ‘truth can set you free’ evidently does not sit well with some people. Rush’s propensity to insult people who may have differences of opinion appears to be his bread and butter,... one can comfortably conclude Limbaugh partakes in plenty of bread and butter.  Emulating Rush Limbaugh’s insulting seems to be RD’s primary mission as the self proclaimed insulting spokes person for the Greens.

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By Anarcissie, March 11, 2012 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

I agree with bill and Shenonymous.  The name-calling is especially childish and boring.  But I guess I don’t have to read it.

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By ardee, March 11, 2012 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

By - bill, March 10 at 8:33 pm

Intentionally missing the point seems a characteristic of those of you supporting your hollow corporatist Democratic Party.

The only complaints noted are about you fascist supporters who ignore the real fact that the Democratic Party is the avowed enemy of third party growth and Greens in particular.

In spite of those like you and the distaff broom riding Goebbels third party politics time has come and will not be denied.

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By - bill, March 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

I’m afraid that you’re confused, Korky.  No one here has been COMPLAINING about how ineffective the Greens have been since 2000:  we’ve simply been POINTING THAT OUT as the reason why we aren’t very interested in your party (noble though your ideals and platform may be).  Some of us have even offered suggestions regarding how you might go about trying to change this situation - but instead of accepting those suggestions in the helpful spirit in which they have been offered (whether you find them useful or not) you have turned around and chastised us for not taking a role in implementing such changes ourselves (as if WE were the ones with a vested interest in improving the Green party’s viability).

Rather, you and others seem to be the ones complaining here - about not getting the respect as a potential political force that you believe you deserve.  That schtick may have worked for Rodney Dangerfield but it doesn’t seem to be working very well here (as others have already observed).  Even if your intent were to make the Green party a joke (which in some ways it indeed seems to be without your help) it just wouldn’t be a very funny one, more kind of sad.

To put it another way, your party just seems far too screwed up to be worth devoting any effort to, much as many of us might like to see an effective party pushing the Green platform and be happy to join it.  Even if you disagree with this assessment, it must be clear to you that you’ve got a serious image problem that will only get worse as long as you insist on berating the non-members likely to be the most sympathetic to your policy goals rather than taking steps (preferably not just cosmetic ones) to improve their image of you.

Everyone here seems to agree that both of the two major parties are disasters (even Shen agreed with this in terms of the national Democratic establishment, committed though she is to the Democratic party as an institution in terms of its rank and file).  Most of us don’t trust the media nor many/most national politicians to do anything but attempt to snow us into accepting the status quo, nor (save for Shen) do we feel fealty to either major party - and we’re willing to support and vote for alternatives if they seem promising.  Some of us believe that major changes in the electoral system are required, and a few feel that capitalism itself must be abandoned.

In other words, this isn’t a tough crowd for you at all - in fact, it’s about the best crowd you could hope for.  And yet NO ONE here save the Greens themselves is rising to join you in your contention that the Green party is the answer and that any right-minded people who don’t agree with that are part of the problem.

As long as you continue in this vein the problem is going to be YOUR problem.  Take a hint from Einstein’s famous definition of insanity and try something different.

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By Shenonymous, March 10, 2012 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

For my part, you have not made a compelling case, Korky Day,
to convince me to join the Greens.  And name calling by your
colleagues definitely tells me no mature thinking is taking place. 
I’ve been watching the Greens for decades and they have not made
their own case.  They have no articulate spokesperson, no one who
could take the reins of this country and deal with the myriad of
problems that it faces.  And even if there was even one, there are
no others who could form a governing cabinet.  Nor would they have
a Congress with which they could work.  This is a form of democracy
and that is not going to change, at least it is not likely to in the life
time of whoever is now living. Things of this magnitude cannot be left
up to unseasoned statepersons.  Global thinking skills need to be shown, 
meaning the the ability to think not just in term of one or two political
issues but comprehensively for all of the programs on behalf of the
welfare of this pluralistic society.

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By Korky Day, March 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

David J. Cyr is writing great, as usual.
Shenonymous and Anarcissie still can’t see that my Green Party is not as good as it should be because they are not in it.
Anarcissie even has the nerve to write, “Why don’t some of you do something about it?”
That’s the very question I’ve been asking of Anarcissie and everyone else who complains about my party not being better and more popular.

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By Shenonymous, March 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Democrats provide the corporate-state
both its best & brightest defense and
offense.

Spoken just like a Republican canary.  The economy continues to
regain strength.  A major freak out is occurring on the right as a
new poll from released by a Republican polling company Republican
polling firm Wenzel Strategies for World Net Daily has found that 20%
of Republicans are more likely to vote for Obama.

The defensive function of the Democrat faction of the
corporate party is to perform partial-birth abortions
on any non-corporate political alternative that rises from
the Left.

Santorum-like campaign propaganda.  Cyr’s post is a distraction for
defeating the Republican agenda to disenfranchise 5 million voters.

Whenever the (D) dedicated are unable to fill the
voters likely to vote for a non-corporate alternative with
fear of the Democrats’ Republican partners, they use every
means of thuggery their corporate-state supported political
machine provides to create procedural impediments and
pervasive personal intimidation to persuade the non-corporate
voters that their resistance will be futile.

Incoherent Demagoguery, aka ID.  Fareed Zakaria asks why there aren’t
serious third party candidates?  This is the same question a couple of us
truthdippers are also asking.

The offensive function of the Democrat faction of
the corporate party is to make the Market-State’s
global corporatism as sustainable as possible, until
every regulated evil has extracted every resource upon
the planet, and consumed every consumer… to Art of
the Possible produce another dead planet.

The Greens as a party is not making much noise these days.  A few
Greenish agitators making whimpering sounds and the truthdipper
coalition of Greens on TD cannot even agree on a candidate.  From all
reports, the Democrats haven’t much to worry about in November.  Since
none of the Greens have posted it, I, the Fundamentalist Liberal
Democrat will.
Green Party about 300,000 registered
Democratic Party about 63 million registered
Stewart Alexander, in 2011, was a candidate for the Peace and Freedom
Party.  A regular gadfly.  2012 presidential nominee for the Green Party
and the Socialist Party from which he withdrew.
Kent Mesplay, Air quality inspector – check out:
http://www.gp.org/committees/pcsc/2012/candidate-
questionnaire/mesplay.shtml (copy/paste entirely to web browser)
Jello Blafra, a musician and activist from California – says wants to be a
Green candidate for POTUS but is not listed anywhere as such.

Greens vs. Democrats on issues
Grassroots democracy - same position
Social justice and equal opportunity - same position
Ecological wisdom - Democrats similar but not as strong as Greens
Non-violence - same
Decentralization - Democrats for centralization, Greens, Republicans,
Conservatives and Libertarians for decentralization
Community-based economics and economic justice - Socialized
capitalist Democrats strongly for, not sure how strong Greens are
advocating.  Never hear any news on the Greens about it.
Feminism and gender equality - Democrats strongly advocatiing, not
sure how strong Greens are on this equality.
Respect for diversity - Democrats can assure respect for diversity from a
centralized government, Greens would have to coerce from a
decentralized government.

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By David J. Cyr, March 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Democrats provide the corporate-state both its best & brightest defense and offense.

The defensive function of the Democrat faction of the corporate party is to perform partial-birth abortions on any non-corporate political alternative that rises from the Left.

Whenever the (D) dedicated are unable to fill the voters likely to vote for a non-corporate alternative with fear of the Democrats’ Republican partners, they use every means of thuggery their corporate-state supported political machine provides to create procedural impediments and pervasive personal intimidation to persuade the non-corporate voters that their resistance will be futile.

The offensive function of the Democrat faction of the corporate party is to make the Market-State’s global corporatism as sustainable as possible, until every regulated evil has extracted every resource upon the planet, and consumed every consumer… to Art of the Possible produce another dead planet.

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By Shenonymous, March 10, 2012 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Giving the bloggers on TD more intelligence than you do, Korky Day,
I really didn’t think who I was quoting would be a mystery.  If there
is no interest by other truthdippers, then it is irrelevant who I was
quoting.  At any rate the quotee would be able to recognize himself,
I think.

You, Korky Day, allowed my “complex” post to deflect yourself from
addressing the implied question of why the Greens really are not doing
as well as you would like them to?  They are hardly, if at all, mentioned
in the news.  Your particular whine is seriously deluded, as it certainly
is not on account of me or the Democratic Party.  It is a laugh riot to
make that accusation.

This “lowly commenteer” does not play fast and loose with any fact.  You,
the obsessive adolescent name-caller demonizing Shenonymous, ardee,
have not shown one instance of my playing fast and loose with any fact,
and you offer no constructive vision of the Greens.  You give me such
power!  Are you so choked up on your own bile that you can’t think
straight?  You do not support any Green candidate holding out for what? 
What a laugh!  The election will come and be gone and you will continue
to be bewildered by who to vote for?  You and your few Greenish
comrades need to get a move on if you want to even be mildly noticed. 
You are wasting time in your pettiness.  But maybe that is all you are
capable of anyway?  Those poor Greens if they have to depend on the
likes of a distracted you to get anywhere.  Is that their problem?

Socialists also ought to stop wasting their time and ought to visit Bernie
Sanders website for one of the few rational politicians in America. 
http://www.sanders.senate.gov/

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By Anarcissie, March 10, 2012 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

I can’t force the Green Party to have a Paypal button or do anything else it ought to be doing.  I’m not even a member, much less an official.  I’m just noting that, from the outside, it does not look like a serious outfit.  I think that that’s a shame, considering its ideology is far more in line with what a substantial portion of the electorate seems to desire than that of either of the major parties.  They will continue to be unrepresented, while the Green Party goes its evidently irrelevant way, whining about the Democrats, and untroubled by victory, office or influence.

Why don’t some of you do something about it?  Other than abusing lowly commenteers on Truthdig, I mean.

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By Korky Day, March 10, 2012 at 12:57 am Link to this comment

“Shenonymous” at 2012 March 9 at 4:11 pm answers me for 2 paragraphs, and then goes on to quote other people, making it look like the quotes were from me, which they were not.
I’m both a Canadian and a USA citizen, which gives me a broader perspective. 
I try to help people in both countries to see their country more through others’ eyes.
We’re all in “this” (this world and this predicament) together.

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By Shenonymous, March 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Korky Day – you are so much into fault finding that if you reflected
more on why your preferred party isn’t doing as well as you would
like it to you would know it is not the likes of me that is the cause. 
Make a more convincing case for them and you might attract more
members.  Don’t blame me for your Party’s fizzling out.  What is the
“this” in which you think we are all together?  By the way, aren’t you
a Canadian? 

So what have they done in two years?  nada
A perfect example of the sort of crap that leads me to
excoriate this broom riding propagandist.

Yes, call what you cannot explain crap.  It is the classic copout to try
to shift the attention away from your own inabilities to explain why
the Greens have no wind in their sails anymore.  Blame a broomrider
and you only sound like a huge AH.

Shrew knows, as do more and more each election cycle, as I
have noted time and again yet she ignores what she cannot
deal with, that the slow growth of the Green Party can be laid
directly at the door of her cherished and increasingly right wing
Democratic Party.

Name calling is all you are capable of.  The Democrats are not the
reason why the Greens have almost become extinct. Your bluster does
the Greens no good at all and you are not much of a spokesperson for
them.

As I noted when posting that link the facts were not
for Shrewnonymous, a notorious despiser of such, but
for all those who read her bullshite about the Green Party not
speaking for or to the majority of American voters.  Go collect
your paycheck from the DLC, Shrew, you must swallow a lot of
pride in earning it.

Again, I do not despise the Greens. You have not counterspoken any-
thing I’ve said except to call me names, in the most babified way and
you underestimate the intelligence of the readers on this forum.  If the
effort you frittered on name calling were spent extolling the virtues of
the Greens, the Greens might better be served. 

You are Green with envy. The way I will be paid is if every Republican is
defeated in every election.  I will be very proud of that, thatsafahshure
because it will be Democrats and many like-minded Independents that
will do it.

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By Korky Day, March 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

Ed Romano is right.
Furthermore, the only non-violent ways to beat the 2-party system are mass demonstrations, voting for people who will enact electoral reform, and putting questions on the ballot (in states which allow them) to create electoral reform, including proportional representation (pro-rep), 90%+ voter turn-out, campaign-finance equality, etc.  I do all of those.  After electoral reform, as in Nederland, any country can have as many parties in the legislatures as the voters want.  Today’s democratic countries aren’t perfect, but they are far ahead of the USA, which is a pseudo-democracy.

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By Korky Day, March 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

“Anarcissie” needs the same kind of realization I just told “Shenonymous”. 
Any deficiencies in my Green Party (small size, lack of PayPal, etc.) are due to my deficiencies, the other members’ deficiencies, and everybody else’s deficiencies for failing to join and help to improve the party. 
“We are all in this together.”  - Red Green of CBC.

