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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Member since: Sat Oct 18, 2003, 11:24 AM
Number of posts: 418

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What really is the DU community's attitude towards democracy?

Browsing threads since the election, I see many folks here about to pop a mental cork because of the results. You are upset! I am with you; I am also upset. But ALL I see in the way of solutions is politics as usual here. My fellow citizens, our nation has endured a silent coup by corporate power. I know you are aware of this; I have seen you write about it. Politics as usual is not possible anymore. Any small level of democracy for us has been removed. We are officially now powerless! I am not talking about our elected representatives since they have done nothing but failed us since the Reagan Revolution. Democratic politicians have lost their desire to fight the Imperial Right Wing, apparently because they believe the distorted mass news media reports about our opinions shifting to the right. Let me remind you of the extremely profound statements about the military industrial complex President Eisenhower made in his final address as he left office.
I am sure you know this! But it is worth listening to again.

We truly have had a silent coup skilfully executed against us over many careful decades. What are our options after this overwhelming coup? After Eisenhower, the new President John F. Kennedy took Ike's message seriously. A couple of the things JFK did to fight against this corporate power grab were restarting the printing of money by the U.S. Treasury and promising to disperse the CIA. President Kennedy didn't make it through his first term. Read more in the book “JFK and The Unspeakable” by James W. Douglas.

What happened to President Kennedy shook Americans up as did 9/11/2001 many years later, but not enough to stop the military-industrial complex from its advance against us.

Will we, can we finally stand up to this attack? We can! We can do it by executing our Constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights as specified in our Bill of Rights. We can enact the National Initiative for Democracy!

Stop listening to Imperial propaganda against empowering the people through democracy. By now we should all know its just negative propaganda. Freedom requires empowering the people to determine their form of government.

The National Initiative for Democracy is a much more robust piece of legislation than the initiative laws we have in half of our states. It handles big problems right off the bat like campaign finance reform; corporate money is banned. What it does not do is replace our current government structure. What it does do is empower the people to make law in parallel with Congress creating essentially a forth branch of government. But it also does not allow sudden flurries of initiatives; it is well controlled.

I know, I know, the people are not ready for democracy. But they can be, and quickly. It's a matter of education. If we start voting on and supporting this legislation, The Democracy Foundation can gradually gain the funds needed for media educational information. Once we kick the ball down the hill, it will snowball.

As written by Something Fishy, most Americans actually agree on the big issues!

How can our elected Democratic officials save us if they refuse to act?

First of all, I am and always have been a Democrat. But at this point in our history, I have to say I am extremely disappointed and frustrated by the inactions of my Party since the election of our nemesis Ronald Reagan. We had a fairly good run after FDR turned things around; even Republicans understood many of the good things coming out of the New Deal and continued regulatory policies that kept the nations economy steady through Jimmy Carter.

But those who cried over the loss of the Gilded Age were strategizing how to bring it back during these decades. Wikipedia describes the gilded era in this way:

Political corruption was rampant, as business leaders spent significant amounts of money ensuring that government did not regulate the activities of big business - and they more often than not got what they wanted. Such corruption was so commonplace that in 1868 the New York state legislature legalized such bribery.[46] Historian Howard Zinn argues that the U.S. government was acting exactly as Karl Marx described capitalist states: "pretending neutrality to maintain order, but serving the interests of the rich."

Think tanks were formed to defeat this hold Democrats had on America. Having lived through this period, I saw them make a dirty word of liberal - and started calling it the "L" word in the media. As time passed, the continuous repetition of this type of internal propaganda combined with the general population largely ignoring politics except for what they heard on sound-bite news from radio and TV, the public bought into the idea that government regulation was hurting capitalism making the election of Ronald Reagan possible with his "Get the government out of our way" message.

What is beyond me to understand is why elected Democrats did not see what was happening. The media kept pounding the idea that the country was swinging to the right and the "L" word was to be forgotten. Democratic officials rolled over and offered almost no resistance to what the media was saying and seemed to actually believe it to the point that they had to join this swing to the right or lose elections.