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By Ed Romano, March 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

Bill, Forgive me if I don’t completely understand the import of what you’re getting at. Maybe this will help to clarify my thinking….Eliminating capitalism would take an armed revolution. It’s living in La La land to think that is going to happen in any of our lifetimes….With tremendous organization and effort it MIGHT be possible, I believe, to bring it under control to the point where it is not allowed to act in ways that are seriously opposed to the well being of the majority….( either here at home or around the globe )....This seems to be the case in the Netherlands countries. Given the entrenched power of the system as it now stands in the U.S ... I think it is doubtful we can aspire to even this limited goal….As far as the “people” having any input into the change that we might aspire to….A minority can use the discontent of the masses to oppose the reigning system and ride that discontent to power But once that old system is replaced the masses will again be subject to the new powers. Perhaps you are familiar with Roberto Michels book - Political Parties. Based on his reading of history Michels developed what he called - The Iron Law Of Oligarchy. This, he claimed ( and I find no reason to disagree with him) insures that the masses are destined always to form the pedestal of an oligarchy. The economic ruling class is always the political ruling class. The communist experiment is no exception because communism incorporates BOTH the economic and political power under one umbrella. For a short while in Russia after the revolution there was a fair amount of liberty and equality. But this lasted only while the new government was consolidating its victory. After that the revolution , which was supposedly made for the benefit of the masses, soon disabused them of the idea and they were whipped into line…. I don’t suppose I have to convince you of the fiction that the people are in charge in this country because every four years we get to choose between Tweedledee and Tweedeldum. ( I’ll try if I have to ). As far as reforming the Democratic Party goes ...that would be akin to trying to get the Roman Church to proceed according to the spirit found in the teachings of Christ.

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By Anarcissie, March 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

ardee, March 9 at 1:19 pm:

‘...[T]he slow growth of the Green Party can be laid directly at the door of [the] cherished and increasingly right wing Democratic Party.’

All that means is that the Democratic Party knows its business—competing with other political parties and winning—and the Greens don’t.  Because that’s what electoral politics is about. 

Hence it’s not surprising to find that the National Green Party is too good to have a PayPal link on its web site.  I’m surprised they even have a web site.

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By ardee, March 9, 2012 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, March 9 at 4:34 am Link to this comment


So what have they done in two years?  nada

A perfect example of the sort of crap that leads me to excoriate this broom riding propagandist. Shrew knows, as do more and more each election cycle, as I have noted time and again yet she ignores what she cannot deal with, that the slow growth of the Green Party can be laid directly at the door of her cherished and increasingly right wing Democratic Party.

As I noted when posting that link the facts were not for Shrewnonymous, a notorious despiser of such, but for all those who read her bullshite about the Green Party not speaking for or to the majority of American voters.

Go collect your paycheck from the DLC, Shrew, you must swallow a lot of pride in earning it.

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By Leefeller, March 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

Bill, I cannot tell you if your name reconnection is accurate, but I can tell you my posts do vary in the amount of thought and thoughtlessness which goes into them. Lets face it we can be judged by the company we keep, but I find the opposite may be true here,... so tis when you and She post in what I find as inspiring and enlightening comments, I am motivated for a short exhaustive time to dig a bit deeper into my Tequila induced recesses for any morsel of cognizant thought, In my attempt to keep up with Bills and the Shes, which can be at time be a major chore in me case!

Something which always seemed puzzling to me is why so many people find opposing ideas so threatening? Over time there have been several enlightening posters who I respect and not always necessarily agreed with them, but whom I really appreciated for their ability to express themselves articulately as well to be very entertain and interesting. Sadly most of them have moved on and one I know was thumped by some misanthropic posters here on TD.  I believe his name was ‘Rico Sauce’?  Some others whom I found fascinating and fun to read where a poster named (sic) ‘Lucifer’ and another named ‘Passing the Wind’ also occasionally there has been a poster who appeared under the name ‘John Best’ who was also thought prodding.

Santroum recently called Obama a ‘Snob’ it may appear I am also a ‘snob’, I may even get cards printed! 

Hell,.... I am rambling, keep posting Bill, I enjoy your posts!

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By - bill, March 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Ed, while it’s true that money is power, it’s power is not at all limited to money.  Radically unequal effective power, not money or private ownership per se, is at the root of our difficulties, if you want to be precise about it.

I believe that it’s still possible in our democracy for the people as a whole to exercise the overriding power (with its suitable limits) invested in them by our Constitution and that the basic problem is therefore educational (in a very broad sense) in nature.  Furthermore, I believe that eliminating rather than regulating capitalism is sufficiently at odds with the intent of our Constitution that it would require either a major rewrite via amendments or an actual revolution to accomplish (which is one reason why I strongly favor trying any other potentially promising approach first).

So my question to you is:  if you’re advocating the elimination of capitalism, what route are you suggesting to achieve this?

Since I wasn’t suggesting any solution based upon allying ourselves with organizations that 99% of the population had never heard of (save perhaps in ways that made them more visible to help eliminate that particular limitation), perhaps that portion of your response was not addressed to me (I’m just noting this in case you instead didn’t understand what I WAS suggesting).

Leef, I’m beginning to wonder whether I had you confused with some other poster who my recollection is seemed somewhat less enlightened and open to varied viewpoints (IMO, obviously).  I don’t get this involved with Truthdig on a regular basis, and my name-recognition never was all that good.

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By Ed Romano, March 9, 2012 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Bill,  Yesterday was a fallow day for postings here. So I thought I might stir up a little action with a “Manifesto” I felt sure would get some juices flowing. I believe I can put forward some solid arguments as to why everything I wrote is essentially correct, but an opposing argument might be——So what? How does that help us with the dilemna we are facing ? The goal, if it has any chance of being reached, must be capable of being achieved. But all our philosophizing and all our posturing is worthless if we don’t recognize the root of the problem. Certainly we are not about to rid ourselves of capitalism in the near future….But neither are we going to alleviate the massive problems we face by allying ourselves with political entities that 99% of the general population never heard of….. How to overcome this state of affairs should be, I believe, the main focus of discussion…. Appreciate your thoughtful response.

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By Korky Day, March 9, 2012 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous wrote about anti-Duopolists like me, “That tiny minority are responsible for being tiny.”
That’s like saying a school-yard bully’s victim is at fault when none of the on-lookers defend her.
It is solely Shenonymous’s fault that my Green Party is not one member bigger.

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By Leefeller, March 9, 2012 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

Now the Robber Barron touted to his cigar smoking buddies; ‘I can hire half the people to kill the other half.’. Today it would seem safe to say, the Robber Barron could be a Koch Brother saying;... ‘I can buy half the people to bugger the other half.’  Looking at the red states choreographed by ALEC choreographing actually writing the script for the buggering and then at the Federal level of the fair and unbalanced Congress plus the Republican presidential candidates bonding with Rush Limbaugh disposable comments all drama, Kabuki Theater, using good old fear and emotion attempting the deriding of the huddled masses.

Bill, I am amused in which you used me observational theories in some of your comments. My theories and premises are always open for discussion, especially enlightened comments such as yours!

Looking at the world and how people treat each other, With the advent of the Tea party, and some who say they are allegedly left, I suspect not only have the gays been coming out of the closet, but the true Ugly Americans as well!

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By Shenonymous, March 9, 2012 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

Oh, I meant to say that I said that while riding my broom!  But I
get to show my Siren Self twice this a.m. whilst we fly off to more
good things today.

The Greens have a laudable list of superior things as their
manifesto.  Now if they would just do sumtin’boudit!

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By Shenonymous, March 9, 2012 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

So what have they done in two years?  nada

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By Shenonymous, March 8, 2012 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

The reason 10s of billions of dollars ((if not 100’s of billions)
are spent every year maintaining the corporate-state’s
taxpayer funded (R) & (D) controlled electoral apparatus,
the corporate party’s corporate person’s consumer economy
funded (R) & (D) political machinery, and the corporate media’s
pervasive propagation of daily (R) & (D) propaganda… to
condition people to firmly believe that corporate controlled
government is the only acceptable form of government.

You can thank the Republican Supreme Court for this, not the
Democrats. 

The tiny minority of either unconditioned or reconditioned
people who’ve stood up and dared to provide non-corporate political
alternatives are not responsible for their lack of electoral popularity.

That tiny minority are responsible for being tiny.  Their agenda is not
appealing to more than a tiny number.

A people’s party cannot effectively represent people, if too few
people are willing to participate in a party that represents people, rather
than corporations.

This seems to be true and would apply to Greens and Socialists as well.

People, whose minds have been liberally “educated” to be
thoroughly and compliantly corporate conditioned, haven’t any will to
ever choose any non-corporate solution. They either dutifully vote for
the corporate party’s (R)s and (D)s, or they don’t vote… seeing no reason
to care which faction of the corporate party is currently favored.

It depends on what the word liberally means.  Assertions do not make
what is said true.

The primary reason that so few Americans have voted for Greens
or Socialists is that in doing so they would be voting against war and for
universal public funded healthcare.

Wrong.  The primary reason that so few Americans have voted for Greens
or Socialists is not that they are not interested in ending war or do not
want universal public-funded healthcare, it is that they are not interested
in the Green or Socialist presentation of the issues.  The Greens and
Socialists simply do not appeal to the public at large.  The only Socialist
who has any appeal is Bernie Sanders and he always votes with the
Democrats.  And I, a Democrat, would vote for Bernie Sanders but he
supports Barack Obama and will not run against him.  If he changes his
mind, I will change mine.  He won’t because he knows there is only one
thing that is imperative and that is to defeat the Republicans.  He says
the Republicans are a canker on the American people and I agree.  Visit
http://www.sanders.senate.gov/ and give Bernie your support.

There hasn’t been a strong viable political Left alternative in
forceful effective opposition to the sociopathic corporate (R) & (D) party
because there’s only been 1% of voters supporting a Left alternative,
while 99% have been free-will choosing to support the corporate
persons’ money manufactured farther and further Right candidates…
regularly voting against what they say they are for, and for what they
say they oppose.

Add 1% and 99% and you have what?  Apparently 100% of the people
have spoken, whatever the reason.  Aren’t you part of the 100%?  Maybe
your math is a little off?

Having visited Ojai and been in Krishnamurti’s audience several times
in the 80s, here are a couple more of his pearls of wisdom that apply
to myself as well as others:

A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person, because he conforms to
a pattern; he repeats phrases and thinks in a groove.
- Jiddu Krishnamurti

The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear.
- Jiddu Krishnamurti

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By - bill, March 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

Those aren’t the only options, Ed - and that’s fortunate, because I’m not interested in American Idol, even new episodes.

The reason I like the idea of destroying the national Democratic establishment by supporting Republicans is that it’s a form of jujitsu:  using the strength of an overwhelmingly stronger opponent (the duopoly and those who sustain it) against it in a manner that doesn’t require all that much strength yourself.

Because the balance between the two major parties is close, it can therefore be shifted significantly without great force.  Given that shifting it to the Democratic side in 2006 and even more so in 2008 didn’t help much at all and took massive amounts of effort, shifting it in the opposite direction should be pretty easy, even for a much smaller group of activists.

If Leef is correct that politics as now practiced is nothing but a charade to divert the masses, then ending the charade by having one of the two players win should change things, hopefully enough to open up new avenues for attack.  If you’re correct that the two major parties actually ARE fighting for power (though certainly not for OUR benefit), the same reasoning applies.

This is not just a restatement of the idea that making things worse will finally reach a point where the American people wake up and demand something better, though that’s another possible result that I’d be happy to see occur.  In any event, I lean strongly toward the belief that the power elites have become too strongly entrenched to challenge directly via strategies like reforming the Democratic party or growing a new party into real significance, so have been looking for ways to combat that strength without confronting it directly (which seems likely to be futile, at least until things get a great deal worse than they are now).

Not that continuing efforts to raise the consciousness of the masses aren’t also worth pursuing, of course:  no matter what happens, we’ll need all the help we can get.  Additional political parties can help with that effort even if they never get ANYONE elected or never even garner a significant percentage of the votes cast, but such outcomes tend to disillusion and then lose some adherents who might stick around if they were supporting less goal-oriented efforts like OWS (then again, OWS-style efforts might not appeal to political junkies, so there’s probably plenty of room for both).

Or not. I suspect that people serious about real change under these circumstances should be well-acquainted with the likes of Lenin and Machiavelli, and I’m not (though perhaps should try to become so).

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By Ed Romano, March 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

The Capitalist Manifesto
  A spectre is haunting the United States. A spectre of right wing hoodlums who are taking capitalism to its next step - the impoverishment of the vast majority of citizens. In order to accomplish this goal these hoodlums have bought and paid for an army of agents in government who have installed their own torpedos in the courts to assure their plans are legalized.
  The citizens have been prepared for this disembowlment by an educational system and a national media that has trained them to roll over and play dead whenever the flag is waved at them or the system that is in the process of skinning them alive is disparaged.
    Meanwhile a new crop of wannabe agents are engaged in a competition to see which team will be allowed to further the plans of the hoodlums.
    Since this scenario is now all but inevitable
it is best to ignore it and pretend that the problem can be fixed with a little tinkering, continue our little squables concerning the best ways to manage the menagerie, or simply watch reruns of American Idol.

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By Ed Romano, March 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

Just a little reality check….I think if we are esposing a point of view that rattles someone’s cage, threatens their illusions or challenges what they see as their self interest…..we have not got the   chance of the proverbial snowball in hell of getting them to agree with our argument. That’s why it’s always best, when possible, to find out where they are coming from when attempting to engage them ... .....Just a thought.

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By Korky Day, March 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

David J. Cyr just answered Shenonymous very well, I think, how all progressives are duped if they vote for candidates who are going to maintain the pseudo-democratic kleptocratic Duopoly.
Also, I hope Shenonymous takes my apology as sincere.
Also, if presidential candidate Stewart Alexander is reading this, please say Hi to us.

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By David J. Cyr, March 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

Surely, many 10s of billions of dollars (if not 100’s of billions) are spent every year maintaining the corporate-state’s taxpayer funded (R) & (D) controlled electoral apparatus, the corporate party’s corporate person’s consumer economy funded (R) & (D) political machinery, and the corporate media’s pervasive propagation of daily (R) & (D) propaganda… to condition people to firmly believe that corporate controlled government is the only acceptable form of government.

The tiny minority of either unconditioned or reconditioned people who’ve stood up and dared to provide non-corporate political alternatives are not responsible for their lack of electoral popularity.

A people’s party cannot effectively represent people, if too few people are willing to participate in a party that represents people, rather than corporations.

People, whose minds have been liberally “educated” to be thoroughly and compliantly corporate conditioned, haven’t any will to ever choose any non-corporate solution. They either dutifully vote for the corporate party’s (R)s and (D)s, or they don’t vote… seeing no reason to care which faction of the corporate party is currently favored.

The primary reason that so few Americans have voted for Greens or Socialists is that in doing so they would be voting against war and for universal public funded healthcare.

There hasn’t been a strong viable political Left alternative in forceful effective opposition to the sociopathic corporate (R) & (D) party because there’s only been 1% of voters supporting a Left alternative, while 99% have been free-will choosing to support the corporate persons’ money manufactured farther and further Right candidates… regularly voting against what they say they are for, and for what they say they oppose.

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
— Jiddu Krishnamurti

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By Shenonymous, March 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

Was that a kind of Rush Limbaugh apology Korky Day?  FYI I am not
duped either.  I am a Democrat, a liberal Democrat, always was and
always will be because and I’ve said why too many times on this as
well as other TD forums to repeat it here.  But you could read a few
books, Why We’re Liberal by Eric Alterman, The Future of Liberalism
by Alan Wolfe, The New Liberalism edited by Simhony and Weinstein,
and The Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Krugman, just to get started. 
Then On Human Rights by Stephen Shute and Susan Hurley would also
be a worthwhile read.  I am a she BTW and am usually didactic in my
posts.  I have read books and books and have had conversations on
libertarianism, anarchism, conservatism, etc., and their permutations,
so it is not that I am ignorant of the territory.  And I too prefer civil
conversations, no-name calling and like –bill, I tend to reciprocate
when my person is attacked.  I will take on any reasonable disagree-
ment, but will never abide disparagement or slander. No one’s opinions
are better than mine and mine are not better than any others. They just
might be different and can be argued that is for sure.

I’ve been around TD for about five years and have had uncountable good
and cordial discussions.

FYI:  That errant question mark that showed up in your post Korky Day
often comes from copy/pasting stuff that has hard returns embedded. 
I learned that the “hard” way and have had many yikes moments.  You
have to hand type the text.

Thank you –bill for the in depth lesson on Nader and the Greens.  I
thought there was more than meets the eye. 

More discussion about economic systems definitely needs to be had
on this particular forum because of its subject matter.  I have a point
of view unlike many who have voiced their opinion.  But have a job and
have mundane things to do to prep, like read student papers, so will
look forward to tomorrow and comments possibly made by others.

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By Ed Romano, March 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Bill, Appreciate your thoughtful post. When I said I was uncomfortable with being called a socialist it’s because I have most often had the label stuck on me   a derogatory manner as one might call another a rat…as the whackies now call Obama. And I think we can agree on how socialist he is….. Personally, I would be content with a social system that allowed  
capitalist enterprises as long as those enterprises were not allowed to operate at the expense of the rest of society. I imagine such a society would be a wedding of socialism and capitalism with socialism being the dominant force. But I will always believe that capitalism is a form of theft. Perhaps after this mad dog is brought under some reasonable control I can be persuaded otherwise…. I hope I am a reasonabale dissenter. I’m certainly no bomb thrower.

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By - bill, March 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

I think that was pretty much Nader’s position in 2004, Korky.  The problem was that a lot of GREENS were suggesting the ‘safe states’ strategy back then WITHOUT demanding any compensating act from the Democrats.

I can believe that to some degree people like Cobb did this because they felt that openly challenging the Democrats would be counter-productive in terms of alienating people the Greens wanted to attract.  I can even accept that this was not an entirely unreasonable strategy (though I didn’t agree with it at the time).  What seems very clear in retrospect is that it TURNED OUT to be a very BAD strategy (especially if it’s part of what caused Nader to go his own way).

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By Korky Day, March 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

I did not type that first ? in my last post.
There is a glitch.

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By Korky Day, March 7, 2012 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

“Power concedes nothing without a demand.”
? Frederick Douglass.
I heard Ralph Nader repeat that quote. 
For instance, if we Greens agree not to compete against some other candidate in certain states, we must get a demand met in return.  Such as a place in the television debates.  Or a national referendum on electoral reform.  Or pardoning all the political prisoners and drug possessors.  Something!  Not just lying down and playing dead.
So whenever anybody says that we Greens should withdraw so we don’t “spoil” the chances of the Democrats, the correct answer is, “What are you Democrats going to do in return to help the Green Party and the people?”

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By - bill, March 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

Whoops - missed your latest comment, Ed.  When I suggested that you were a socialist it was merely because that’s what you seemed most to sound like, and my apologies for placing that label (or any label at all) on you as a result.

If you have a label you feel comfortable with I’d be interested in what it is.  I used to call myself a libertarian socialist until I discovered that such a species actually exists (and is somewhat, but not exactly, where I belong).

I certainly agree with your observation about how so many people can feel threatened by views different from their own, and (as I said) sympathize with the socialist (or, if you prefer, anti-capitalist) viewpoint even without agreeing that capitalism INTRINSICALLY can’t be sufficiently moderated by government to form something I think would be superior to socialism or communism (though if you’ve got something unusual to offer as an alternative to such mixed capitalism I’d be interested in a description of it).

I also agree with your feelings about name-calling, even though I’m very often inclined to fight fire with fire when it arises.  I’m especially sensitive to seeing people denigrated when they’re not around to defend themselves and inclined to do it for them, as happened in the Ron Paul thread in which we both participated.

Much better quality of discussion here, I’m happy to say.

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By - bill, March 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Since ardee’s links did nothing to answer the question you’ve raised, Shen, I’ll attempt to do so even though I’m neither a Green nor a Naderite (though I did vote for Nader in 2004 and 2008 as the best choice available to me).  Anyone who actually knows a better answer is welcome to correct mine.

Nader announced that he was not running as a Green candidate on Christmas Eve of 2003.  At that point in time it looked quite likely that Howard Dean would become the Democratic nominee, and a bit later Nader expressed the sentiment that if Dean did in fact become the nominee he (Nader) would not run as an independent (something which he had also said with respect to Dennis Kucinich).

So Nader MAY have felt in December that there might well be no need to run at all and therefore chosen to separate himself from a Green party a large faction of which seemed dedicated to not ruffling Democratic feathers this time around (which was definitely not Nader’s style).  One of ardee’s links suggests that Nader himself was similarly compromised by his advising the Kerry campaign how to conduct itself to avoid losing votes to Nader or the Greens, but an at least equally believable explanation is that Nader was merely attempting, as he had done in the past, to move the Democratic campaign to the left as much as possible.

ardee’s contention that the Greens are ‘slowly growing’ is hardly borne out by their presidential efforts (nor by my own observation that the NH Web site they used to have became defunct quite a few years ago).  Nader attracted 0.71% of the popular vote in 1996 for 4th place overall and 2.74% in 2000 for 3rd place overall as the Green candidate.  Nader dropped to 0.38% of the popular vote in 2004 (a much more polarized election than 2000, so it’s hardly surprising that far fewer people defected from the two major parties), but this was still sufficient to take 3rd place overall; by contrast, Cobb (the Green candidate) pulled less than 0.1% of the popular vote for a 6th place finish behind both the Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates.  In 2008 Nader’s support improved moderately to 0.56% (still good for 3rd place), while McKinney’s (the Green candidate) improved only marginally to 0.12% (again good only for 6th place behind the Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates).

The Green organization hasn’t done very well in arranging for presidential ballot access since 2000, either.  In 2000 Nader on the Green ticket had ballot access in 43 states.  In 2004 the Greens had it in only 27 states (vs. 34 for Nader and 36/48 for the Constitution/Libertarian Parties respectively).  In 2008 the Greens improved this only slightly to 32 states, while the Constitution party had 37 and both Nader and the Libertarians had 45.

In sum, Nader appears to have been far more important to the Greens’ success than the Greens were to Nader’s - so if they indeed alienated him it was their loss (and one they clearly could ill afford).

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By Korky Day, March 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

I almost always dislike name-calling in these discussions, but somehow I erroneously thought that Shenonymous would take it kindly when I said that s/he was a dupe.  Sorry!  I should have said duped, which is not name-calling, but a description of what I suspect has happened because of lack of enough information, not because of ill intent or stupidity.  We’re all spending our time writing this to share knowledge.  I hope that thousands of people are reading our exchange to become informed and inspired.

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By Leefeller, March 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

RD I prefer riding me broomstick side saddle, because I have a few!  RD, Evangelizing a cause by insulting me and I would suspect most people, always gets them chomping at the bit to run down and sign up. Apparently comprehension is a part time job while insulting is your day job?

“Further, those who descend to dishonesty, claiming the slow growth ( which is exactly what is happening) of the Greens indicate a lack of appeal rather than having to overcome the efforts of the entire Democratic Party organisation are sharing that broomstick.”

Geeze RD,.... if you happened to be on the street corner selling wigits, I would reluctantly buy one,  a hefty wigit, but only if I could throw it at you! (is this insulting?)

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By ardee, March 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

For those not the broomstick riding shill for all things Democratic Party I pasted some links to background information regarding Greens and Nader. Most intelligent and honest folks, again omiting the aforementioned propagandist, know that Nader was never a Green, lent his name only to help the Green Party build, and that his choosing to run as an indie with Camejo was not the soap opera plot she would have you believe it was.

Further, those who descend to dishonesty, claiming the slow growth ( which is exactly what is happening) of the Greens indicate a lack of appeal rather than having to overcome the efforts of the entire Democratic Party organisation are sharing that broomstick.


http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/1511

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/jun2004/gree-j26.shtml

http://voices.yahoo.com/article/3304/green-party-history-united-states-2215.html

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By Ed Romano, March 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

If a person claims to be anti capitalist it seems it is automatically.  assumed that he/she is a socialist or communist.  I am unconfortable with either label. I have said before that I believe capitalism is a scourge on the earth. From what I have seen and experienced everything it touches with its diseased hand tirns rotten.The philosophies that have been proposed to replace capiatlism are found wanting by many people and in many caes this is understandable. But just because the cures are suspect doen’t mean the disease is not real. I understand completely that there are others who can’t understand a point of view like mine. Many think that this system of robbery , coercion and violence is a horn of plenty from with all blessings flow….I had to leave high school to go to work. In my thirties I went to get a high school equivalency certificate. One of the requirements was that I take a course in American History. With each of the twenty some lessons I was provided a list of books from which I was to choose one and write a report.The subjects ranged from, for example, The Life of Alexander Hamilton or how the constitution came into being, or
A history of labor including things like the Ludlow Massacre. With every lesson I chose the topic that most nearly represented my station in life. When I was finished I had a perspective of American history that was vastly different I imagine from a student who chose to read all the flag waving books. ....This is the background which has formed most of the people who post here. We all have come to our beliefs based on what we have read or been taught in the past. And when confrontted with ideas that run contrary to our beliefs ( often these are illusions ) we feel threatened. The ground which we have tamped down so solidly under our feet shifts a little….To accept an idea that runs contrary to our illusions is unthinkable. If we are aware of this we try ( some of us ) to determine if the ideas that challenge our own are….first of all honestly expressed, and then if there is any merit to them. Perhaps we don’t agree totally, but maybe there is something written that’s worth discussing…. You know you are dealing with a closed mind when your idea is met with a stream of invective and claims that you are a liar…. What is my point here ? I probably can’t express it as well as it deserves. But discourse between human beings must be open, honest and charitable if it is going to be fruitful. If one party is unable to do that….it’s a sign that the other should move on.

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By Shenonymous, March 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Korky Day – If a frog had wings it would not bump its ass.  The fact is
the politicians who get press are the ones making the biggest noise
and have money behind them, whether it is corporate cartels, wealthy
individuals, or millions of small donations.  It’s the money honey. 
Nader shunned the Greens in 2004 and I’ve asked why, but no Green
or Naderite has deemed it important to answer.  Oh well.  They then,
can be ignored.  Fault finding is almost counterproductive.  I say
almost because the “victim” does have a share in not being picked up
as a serious candidate for office.  They have to make their case.  You
know that, and it ought not have to be reminded.  You are right that
MSM are big causes for candidates exposure on the media.  Look at
Ron Paul who has wide recognition and is doing like last in all the
polls and elections in candidate selection pre-election campaigning. 
He has a lot of supporters on TD but they obviously do not represent
the majority of the voters. 

Look at your logic.  If it is true that if Greens were doing more
spectacular stunts and only gets not much more than local coverage,
and could stir up a lot of backlash, then what makes you think they
could do better on a national level when their voices are hardly ever
heard anymore?  I remember in the 90s when they first came on the
scene as “The” Environmentalist Party, and many were impressed since
awareness of what detriments were happening to the environment.  Not
since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring stunned the world did we have such
a public conscience as the Greens.  Nader did not do so well as their
candidate.  He dropped them in 2004.  As many of us have said, good,
charismatic, candidates, with a good solid program plan for bettering
the world, and the US Greens focused on US environmental health is
what will start getting the Greens on the board again.  The electronic
media is the new wave of getting the word out.  I do wish you luck. 
But you ought not to deny me my preferences.  I have not called you
any names and it is true infantilism that motivates name calling.

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By Shenonymous, March 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

I disagree, Anarcissie.  What Weyrich is saying is that conservatives
are radicals.  That makes it sound like they are not “conservative”
and because of your political tendency you swallow the calculated
implication.  It is what you want to understand him as saying.  I also
take time to write clearly and concisely, being very careful not to use
the language sloppily (it is my occupation).  That is probably why
some on TD seem intimidated with my posts, and rant and rail at
me about my really center Left, uh…make that strong liberal, views,
which irks the hell out of extremists on either end of the political
spectrum.  Qué será, será

Already admitted, the Democratic Party has some conservative
aspects, viz., the “conservative” Democrats who have views relatively
conservative with respect to those who populate the entire national
Party, and as I’ve already indicated to the degree of about 14-15%. 
They harbor political views that can be thought of as conservative on
social, cultural, and fiscal issues (the latter more identifies those called
‘neo-liberals’).  In Congress these “conservative” Democrats have a
caucus in the Senate, the Democratic Leadership Council, that promotes
centrist positions.  They disproportionately come from the Southern
states (typical of the Southern Democrats who historically have had
political and social affinities with the conservative Republicans, and
often are called BlueDogs, i.e., Blanch Lincoln who has already been
vetted on this forum is the prime example).  They are a small political
minority in the Democratic Party similar to that small set of “liberal”
Republicans.  The conservative Democrats can also be found among
the perennial ultra-conservative redneck rural, that is, provincial,
population. 

The Republican Party once had a liberal element last seen in the
early 20th century and not seen since the Reagan 1980 era, and was
represented by the politics of Theodore Roosevelt who was much more
conservative on other issues, as was Wisconsin Senator Robert M. La
Follette, Sr., his sons and others such as Senator Hiram Johnson in
California, Nebraska’s Senator George W. Norris and so forth.  Generally
these otherwise conservatives held liberal opinions on domestic policy,
supported unions, and supported much of the New Deal, but were
isolationist in foreign policy.  These few hardly can be used as the
measure of Republicans as being liberal.  And they are now relics of an
older era that ended about 30 or so years ago.  Again, this is quibbling
but I am tenacious to keep liberals as liberals and conservatives as
conservatives.

The fact is both parties have liberal, moderate, and conservative
wings, each of them having some measure of influence in their
respective parent parties, and it is too easy, and open to opportunists
who find it advantageous to promote a subjective-driven theory to
identify political parties by a small faction rather than taking a Party’s
ideology as a whole.  If you are overwrought about using ambiguous
words, then it is simple to define how you are using them.  But be
prepared for a challenge if they are idiosyncratic definitions that
don’t show acceptable justification for their usage.

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By Anarcissie, March 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Electoral politics is intrinsically unfair.  The richer, more powerful, more prominent, more connected candidates and parties have big advantages.  If you’re not prepared to beat those odds as and where you can, then you’re wasting your time.  Elections are not going to become fair because you complain about them.

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By - bill, March 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

Wow - there seems to be something approaching consensus developing here, with only a few outliers.  From past observation I would not have expected Shen or Leef to agree that both major party establishments at least at the national level are a disaster (even if we may have quite different ideas about what to do to fix that in the short term) - which may be as much a reflection of my own automatic bias in reading what they’ve said elsewhere as anything else.

I can only attribute this to better behavior than we’ve all often exhibited elsewhere.  It’s amazing what can happen when people actually listen to each other rather than automatically fire from the hip.

I especially loved Leef’s recent “I believe divisive politics is a choreographed song and dance routine to keep the huddled masses divided” - and hope that he meant to include BOTH major national party establishments in it (because that’s certainly what the ‘lesser of two evils’ strategy that the Democrats have relied upon so heavily since 2003 suggests to me).

Ed (who’s new to me, so his behavior may always have been appropriate) has now explained why he’s in a slightly different place.  I can easily understand why a socialist would balk at the potential back-slide of a Paul presidency with no guarantee that something better might come on the other side of it.  I’m not a socialist myself, but I appreciate their viewpoint (and as I’ve said before - perhaps elsewhere? - if socialism were the only alternative to what we have now I’d embrace it in a second).

The Greens seem to be the outliers, perhaps because as relative newcomers on the scene they don’t have the confidence and maturity of the socialists.  They had a household name to run with in Nader and were doing quite well growing with that, but then knuckled under to the ‘spoiler’ barrage from the Democratic party after 2000 with their absurd ‘safe states’ strategy in 2004 and haven’t really been heard from much since.  As I noted before they don’t even have a Web presence in my state (which requires a few dollars a year plus one very part-time person to maintain), though I think they did early in the last decade.  Even where they do have more of a presence and some name recognition too they haven’t done well (e.g., Jill Stein’s 1.4% showing in the last Massachusetts gubernatorial race).

I can understand their frustration, but (as Leef observed) whining and insults do not a successful movement make.  Hope they get their act together:  we need all the viable options we can get, and they’d be my own choice if they could start to become one (as they seemed to be a dozen years ago).

Sorry for the lack of significant substance in this post - just some thoughts I wanted to express.

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By Ed Romano, March 7, 2012 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Korky, My suggestion that groups who are ignored by the media can get some media coverage if they use their imaginations did not mean that I think it is their own fault that media ignores them.Of course, anyone or group that is seriously critical of the outhouse we’re living in is going to be ignored by the establishment. I don’t have to admit that it’s wrong to blame the victims because I never said that any blame attached to them in the first place. I have long realized that “this is not a democracy ” and as for the two party system needing to be abolished….I’m to the left of that Korky, I think the economic system is vampiric and needs to be abolished also….. Tinkering with the system does not work. The history of reform movements in this country has shown time and again that once the smoke clears you see the same monsters you were fighting against sitting across the table grinning at you….. Since what is needed has no chance of happening…. not from the efforts any of the minor organizations now on the scene anyway…. all a person like me can do is try to keep the idea of radical change in the air and hope that some day it catches fire. The only real labor union this country ever had was the IWW. That’s why the governemt smashed it up and allowed the AFofL to prosper. And the IWW had a slogan back in the day….Capitalism cannot be reformed. It was true a hundred years ago and it’s true today.

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By Leefeller, March 7, 2012 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

Censorship seems to be happening, several people here have already addressed it, but not only as a failure of the Greens, simply put what appears as a myopic plan in politics leads to what seems is apparently happening with the Greens. Hell OWS; as I have already mentioned; has done more in several months then the Greens have done in their entire existence! Whining and insults do not seem effectively working for the Greens, at least here on TD. Does insulting work out well when recruiting, hell the military does a better job then the Greens, but they only insult after the sign up and in boot camp!

One other thing, most of the people in this nation may not happen to be open armed Green acceptance Ready, the Greens have not sold their case to me and it would appear most of the nation!

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By Korky Day, March 7, 2012 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

None of the commenters has conceded my point that the victims of mainstream media control of who is considered a “serious” candidate is not the victims’ fault.  Not Anarcissie, bill, Shenonymous, or even the more helpful Ed Romano.  Do you think that if Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich had no big money and were ignored by the mainstream media as much as they ignore the Green Party, that Romney and Gingrich would be household names?  No.  No one would know who they are.  They couldn’t even get the thousands of signatures to get on the ballots.

Ed Romano is correct that we Greens could be doing more spectacular stunts.  But that might not get us much more than local coverage, and it also can stir up a lot of backlash.  But, yes, it’s worth trying, and I support that strategy.

But, still, Anarcissie, bill, Shenonymous, and Ed Romano should admit that it’s wrong to blame the victim for not doing civil disobedience or setting ourselves on fire, etc., to try to get fair coverage.

Why is that an important realization?  Because once you admit that the big media have unfair and corrupt control, you realize you are not in a democracy and that the 2-party system must be abolished (as your very top priority) and that the well-meaning but lesser-of-2-evils Democrats like Shenonymous are being duped.  Then all those millions of quite progressive Democrats like Shenonymous must demand massive electoral reform (especially “pro-rep” proportional representation) from the Democratic and/or Republican parties (as Dennis Kucinich would do and Ron Paul might do) or join an anti-Duopoly party.  One or the other.  No other options have much chance of working.  Especially not Barrack Obama.

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By Leefeller, March 7, 2012 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Calling the Democrats Liberal or Conservative seems nothing but generalizing,.... remands me of the old farmer saying; back when farmers where real farmers who actually did the farming themselves, farmers would usually compare themselves in many ways to fellow farmers occasionally farmers looked at another farmer as a… ‘big farmer’.

So it appears in the political realm and maybe life in general we have nothing new here; judgment coming from a personal perspective, so tis; ...  ‘a bigger farmer is any farmer bigger then you.’ This is how I see the play on political words like liberal and conservative, nothing new,...this time the topic just happens to not be farmers!

So we constantly hear Obama being called a Socialist by the right wing and Obama being called GW Bush by the left, when really Obama appears to me in the center maybe slightly leaning right on some issues and slightly left on others. Though our country seems to be moving ever right with the help of the constant badgering from both the failing left and the blind right.

I believe divisive politics is a choreographed song and dance routine to keep the huddled masses divided. 
From my perspective as a off center liberal it appears the right is winning, the big feather in their cap would be the Supremos decree,.... corporations are people too!

It is also my premise, our country is heading down the road to despotism or a type of Fascism, lead by the intolerant Tea Party Brown Shirts and their 1 percent benefactors!

Several indicators leaning toward fascism are the underrepresented populous with the lopsided accumulation of wealth, the nastiness and abusive tendency and lack of respect we see in society. (Rush Limbaugh for example) and most of all lopsided economic distribution.  Censorship seems to be taking hold and in the works, but when people like the Kochs buy and want control of college curriculum, this is another indicator.

One can always look at ‘Britts 14 points of Fascism’, which for most people seems 14 points to many for the general public.

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By Ed Romano, March 7, 2012 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

There are methods that can be used to garner publicity for a cause. Years ago I was an organizer for things like Welfare Rights and homeless folks. You can always count on the media to show up if they think there is a newsy story involved. They are like flies on honey when it comes to that. Once we notified t.v. stations and newspapers that we were going to arrive on the town common just after midnight and start building housing for the homeless since the government didn’t seem to have any plans for that. We showed up with several trucks and unloaded lumber, bricks etc. and started to shovel. We got some great coverage of the plight of the homeless especially after. the police arrived. We organized sit ins at the local welfare office after notifying the media….So there are ways of capturing media coverage of your events. You just have to be a little inventive. The establishment may have all the money and fire power but it is not all that swift when it comes to brains.

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By Anarcissie, March 7, 2012 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous—What Weyrich is saying is that he and his friends are not actually conservatives.  That is something which his opponents should have named and addressed from the get-go, but for the most part they didn’t.  I can’t help that.  I can, however, try to write and speak clearly, and that requires me to reject such misuses of language so that I can indicate people who are actually conservatives (like most of the Democratic Party) as what they are, conservatives. 

The alternative is a language which slides down toward absurdity and nonsense.  One must expect this of the mass media and propaganda offices, because they want to appeal to stupid people with lazy minds, but it is a boring practice we don’t need to descend to it.

ardee—It is the job of those who want to practice electoral politics to get their message and candidates before the electorate.  If you can’t do this in spite of the prejudices of those who control the traditional media, you’re not in the game.  You should be playing some other game.

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By Shenonymous, March 7, 2012 at 3:41 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, March 6 at 5:26 am

Semantic shift is fine, but the question here, where we are
supposed to be talking about politics in a rational way, is whether the
words one uses can make any sense.  If they are used in a vague and
amorphous way, there is not much chance of that.

While it is true, language can be problematic if meanings are indefinite, it
seems to me we are talking about politics in a rational way and the words
used do make sense and not used in any vague or amorphous way.  They
are clearly defined as understood in the current usage and most English
speaking would be able to grasp what is being said.  Blurring the
definitions between conservatives and liberals by cynics is only an
attempt to evoke the mixed-metaphor reduction strategy.  If you would
demonstrate how the discussion about politics is not being talked about
in a rational way, that would go a long way to understanding what you
are imagining.

For instance, Paul Weyrich, a highly influential conservative leader once
said: “We (conservatives) are different from previous generations of
conservatives. We are no longer working to preserve the status quo. We
are radicals, working to overturn the present power structure of this
country.”  He was wrong.  Conservatives are not radicals but are
“radically working” to overturn the liberals in power.  He overacts to give
the usually Philistine platoon a romantic twist, but they really have an
obsession, or a species of mania, impelled to be satisfied and he uses
the highly charged word “radical” to give themselves a more daring
character.  So it is important how words are used but in our case they are
being used in descriptively correct and not arbitrarily.


- bill

...what the Democratic party stands for…what rank and file
Democrats stand for…what the average American, not just the average
Democrat, stands for according to many polls [are as described], but
there’s a complete disconnect between that and the way the national
Democratic establishment actually behaves (which absolutely deserves
the characterization ‘neoliberal’, even though many of them may ‘only be
following orders’ from the leadership).


IMO this is correct, and I have no argument. 


Korky Day

Shenonymous writes as if that’s our fault.  Maybe
Shenonymous wants someone to set themselves on fire, like Mohamed
Bouazizi in Tunisia did to start the Arab Spring.  Will Shenonymous
volunteer?

 
Wrong.  I do not write as if anything is your fault.  You get what you
deserve.  Are you suggesting that I harm myself?  If you are, then you are
a sick mind and need psychiatric help.

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By - bill, March 6, 2012 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment

As I said before, Ed, it depends on what your priorities are.  I frankly don’t give much of a damn what happens to this country as long as we’re directly slaughtering and indirectly supporting the slaughter and oppression of innocents abroad, and even if that were not the case I simply don’t believe that any other prominent presidential candidate will do anything to break the log-jam that has taken us toward militarism, fascism, and radically increasing economic inequity regardless of which major party was in charge for at least the past dozen years.

If it takes a Paul presidency to break out of that otherwise apparently inexorable downward spiral, I’m all for it.  After that, even if things temporarily turn out badly we’ll be in a better position to pick up the pieces and build something better.  Conversely, if we continue down the bi-partisan road we’ve been traveling, when change eventually becomes unstoppable it’s likely to cause far more drastic disruption than you foresee with a Paul presidency.

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By Anarcissie, March 6, 2012 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

Korky Day, March 6 at 5:39 pm:

My Green Party DOES show we’re ready to be elected.  I was at the 2010 national convention in Detroit.  I saw not one television or radio station covering it.  Shenonymous writes as if that’s our fault. ...

Lack of coverage is your fault.  And it shows you’re not ready to be elected.  If you’re serious about electoral politics, you find some way to get your message and your candidates in front of people.  Whining about the corporate media does not do it—everyone whines about the corporate media.

However, it’s the proggies’ fault for not streaming into the Green Party (or some outfit like that) and making it kick ass.

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By Ed Romano, March 6, 2012 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

Okay, Let’s have a little reality test here. If it isn’t enough that Paul wants to return us to the age of the robber barons and turn raw capitalism loose on the population….how about this. He has said that if elected he would cut ONE TRILLION dollars out of the annual budget in his FIRST year.It’s been said that he couldn’t get this through Congress. Are you willing to bet ? Suppose he has the same mad dogs, or some just like them ,in his first term as are currently enpaneled.
These dogs have been trying to eviserate all so called entitlement plans since they were inauguarated.
Every economist that I have read has said that such a move would send the nation and most probably the world into a depression equal to, or worse than the one that capitalism delivered in 1929. Before we go to sleep tonight we should all get down on our knees and thank whatever gods may be that this wing nut hasn’t got a prayer.

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By - bill, March 6, 2012 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

How one feels about the viability of a Ron Paul candidacy depends on where one’s priorities are.  If one places much more weight on one’s comfort here at home than on things like killing hundreds of thousands of innocents abroad, filling our prisons at by far the highest rate in the civilized world with non-violent ‘offenders’, persecuting whistle-blowers rather than honoring them for their service to us, protecting our civil liberties, prosecuting those responsible for the financial crisis and for the illegal invasion of Iraq and its grisly aftermath, improved ballot access, and policy in the Middle East - all areas in which Paul’s positions are significantly to the left of Obama’s let alone the other Republican candidates - then writing him off as prima facie unacceptable is entirely understandable (though one really first ought to understand what his other positions actually are before doing so - e.g., while he would prefer that programs like Social Security and Medicare had not been created in the first place he accepts them as existing commitments which must be honored, not that he could do much about them anyway without Congressional action first, which is true of many of his other policy positions as well save for his unilateral ability as Commander in Chief to pull us out of Afghanistan, tell the DoJ to turn its attention away from whistle-blowers to real malefactors, and use the bully pulpit to encourage change where he can’t mandate it).

If Paul ran as an independent candidate he would pick up a LOT of support, though almost certainly not enough to beat Obama unless the Republican candidate gracefully withdrew to make it a two-person race (not that I’d expect the corporate owners of both major parties to allow that to occur).  My own ideal result next November would be a Paul (or Stein or Anderson, but they just don’t have the organization and support to pull it off, whereas Paul may) presidency with strong Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, since I believe it would shake things up sufficiently to open later doors which the two parties have for decades kept firmly closed - but I’m not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

As for what the Democratic party stands for, it’s important to make the context of the discussion explicit.  Shen has reasonably characterized what rank and file Democrats stand for (in fact, a lot of the positions she describes are what the average American, not just the average Democrat, stands for according to many polls), but there’s a complete disconnect between that and the way the national Democratic establishment actually behaves (which absolutely deserves the characterization ‘neoliberal’, even though many of them may ‘only be following orders’ from the leadership).  A lot of the rank and file have grown increasingly unhappy with this disconnect (even Black Americans are a great deal less enthused about supporting Obama next November than they were 4 years ago) but can’t figure out what to do about it save stay home (as they did in early 2010 with Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts, of all places, and then again that November all of the country).

2012 would have been a great year for the Green party to make an all-out push to attract supporters based on this discontent, and given the presence of so many Internet communication mechanisms I just don’t buy the excuse that the national media made this impossible for them (I just think they’re really, really ineffective organizationally, despite the enthusiasm of some of their proponents here).  Just as Obama dropped the ball in 2009 (if you give him the benefit of the doubt that this was not intentional) by failing to capitalize on the mandate for real change that swept him into office and allowed the Tea Party to pick up the resulting slack, the Greens are dropping it this year (driving some progressives into the Paul camp for lack of any real alternative).

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By Korky Day, March 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

My Green Party DOES show we’re ready to be elected.  I was at the 2010 national convention in Detroit.  I saw not one television or radio station covering it.  Shenonymous writes as if that’s our fault.  Maybe Shenonymous wants someone to set themselves on fire, like Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia did to start the Arab Spring.  Will Shenonymous volunteer?

Shenonymous also missed my point about the term “third parties”.  It’s innumerate—in plain words “can’t do the math”.  First you must define the basis for your numerical ranking:  most elected members?  most registered voters?  majority in Congress?  most state houses?  most money?  longest established?  Then you rank them by that criterion(a).  You get one party in first place, one in second place, one in third place—not 20 parties in third place!  So there can only be one third party, and it always depends on your criteria.  Why bother to focus on “third” when what is relevant is whether or not a party is part of the Duopoly or is anti-Duopoly?  That’s why I call the Green Party and Stewart Alexander’s Socialist Party (article above) “anti-Duopoly” parties.  Most US Americans are so innumerate they won’t even convert to SI metric.

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By Leefeller, March 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

Ed Romono, your comment on Ron Paul seems to address the problem many here seem to have. They like Ron Paul for his anti war stance, (I like it too) but will ignores his liabilities by what seems denial or even blinded by a cause?

Opposite we have Obama who was a hawk from the beginning and also provided some positive rhetoric during his last campaign. I doubt very much if any one politician will please and dovetail with all my personal concepts of hope and change.

It has never made any sense to me why anyone would promote and support a candidate who has never served at any political capacity at any government level, including dog catcher. On the other hand I could be wrong, for instance the guy with the big ears who ran several years back, (Pororo?) made a lot of sense, but he backed out of the running under suspicious reasons, possibly threats to his existence?

Ron Paul has more handicaps then a one legged man in a shit kicking contest far as I am concerned he offers less good ideas then crappy ones which you covered in nicely in your post Ed!

RD go home!

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By Shenonymous, March 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

You have never been able to produce that 12-paragraph opinion you
accuse me of, occasionally dragging out your claim like a dead rat,
ardee.  You are a fraud with an obsessive personal cause.  I don’t have
to defend what you claim.  It is your problem to prove what you allege. 

I consistently admit to being a supporter of the Democratic Party. 
You have never given one shred of evidence I am not honest.  You
just make schizoid charges.  And you simply cannot read what is
written but insist on making up what is not there.  Your hatred has
you hallucinating.

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By Ed Romano, March 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

I’d like to take exception to something I’ve seen posted a number of times, and that is the idea that Ron Paul would make a viable candidate.Paul is doing a service to the nation by throwing light on the fact that the U.S. has over 900 military bases and enclaves in over 100 countries around the world. ( I won’t mention the word ‘imperialism” because that gives the flag wavers coniptions ). But Paul wants to do away with any government intervention in the “free” market. I live in a city where, a hundred years ago, capitalists had young children working in the mills for long hours and the average mill worker died at the age of 35. The infant mortality rate was among the highest in the world. The government was forced to intervene because intense pressure was put on it to curb these glaring abuses by the vampires…. Ron Paul and his ilk think this is government interference. In our own times we have witnessed the pollution of drinking water by industry in places like Love Canal, Woburn, Butte and recently at a U.S. Marine base where it is said about a million people may have been infected. The cancer rates among children in a good number of these locations is astronomical as are birth defects. A special target of Republicans is the EPA which is supposedly acting as a watch dog on these polluters. Ron Paul is one of them….If such abuses take place even under the eyes of government agency what would happen if the handcuffs were taken off completely? Paul is a true believer in a system that would only work in Never Never land. Is he any worse than the other crack pots seeking to lead us over another precipice ? That’s a subject for another day.

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By Shenonymous, March 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Instead of the incessant whining of third-partiers about duopoly,
(Mr.) Korky Da,y which really is straw man argument to deflect the
fact that little can be said about third-party candidates, i.e., “We are
more ready and more qualified to lead and more honest and more in
solidarity with the people than the crooks and war criminals like
President Obama,” Well, if so, just show it.  The media does not really
suppress what isn’t there.  If a candidate were viable and credible, it
would be reported by some media.  There are plenty of leftist TV
shows, Cenk Uyugar, Keith Olbermann for two, and Jennifer Granholm
(sp?) for another all on Current.  Dennis Kucinich is a fine politician but
he was never able to garner much of a voting constituency that would
launch him onto a National ballot against the big guns from the two
major parties.  Howard Dean was my choice but he wasn’t able to
withstand the ridicule from the right when he yelped at the conven-
tion.  That was not only his fault for not fighting back but the dumb
Democratic Party’s as well.  I do not say many Democrats are dumber
than dumb. Too many are and are the canker in politics for the working
class.  They are plain stupid.  But still they are for the people not for
corporations.  That is a huge plus for them in my book.  Obama does not
really have much to worry about.  The Republicans have committed
suicide with the crazies they allowed to campaign, allowed that is to
accumulate the incredible amount of money invested and who are
excoriating each other into the abyss of the abyss and who have pissed
off enough Americans as to make themselves the joke of the century. 
One does wonder where all those hundreds of millions of dollars for
campaigning has gone.  Advertising companies?  That should have been
enough to bring the entire nation out of the financial hellhole were the
money put into fixing the economic doldrums instead of slimy egos. 
And BTW:  Your criticism of using the term third-party is simply bull shit. 
Again name one third-party candidate who has enough name recognition
to get more than 3% of the national vote.  Who has a coherent program
that will benefit the welfare of the non-privileged class.  Fact: you can’t.

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By Korky Day, March 6, 2012 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous wrote, “It is quiet on the third-party front”.  A big lie.  Rather, there’s plenty of action, as in the article above these comments, but the Duopoly’s allies/puppet-masters in the media are ignoring us in the anti-Duopoly parties, as usual.  We are more ready and more qualified to lead and more honest and more in solidarity with the people than the crooks and war criminals like President Obama.  Just because the mainstream media suppress us, does that mean that ordinary citizens should boycott us and support the Duopoly instead?  Not unless you support ONLY candidates within the Duopoly who are committed to changing the country into a democracy, which it has never been.  Dennis Kucinich is one such politician.  Ron Paul looks promising.  Howard Dean’s position on pro-rep (proportional representation) I don’t know, so it’s probably weak, or I would have heard otherwise.  Voting for others in the Duopoly, like Obama, is voting to continue the pseudo-democracy and to continue to suppress the anti-Duopoly parties.  If Obama were any good, he’d be barn-storming the country, calling for constitutional amendments to initiate a democracy in the USA.  He is a constitutional scholar, after all:  He knows better but remains silent.  Furthermore, he’d be starting a tradition of “question period” in Congress (as in Canada and Britain).  He’d be negotiating peace in the Middle East and elsewhere on live television and the Internet.  He’d call members of Congress on live television and demand that they support electoral reform.  He’d hold a national referendum, unofficially, if necessary.  He could himself agree to debate non-Duopoly candidates.  He could get creative like that.  He never does.  He’s a boring, pathetic tool of the 1%.  He has the alpha-male mentality of most world leaders, especially the males.
(For those who like to communicate well, notice that the term “third parties” as used by others in this discussion is innumerate.  The term is not used like that in smarter countries.)
—(Mr.) Korky Day.

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By Leefeller, March 6, 2012 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

Well, like for the Republicans, if one is using the broken Clock analogy, in appearance Korky Day could be right if his clock had some hands on it. 

She, forgot to mention a lot of things and most of them need to be mentioned, for I am not capable of addressing what She did mention as her post was so damn well done!

Suppose the average person, just like me for instance, is having a hard time procuring enough money to purchase good Tequila, How did she did not even address this problem? ... what about that Aha!

Another thing She did not mention was the fact Newt Gingrich wants to go to the moon and Democrats are secretly in agreement. 

Most blatantly missing from Shes posted comment, is the fact she did not mention, (and it must be on purpose?)  is Republicans and the Catholic Church are so much alike, two peas in a small pod, the only difference between the Catholic Bishops and the Republicans, is the Catholic Bishops already have the costumes, while the Republicans only need the big clown shoes!

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By Shenonymous, March 6, 2012 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

No, ardee, I do not lie, but you certainly are an expert at it.  I have
continuously said to vote your conscience and to put the Greens
or any other candidate on the ballot.  It is you who would not have
me have my democratic right to vote my conscience and present my
opinion.  You are the political thug.  I make my case much better than
you and you hate me for it.  Just look at your last execrable attack on
me on March 4.  There is a third party candidate I would vote for and
would encourage others to vote for and that is Bernie Sanders, the
socialist Independent.  I’ve said that over and over and you refuse to
acknowledge that because you want some phantom Green who has
not declared.  You have not come out for Jill Stein.  So go talk to Cyr. 
I have not seen you support Stein.  Nor have you put up an name as
a candidate.  So what the hell are you doing?  You are obsessed with
attacking me and moaning and groaning!  There aren’t any third-party
candidates of any repute or experience to run this country.  Name one
if there is!

And Korky Day, I have criticized Democratic politicians who do
not live up to their liberal program and represent the people as
they are bound by their elections.  I have done this repeatedly and
do so even now.  As far as the Party goes, I am a Democrat and work
to change the politics of the Party.  I was a supporter of Howard Dean. 
If he ran again I’d vote for him in a minute.  Obama is a rational
negotiator but has gone too far to compromise with the Republicans
who are controlled by Right-wingnut Tea Partiers.  He was and still is
hamstrung by a Congress that is dominated by Republicans, even in
the Senate where Democrats hold a majority, a very slim majority not
strong enough to thwart the Republican pigminded.  Even so, he is
the best that there will be to counter obstruct the war-mongering,
hypocritical theocratic Republicans now that he won’t have to run
against them again in 2016.  The only way a Democratic president,
or any non-Republican president can pass non-Republican legislation
is to have a liberal Congress and that means electing more “liberal”
Democrats.  But if there ever was an opportunity for a third-party
candidate who truly represents the liberal values of this country, now
is the time to make their ascent.  It is quiet on the third-party front,
actually silent except for a few whiners and moaners.

You have not read my posts or not very carefully.  Of if you have you
might open your eyes instead of running off at the mouth blindly.

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By Ed Romano, March 6, 2012 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

Ardee, I think your analysis of the Democratic Party
advocate is correct, but can I humbly suggest something to you ? I have been encouraged by your approach to issues on this and other sites, but I cringe at some of the invective you use to describe a point of view that differs from your own. In the heat of argument I have also succumbed to this temptation. I’m usually sorry afterward, because I believe words have consequences. The violence that we see in the world usually starts in someone’s head, proceeds to some form of expression and then bursts out into the world the rest of us must live in. Please, Ardee, don’t wonder what this yo yo ( me ) is doing giving you a sermon. That’s not my intent. I sense that you are a better person than that. Let your arguments carry the day. Let them stand or fall on their merit. The world is in dire need of drastic change right now, and a good place to start, I think, is by taming our tongues. Keep plugging.

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By Anarcissie, March 6, 2012 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, March 6 at 12:51 am:

‘It is amazing what a healthy catnap will do to regenerate one’s
energy.  And what do you consider, Anaracissie, defective about
the way the meaning of words evolve?  Semantic shift in meaning
is often radically different from original usage. ...’

Semantic shift is fine, but the question here, where we are supposed to be talking about politics in a rational way, is whether the words one uses can make any sense.  If they are used in a vague and amorphous way, there is not much chance of that.

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By ardee, March 6, 2012 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

The Democratic Party of today firmly holds the conviction that wealth and privilege is not and should not be an entitlement to rule,
and that the pluralistic values of the American people is what should guide the government.  The Democratic Party represents itself as the
liberal alternative to the Republicans in all its permutations, but its liberalism evolved into today’s version of liberalism—modern liberalism. 

Is there anyone here so godawfully dumb as to believe this smelly and stupidly untrue diatribe? I certainly hope not, and any persual of the politics of the last ten or so years immediately gives the lie to this democratic party shill. The Breitbart of the Dems is what she is!

One further word if I may. My contempt is not for She personally, but for the clumsy and persistent way she lies like a rug. One the one hand she condemns all third parties for the slow growth they achieve, the Greens in particular, claiming this is the reason to vote for her corporatist party of choice.

Yet she, and we, know full well that her own party works tirelessly to keep Greens and others off ballots, out of debates, and off the front pages of the media. I pray to Gaia that we, she and I, are never in the same room together, the stench of her biased and lying political positions is bad enough in the forums.

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By Korky Day, March 6, 2012 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

While Republican Ron Paul hasn’t endorsed extensive-enough electoral reform, he has been a Libertarian Party candidate, and he seems sincere, so I have hope for him.  And he’s the only dove for president in the Duopoly, as far as I know.  So, even though he’s dead wrong on sharing the wealth, if you want to vote in the primaries, please vote for him to shake things up.

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By Korky Day, March 6, 2012 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

What Shenonymous doesn’t write is that Democratic Party rule is totally divorced from Democratic Party voters’ desires.  The same with the Republican Party.  That’s mostly because of the USA’s pseudo-democracy.

For instance, suppose the average Democratic voter wants the real forced unemployment rate of around 20 or 25% (not the government’s fictional rate of around 9%) lowered to 2%.  The socialists and most of us Green Party members want 0% forced unemployment.  The average Republican voter, let’s assume, wants a (real) rate of 8% (mostly non-White, they secretly hope). 
So that’s 2% (D) vs. 8% (R). 
In theory, then, when the Democrats are in power we should have 2% and when the Republicans are in power, 8%.  In theory, the rate should be, on average, 5%.  That would be if the system were anything like a democracy.  But it doesn’t because it isn’t.  Instead, the Duopoly has for several decades produced around 20 or 25% forced unemployment. 

That same kind of distortion of the people’s desires holds true for almost all political issues, from war to sex.  Much of Europe and other advanced countries, on the other hand, are democracies, more or less.  They have single-payer health care, free higher education, much less war, more civil and human rights, less influence of the church on the state (even in officially Christian countries!), better efforts to reduce global warming, etc.

If Shenonymous can get her Democratic Party to nominate someone who favours pro-rep (proportional representation) and other electoral reform, such as Dennis Kucinich, then nearly all voters knowledgeable about true democracy would vote for him. 

Otherwise, you slit your own throat by voting Democratic or Republican.  Vote for my Green Party, or for the socialist Stewart Alexander, etc.  (I assume he’s for pro-rep, etc.)

With pro-rep, the USA’s political parties would be free of the Duopoly (of the 2-party system created by the deficient Constitution).  Then all parties could truly represent the wishes of their supporters, including the seemingly sincere but duped Democrat Shenonymous. 

Try reading “Causes” at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-party_system

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By David J. Cyr, March 6, 2012 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

The corporate party’s (D) dedicated effectively change the meaning of words, because liberals rarely mean what they say… to better deceive themselves and others.

What is it that the corporate party’s (R) dedicated believe their radical Republican candidates might conserve?

White skin privilege… something so many of the deeply depraved “highly educated” corporate collaborating Democrat voters still have, but most of the retrograde Republican voters are rapidly losing, if they haven’t already lost everything they had.

Everyone who votes for the corporate party’s money manufactured candidates is seeking some personal gift in return, as reward for their detestable collaboration with corporatism. How cheaply they sell themselves to the highest (R) or (D) bidder.

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By Shenonymous, March 6, 2012 at 1:51 am Link to this comment

It is amazing what a healthy catnap will do to regenerate one’s
energy.  And what do you consider, Anaracissie, defective about
the way the meaning of words evolve?  Semantic shift in meaning
is often radically different from original usage.  Perhaps you are
not familiar with the way every word has a variety of senses and
connotations to which new meanings can be added or altered over
time.  Perhaps you have never noticed dictionaries often show more
than one meaning of a word, due to diachronic changes.  You might
do some research on historical linguistics.  The quibbling over purity
of words is just that, a kind of petty carping.

The Republican candidates are the epitome of 21st century
republicanism and are not radicals at all. They have always
wanted to reform the Constitution to reflect their anti-democratic
agenda.  The forked-tongued Republicans consistently express a
formulary faith in the “wisdom” to be found in the Constitution and
to preserve its integrity, yet they have a muculent habit of announcing
specific changes they think would be political ambrosia.  The first one
that comes to mind that has captivated the news is the challenge to
Article IV of the Constitution that explicitly forbids a religious test for
serving in government.  The egregious charge that Obama is a “closet”
Muslim is defiantly heard regularly from conservative quarters.  There
isn’t even a requirement in the Constitution for a president to take their
oath of office with a hand on the Bible, which gives right-wing Christian-
firsters apoplexy.  Santorum and Bachmann have both said they believe
the New Testament should replace the law of the land and that their God
should guide presidents in their decisions, not the Constitution.  Yeowie
Kazowie.  And Gingrich went so far as to say that he would ignore court
rulings that he disagreed with, which would violate the three branches of
government balance built into the Constitution.  Then the current raging
discussion these days has to do with the right to vote, 17th Amendment
and the unbridled effort by the conservative Republicans to disenfran-
chise millions of voters through their canard of proof of citizenship.  BTW
without the amendments to the Constitution, Anarcissie, you, a woman,
would not be allowed to vote.  Right-Wingnut Rick Perry was proposing
seven amendments to the Constitution at the same time he blazed being
a constitutionalist.  Hmmmm…veddy intahrresting.  And the National
Federation of Republican Assemblies is attempting to create a
referendum for a constitutional amendment that would permit prayer
(uh, make that a Christian prayer) in schools.

What are the Republicans trying to conserve?  Their greed for money
and power!  Their elitism!  Their Republicanism!  The rule of law and
the Christian religion!  A militant defense of what they consider Western
civilization against modernist culture!  American conservatism is not
free from tension, however, and quite competing ideologies.  For
instance, economic conservatives and libertarians fanatically favor
small government, low or no taxes, limited or no regulation, and free
market enterprise.  Social conservatives fear secularism will erode their
traditional values, which translates into their support of school prayer
and vehement opposition to abortion, and legalizing same-sex marriage. 
The Neocons want to enlarge American ideals, read democracy as they
see it (theocracy) throughout the world and irrationally show strong
support for Israel, which in the final analysis at some point Christianity
and Judaism would, inexorably, come to major religious conflict. Then
there are those paleoconservatives who are in opposition to multi-
culturalism, and constantly scream for restrictions on immigration. 
That’s all.

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By Shenonymous, March 6, 2012 at 1:36 am Link to this comment

And you pretend to know what a conservative is David J. Cry?  In your
haste to lambaste the Liberal Siren Shenonymous you fail miserably,
as you consistently do, to say anything worthwhile…and this time is
no exception.  Obviously the effect of my Siren Song has lured you
babble once more.

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By Anarcissie, March 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

If we use defective language we will be unable to communicate, and it will probably interfere with our thinking as well.  Almost all of the Republican candidates have been not conservatives at all but radicals—people who want to make fundamental changes to the present Constitution, laws and culture of the United States.  There is nothing conservative about them that I can detect.  What is it they’re supposed to be trying to conserve?

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By David J. Cyr, March 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

Yes (you holy rat), the (D) dedicated don’t realize that their being “progressive” liberals makes them true conservatives, because they don’t know what a conservative is; and the “conservative” labeled (R) voters don’t realize that they — just like Democrats — are neoliberals too.

A “neocon” is just an impatient neoliberal, who isn’t as cold-blooded as a conservative “progressive” liberal neoliberal is.

Oh the irony, in the bold honesty of a dedicated to deception Democrat using the pottery art image of a mythological Siren for her anonymous avatar!

The songs of the half woman and half bird Sirens of Greek mythology were intended to lure sailors onto the rocks, where their ships would be wrecked and the sailors would die.

Deception is what the Democrat dedicated do… perpetually practicing upon themselves, to perfect their means of deceiving others.

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By Shenonymous, March 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

There is something to be said for the purity of the language,
Anarcissie.  But the lingua franca of the word conservative has
certain current connotation.  Yes, one of the dictionary definitions
of the word means not willing to accept much change, but that is
meaningful especially in the traditional values of society.  And in
American society, “traditional” values tend to be Republican
conservative in flavor.  Liberals are the radicals and renegades. 
Conservatism has come to mean the God, guns, and anti-gay
conservatism seen in the Republican Party since 1950.

The general population historically has not been all that supportive of
the social programs that have come to define the liberals of today.  It
has taken the determination of the liberal politicians to pass legislation
of the more socialist essence.  You might not have much warmth for
what the New Deal did, but according to Michael Tomasky, author of
an article in the American Prospect “Party in Search of a Notion,” at
http://prospect.org/article/party-search-notion it was the brief but
zenith of liberalism and the dynamics of the New Deal “engaged and
ennobled people.”  That was when “Social Security and all the jobs
programs and rural electrification plans and federal mortgage-insurance
programs were examples of the state giving people the tools to improve
their own lives while improving the collective life of the country (to say
nothing of the way Franklin Roosevelt rallied Americans to common
purpose in fighting through the Depression and the war).”  He observed
that “the great period of liberal hegemony, the New Deal, in this country
was, in fact, a period when citizens were asked to contribute to a project
larger than their own well-being.”  This is what Modern Liberal
Democrats are about.  Tomasky rightly advises that Americans must
reconnect with the tradition of the New Deal in order to reinvigorate the
country, especially the Democratic Party.

The Party of today has self-control and a deliberate plan of action
as the opposition to right-wingism, and they have a more than
respectable agenda of policy proposals just waiting to be reconsidered
should Democrats become the majority again.  Come November 2012
will tell the tale. 

To address your assessment that Democrats are “conservatively”
committed to particular issues, seems taking a narrow slant of their
really progressive disposition.  Progressivism in America is mostly
focused on the insidious power of corporations, environmentalism,
and social justice. 

I apologize, but I’m kind of tired after a long day’s work so I’ll have
to get back to this discussion most likely tomorrow sometime.

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By Ed Romano, March 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

Shenon…., I’m tempted to believe you are making a pretense of being a liberal democrat in order to stir up a little action here. I find it hard to believe that that anyone familiar with the history of this country for the past 40 years or so can actually believe that the Democratic party represents the interests of the majority of Americans. I will admit the party is good at pretending that is the case, but history gives the lie to that claim…..Just a couple of instances out of the many that could be mentioned….The Democratic Party has been in power for a good number of years over the past forty. That being the case why are the majority of Americans in a more precarious situation now than they have been since the 1930’s?... It’s true that a majority of Americans favored a single payer medical system, but didn’t most of the democrats who supposedly represent the majority cave into the insurance lobby and torpedo the idea ? Didn’t the President, the head of the party, turn against and speak out against the idea of single payer? I don’t see how you can deny this or wash it away semantically….. Now, didn’t Bill Clinton, the new icon of your party, enthusiastically give us NAFTA saying it would be a wonderful thing for the nation. And didn’t this champion of the working people sit by while the corporations dismantled the nation’s industrial base and shipped it overseas in search of cheap labor ?
And now, your President has said he is willing to look into weakening the Social Security System and Medicare. The difference it seems between the modern Republicans and the Democrats is that while the Republicans want to skin us completely….the Democrats are saying, No. Only to the waist.
  I suspect that a lot of what you have written is from a book because no knowledgeable person today would say that Democrats are “frequently called the new left.” That is a phrase out of the past and a majority of the people involved in the “movement” as it was called did not consider themselves Democrats until late in the war ( Vitenam) when liberals came aboard. And it was the liberals who insured that the nation would learn NOTHING from that horrible event. Their mantra,as I remeber it, was….This war is a mistake and the sooner we can get it over with the sooner we can get backl to the business of being America. In the early days of the war , when the opposition came from the real left and old time radicals from the 1930’s, it was understood that the war was an imperialist adventure undertaken by cpitalists. You weren’t about to get that perspective from Democratic liberals….. If you are serious about what you wrote I know that none of this will put a dent in your armor….. You suggested reading a History of the Democratic Party. I grew up in the Roosevelt era. So I don’t have to read a book. I was there. May I humbly suggest that you read a few of the books written by Noam Chomsky. That will give you some of the history they left out when you went to school.

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By Anarcissie, March 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

I am using the word conservative in the normal, traditional, conservative sense of the word: denoting a preference for keeping things the same, conserving the existing order.  The Democratic Party (until very recently, anyway) at least ostensibly favored a sort of weak version of the Welfare state, often referred to as ‘the New Deal’.  Beginning in the late 1930s, besides the Welfare state, it came to be associated with war, imperialism, and intervention, as with Bismarck’s Germany.  This philosophy, this set of programs and policies, is now about 80 years old and is for the most part basically unchanged in conception and in most of the technical details.  In short, the Democrats are conservatives because they are conserving the existing order—Welfare, warfare, capitalism—or are at least pretending to.

I know people give other meanings to the word, but if we follow the loose, contradictory usage of the media our language, and probably our thinking, will make no sense.

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By Shenonymous, March 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie and Ed Ramano – You are both wrong.  There are roughly
15% registered Democrats who are fiscal conservatives and mainly
make up the Blue Dogs Coalition, of which Blanch Lincoln is a prime
specimen.  The Democratic Party primarily is not conservative.  But I
thank you for giving me an occasion to clarify once again the essential
political character of the Democratic Party.  It is not the poor that are
proposed to be regulated but the imperial corporate powerful and the
rich who constantly squeal and scream and conscript mouths like
yourselves to make accusations with no credible evidence.  It is
fashionable for Right-Wingers, Conservatives, Anarchists, Libertarians,
and Hard-Leftists to accuse the Modern Democrats of not being what
they are.  It is how they deflect the truth about their selfish selves.  The
Democratic Party is the Party of the People.

The Democratic Party of today firmly holds the conviction that
wealth and privilege is not and should not be an entitlement to rule,
and that the pluralistic values of the American people is what should
guide the government.  The Democratic Party represents itself as the
liberal alternative to the Republicans in all its permutations, but its
liberalism evolved into today’s version of liberalism—modern liberalism. 
Modern liberalism resides left-of- the-center in the traditional political
spectrum and is represented by none other than the Democratic Party. 
Historically, southern Democrats were in general ideologically
conservative.  Note that is “southern” Democrats.  Things have changed
radically since the 70’s.  20th and 21st century Modern Democrat liberals
advocate universal health care, with the majority supporting a single-
payer system.  They also favor diplomacy over military action, stem cell
research, the legalization of same-sex marriage, secular government,
stricter gun control, and environmental protection laws as well as the
preservation of abortion rights. Immigration and cultural diversity is
regarded as positive as that is the very foundation of why this country
was born; liberals favor cultural pluralism, a system in which immigrants
should retain their native culture in addition to adopting their new
culture to enhance the larger society. Democrats tend to be divided on
free trade agreements and organizations such as the North American
Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Most liberals oppose increased military
spending and the display in public built and/or maintained buildings of
the Ten Commandments, holding to the notion of separation of church
and state.  I suggest you read, Jules Wilcover’s Party of the People: A
History of the Democrats
.  Democrats are also progressive and that
group is frequently called the New Left.  My own views and voting
practice tends to be between modern liberalism and the progressives
when it comes to war, single-payer health care, election reform, and
other issues.

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By Korky Day, March 5, 2012 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

Typically, US Americans ignore the lessons of other countries.  Egotistical, ignorant, self-harming.  No country without a dictator which is writing a constitution today copies the USA’s backward 2-party model.  It’s there in the Constitution, but between the lines.  Subtle.  The USA desperately needs massive electoral reform, including constitutional amendments requiring pro-rep (proportional representation), etc.  Vote for any party or candidate you like, as long as they are determined in those ways to make the country a democracy.  Then the people can have as many parties as they want, and they all have a fair chance to win offices in the legislative and executive branches.  Including the admirable socialist Stewart Alexander.

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By Ed Romano, March 5, 2012 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

David, It’s my belief that most people who register as independents do so because they have no real political philosophy. They vote for the personality that most appeals to them regardless of party.How else can you explain the phenomenon of the so called “blue collar” Republicans? The vampires, of course, always seem to know where their bread is best buttered. Not so, the working class.

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By David J. Cyr, March 5, 2012 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Robert B. Winn:

“The only hope for Americans, whatever their political beliefs, is for them to register independent until independent voters outnumber party members”
___________________

Election results have regularly provided proofs positive that near every one — if not absolutely all — “independent” registered voters are people who reliably vote for the corporate party’s (R)s and (D)s.

People register “independent” so they can more easily change their preferences — from (R) to (D), or (D) to (R) — for getting more of the corporate party’s evil shit done… again.

By registering “independent” the corporate party voters hope to avoid either corporate party faction’s persistent postal mail, email, and phone solicitations seeking as many millions of small change contributions required for (R) & (D) fools to match their candidates’ corporate person funding.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By David J. Cyr, March 5, 2012 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

America’s “progressive” liberals stalwartly support representative government, by “intelligently” voting for money manufactured Democrats to provide the best representation possible… for corporate persons.

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By Leefeller, March 5, 2012 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

Voter fraud is close to non existent, but if one listened to the Republicans it must be nipped in the bud,for they as judge and look at other people as themselves! 

OWS, has done more in several months then any third party has in their existence; far as I have seen; to change the political dialog to disenfranchisement. Only now it seems to be fading into diversions so common ‘contraceptions’.

If OWS became a party, a viable party which does not become taken over by the usual scrupulous profiteers, power hungry and the ever present pack of slinky opportunists running around out there on the edges of the political swamp, OWS would receive me vote!  Here is the however, I am not a gambler, they would need to have a validity to win; troops on the ground, political know how and probably something like a reason to vote for them.  As others have stated, for now anyone but the Republicans.

Divisiveness happens to be the number one tool in the political grab bag, always used to create division, and it appears to work mighty well as does good old fear!

By the way, what makes anyone believe any politician about any thing, especially a politician or party without any political track record? 

We need to get the money out!

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By Ed Romano, March 5, 2012 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

Anarcisse, Yours is one of the most cogent descriptions of the Democratic party I have come across. The history of the party clearly demonstrates the truth of this description. The fact that this truth can be denied by many people indicates. I think, that either fear or what they think is thier best interests is involved. In conversing with them it helps to know what these fears or interests are. It saves a lot of time not having to argue with a brick wall.

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By Ed Romano, March 5, 2012 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Shenanyomus, We are all entitled to our own prefernces certainly, but not our own facts. Truth is not a basket we can rummage around in to pull out those items that most nearly coincide with our illusions. I tried to point out an inconsistency in what you wrote about Ralph Nader. You replied with an icy remark about ranting….indicating to me that you are not interested in investigating the possibility of establishing some common ground where mutual respect might flourish. Onward.  Ciao.

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By Anarcissie, March 5, 2012 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

The Democratic Party is conservative.  It generally supports the Bismarckian Welfare state, in which social programs at home quiesce and regulate the poor to secure the political position of the rich and support imperial adventures abroad.  This is not a matter of corruption—it is what the party openly advocates and works for.  It tolerates liberal values (life, liberty, property, free expression, due process, etc.) only when these support the ruling class or at least do not interfere with their major projects.  Needless to say, with the party elite rubbing up against other elites, there is plenty of opportunity for hanky-panky.  I don’t know if this should be considered an aberration or a feature.  Probably the latter.

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By Shenonymous, March 5, 2012 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

Thank you –bill.  You have my appreciation.  It is always better if
names are named instead of leaving the impression it is personal
opinion.  I don’t doubt for a second that there are Democrat politicians
who cozy up to the corporate masters.  They have to be weeded out. 
OpenSecrets is doing a good service.  Their information needs to be
used more effectively.  But suspicions are not good enough.  Facts
are what are needed. One wonders why mediamen like Cenk Uygur
and Keith Olbermann don’t discuss these in-the-pocket-of-Wall
Street Democrats? 

Nevertheless, and this is a qualifier…my political bearing is liberal
and the Democrats, at least ideologically, are the liberal party.  This
is a two party system country regardless of the number of decriers
who seek a third party.  Maybe it is time to get another party that truly
represents the lesser privileged.  So far, most third-party agitators are
particular agenda protests.  I do not see any other party speaking out
for the average American, wanting to save the social programs that
Americans, rightfully, depend on. 

theway your undemocratic bent is apparent.  You’d rather be a whining
dictator.  If you don’t like what I say, then either counter what I’ve said
or take a hike and slither on by.  No one is breaking your butt to read
anything I say.  You are acting like a shuddering weasel.  You will see
Shenonymous even more from now on.

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By Leefeller, March 5, 2012 at 4:35 am Link to this comment

Theway, Oh no! Not again Leefeller here.

I prefer not to judge least I be judged! 

In announcing ‘not preferring to judge’ you have apparently made a judgment, also referring to someones comments as not genuine seems very judgmental to me?


Announcing ones humility does not make them humble seemingly any different than a religious person self righteously announcing themselves being pious?

Many times if I see comments and discussion which do not interest me, it is not humility which defers me from commenting.

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By theway, March 5, 2012 at 1:52 am Link to this comment

It is a pity that Shenonymous hijacks all comments.  Not only these ones. A decoy?
I would prefer not to feel “Oh, not Shenonymous again” when I see the name.
I prefer not to judge but I had to share this with those who are not only intelligent but also genuine and humble.
This is about allowing people to express their opinion without being “corrected” all the time.

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By - bill, March 4, 2012 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Shen, there are others:  the list of corporate-owned Democrats in Congress probably runs into 3 figures (i.e., at least 50% of them, though just how much more than that one could debate).  I just picked one since that was all that was needed to refute your rather surprising suggestion that corporate sell-outs were confined to the Republican party.

Blanche Lincoln (the ‘Senator from Wal-Mart’) certainly qualifies (since you asked).  She worked diligently for the 2010 reduction in the estate tax from 45% to 35% that would save the top 5 Walton estates alone $9 billion (Wal-Mart having been her largest combined campaign and PAC contributor leading up to the 2004 election and continuing through 2008, though dropped to second-largest by the 2010 election) - see http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/opinion/02thu1.html?_r=1&ref=opinion for commentary on this.  She vowed to join Republicans in filibustering the Affordable Care Act if it contained a public option (despite the fact that polling indicated that 56% of Arkansans supported the public option; yes, the health-care and health-insurance industries also figure prominently in her contributor list).  She then voted against the ‘fix-ups’ to the ACA in the reconciliation package (which passed anyway).  She opposed the Employee Free Choice Act (another corporate-friendly stance she shared with the Republican party:  I’ve got mixed feelings myself about the part that eliminates the requirement for a final secret ballot, an element which some Democratic Senators were considering dropping from the bill to obtain a filibuster-proof majority, but am not really inclined to believe that her position on it reflected anything in the way of principle) - and Wal-Mart hired her former chief of staff to help lobby against it.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/03/blanche-lincoln-touts-herself-as-one-woman-party-of-no-in-first-2010-tv-spot-video.php is how Blanche ran against her primary challenger Bill Halter, hardly a flaming liberal himself but not the corporate slut that Blanche was.  He was drafted to run against her by progressives and moderates both inside and outside the state, and would have won handily had the D.C. Democratic establishment not weighed in heavily on her side (hmmm - last I knew national politicians were supposed to leave primaries up to the citizens, at least nominally, though the DCCC and DSCC often don’t).  As a result, she very fittingly got whomped in the general election - a pretty predictable result, but it seemed more important for the Democratic establishment to crush any grassroots uprising than to keep the seat.

As I noted before, OpenSecrets.org is your friend:  it won’t tell you the specific actions which contributors bought with their Congressional purchases, but it will tell you who was paying so that you can see where some Congressional and other behavior is coming from.  For example, the prominent positions occupied by Wall Street firms in Obama’s 2008 contributor list help explain why he appointed such Wall-Street-friendly economic cabinet members and advisers and deferred any substantial reform efforts for 3 years until he himself was coming up for reelection (when he had to throw a bone or two to progressives to try to lure some of them back into the fold, they being so central to campaign organizing efforts; he doesn’t seem to have cared much what happened in 2010, and indeed may have thought that being able to run against a Republican Congress this year would be a plus for him).  His subservience to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, by contrast, seems more to have been the result of their ability to threaten him with their financial clout than that of direct contributions.

Hope that helps.  I really don’t have the time to list scores of Democratic sell-outs in any kind of detail, but perhaps others here will help fill in at least a few.

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By Shenonymous, March 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Ed Ramano – I did not say you were ranting.  I said you could rant if
you wanted to.  There is a difference.  You have your preferences, I
have mine.  Au revoir

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By Ed Romano, March 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

Shenanonymous, Was I ranting? I only repeated what you wrote. First you said you didn’t blame Nader for Gore’s loss and a few sentences later you said that the vote Nader took in certain states insured Gore’s loss. In other words Bush was installed because Gore lost. And Gore lost, according to you, because of Nader. This is waht happens, Shen,  when you just start writing without any concern for logical exposition. It makes not a rat’s ass to me who jobbed who out of what election because to me it makes no difference who’s in charge of the zoo….. Liberalism is, you say,a concern for the people of a society. I prefer Jack London’s description ... ” A liberal is a person who gets up and leaves the room when the fight begins”.I’ve been around the mulberry bush with “liberals” for a very long time and my exoerience is that when the chips are down they can’t be counted on. For example, it was liberals and no other faction who insured that the nation would learn NOTHING from the experience of the Vietnam War….. I’ll just say this and then bid you a fond adieu, because I’ve got better things to do than to dance around with someone who won’t own up to what they wrote and then accuse me of ranting….. You mention Spencer’s description of liberty as freeing every man/woman to excercise his faculties as long as it doesn’t infringe on other men/women. What does that mean in a system where a minority of capitalists can pocket the lion’s share of the labor produced by a majority of workers? Liberty huh? Hmmm! You said ( no offense but this is really over the top ) that we have to look beyond the politicians to see what each party respresents. I tried to explain that where corporate interests are concerned there is really only one party…the corporate party. But if a liberal were to accept that it would pull the ground out from under his/her feet. So it’s better to ignore the facts and just proceed with the same lame claims that have been discredited now for a very long time. Good luck to you kid. I’m guessing that you are a relatively young person. It would be interesting to see where you are a few years down the road when experience has opened your mind a little.

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By Shenonymous, March 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

Ed Romano, I am merely repeating what was reported in the news.
See http://anunreasonableman.com/ That does not mean I assign
blame for Gore’s loss of the election. You can rant against published
facts if you want to. I also reported the 2 million votes Nader received.
http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/national.php?year=2000  If
you think it would have made a difference, then that is your opinion.
I said why I thought Gore lost.  You can ignore that too if you want,
but it only makes your comments personal opinion, nothing more. 
Fact is in Nader’s own words, he decided to run as a candidate of the
Green Party, not for any sympathy for the Green agenda, but because he
was unable to get the views of his interest groups heard in Washington.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Nader#2000  That strikes me
as somewhat tainted by self-interest.

Liberalism is a concern for the people of a society.  It is the belief in the
importance of liberty and equal rights.  Equal rights means all people are
equal before the law and have the same rights: human rights, civil rights,
women’s rights and equal liberty.  Liberty meaning as Spencer in Social
Statics
wrote, “…that every man may claim the fullest liberty to
exercise his faculties compatible with the possession of like liberty to
every other man.”
 
So yes, you and I do not agree.  The Democratic Party is the party of
the people.  I don’t agree that there is no difference between the political
parties.  But that is my opinion, said precisely by Ellen Grigsby “Modern
liberalism occupies the left-of-center in the traditional political spectrum
and is represented by the Democratic Party in the United States,” in
Analyzing Politics:  An Introduction to Political Science.

The fact that Washington politicians, Democratic, all do not support
liberal programs does not mean they represent the people.  I’ve often
expressed my dismay at their behavior and also encouraged they be
replaced.  One has to look beyond the politicians who are in office to
what each party represents. That would go for the Republicans as well. 
I do not think what exists today in what is called the Republican Party is
the respectable party of Eisenhower.  The Republicans of today have no
conscience nor consciousness of the needs of the populous.  They are
thralls of the combine of corporatocrats and plutocrats.  Every liberal
program put forth for legislation in the last three years is evidence of
that.  Every single Republican voted against every program that would
have benefitted the ordinary American.  Not every single Democrat did. 
Some voted to block passage as well and they are as culpable as the
Republicans.  I can only hope their constituents will retribute these
political wolves.

EmileZ, March 4 11:38am – Wash your socks.  Your comments stink
to high heaven.  If anyone’s brain is cheese, it is yours.  Read the Huff
Post on Blue Dog Democrat Lincoln then finish chewing your socks. 
http://tinyurl.com/237vtef  Exactly which corporations’ pockets do
you say she was in?

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By EmileZ, March 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

@ Shenonymous

Blanche Lincoln

Stop playing dumb le cerveau de fromage.

@ -bill

Kucinich is alright. I think he genuinely tried to do the right thing in a no-win situation. Were I in his shoes I can’t say for sure how I would have voted. It is a little unfortunate however that he decided to change his vote after a little plane ride with Obama.

If I liked Hunter S. Thompson I would say something like “bad wierdness in the airplane”. Fortunately I am not a fan.

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By Ed Romano, March 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, You say you don’t blame Nader for Gore’s loss, but then you admit that if it wasn’t for the votes Nader pulled in a few states Gore would have won. Those two statements are a little twangy for me.Of course, as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t make much difference….Gore, Bush, Kerry, Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum.
But the point where we part company ( amicably I hope) is where you say the Democratic Party is the party of the people. That is a fiction that had some small amount of merit in the Roosevelt era, but as George Wallace ( the crack pot cracker who ran for President as an Independent a few years ago) ) clearly understood and famously stated….There’s not a nickel’s worth of diffence between the two major parties. I think he was wrong. There’s maybe a dime.
Both major parties are snuggly in the pockets of the corporations and you must have seen this for yourself unless it happens when you’re fast asleep. An example….a short while ago there was a debate going on about the medical situation in this country. All the polls showed that the majority of people wanted a single payer system similar to Medicare. Did we get it ? The insurance industry and other corporations poured billions of dollars into the pockets of their agents in Washington to insure that the people didn’t get what the majority wanted. Who won ?.... There isn’t space to list the crap that has been loaded onto the backs of the American people by the corporations and their political stooges, but I’ll list just one more….A few years ago the nuclear industry ( G.E. etc.) wanted to build a nuclear power plant in Seabrook New Hampshire near the Massachusetts border. The people of Seabrook and surrounding areas were OVERWHELMINGLY opposed to the idea. This plant is now located in a resort area where hundreds of thousands of people flock in the summer. The law required that such a construction had to provide a decent and realistic escape route. After much study experts found that such a route could not be provided. What happened? The criminals ( Let’s face it. That’s what they are ) had the law rewritten and the plant now sits in plain view of beach goers. If a major accident ever happens in, say July…. a few hundred thousand people can kiss thier asses goodbye…. It is very difficult to take a stand that opposes everything we were taught to believe….to take a stand that places us outside the confortable circle occupied by friends and relatives. But we have a duty not to turn our backs on what is true. And the truth is that we can’t pretend the cow pies we keep stepping in are Hershey bars….There is an old IWW saying….Capitalism cannot be reformed…. It was true a hundred years ago and it’s true today.

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By Shenonymous, March 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

-bill you named one, are there any others?  I will check it out further,
but you seem to be in the know, so share your wisdom with the rest
of us, sil vous plait.

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