The ultimate and devastating roll over came with Bill Clinton's "new Democrat" pronouncements. We now see that "New Democrat" means continue to speak the same while basically conceding major policy to the new far-right GOP. This reduced Democratic backbone allowed the catastrophe of the 2000 election where Al Gore won by a half million votes but put GWB in office anyway. Democrats standing ground for what is right would have placed Al Gore in the White House and I truly believe save us from the horror of September 2001 and what came after.

Then even worse beyond belief, the lack of serious investigation of the events of 9/11 was allowed, even after the people replaced the GOP White House with the current occupant. All Democrats of power refused to place investigations of war crimes on the table even though they had control of all houses of government. I have to say this to you, I strongly believe if these investigations were done in depth as they should have been, we would not be having difficulty today electing Democrats!

Are we simply stuck with politics as usual, or can we change?

I continually see many complaints about how government fails to function on behalf of the people. There is no doubt that the general population is not very happy. It's no wonder that the GOP and their "Tea Party" hijackers make headway talking about reducing or eliminating government. Fortunately though, I still believe most Americans actually think the government is theirs and that it can work for us again if only we elect the right people. So politics as usual continues to be used as the means to change. But, things are not changing. After more than 200 years we should be able to see this strong built-in tendency towards corruption in the people's government.

The government is meant to be of, by, and for the people. But something seriously important was left out of the Constitution although Founding Fathers expressed their fear of it. And that is the corrupting influence of money and the resulting power it grants. The average citizen cannot compete with this resulting in laws that are not "of the people".

As a citizen of the United States, what do you consider to be your responsibilities to assure the government works for the common good? Do you believe the corporate good is the same thing? Is the economic model for free-market capitalism sustainable?

Any thoughts about a resource based economy (RBE)?

Since I noticed this group is for discussion of economic issues, I wonder if any discussion on a resource based economy has taken place here? It seems to me we are having serious problems controlling the monetary based capitalistic system. From the beginnings of our nation there has been a constant stress between the needs of the average citizen and those who are wealthy enough to control major businesses. Wealth has a huge advantage when it comes to influencing politicians unfortunately. Any gains politically for average Americans are always being attacked by those want to channel more money in their direction. I see this as a major flaw in capitalism.

In my lifetime the excesses of "The Gilded Age" produced the crash of 1929, massive unemployment, and poverty resulting in equally massive protests often violent. Franklin Roosevelt's Administration responded on behalf of the people with strong governmental regulations to bring all this under control. And for the most part, these regulations worked well for decades - until Reagan's Administration began their total destruction - "Get the government out of our way!". Alas, we have a new gilded age with super-rich and massive unemployment or underemployment, the underemployment being people working beneath their capabilities. This resulting in the dismantling of the middle class.

Economies are meant to serve the needs of the people in general and not function just for those who have wealth and consequently power. But if one pays any attention to the daily news, it is obvious that most of the bad news we read about has direct connections with money in one form or another. Of course making laws to regulate businesses and industries can again bring this cycle under control, but business should actually be functioning to provide for the common good anyway in a properly functioning economy. And the wealthy who own these businesses will always be working to increase their profits rather than the common good.


The implication of saying "underground".

Generally the description of underground politics (such as Democratic Underground) has a strong implication that the politics are not of the obvious variety espoused by the Democratic Party itself. Therefore, I would expect that views not in line with the Party would be welcomed for serious discussion. When we as Democrats see decisions being made that are obviously contrary to the well-being of the general population, it is our duty to respond.

Among the things I see elected Democrats letting slide are NSA spying, the lack of climate policy, corporate welfare, the lack of investigation and prosecution of banking fraud, the rigging of Wall Street, and most of all 9/11/2001. All this criminal activity being ignored creates a society not obliged to the rule of law.

Thank goodness we have folks like Elizabeth Warren trying to reform things, but look at the tremendous forces she is up against. These small changes can again be reversed by the powerful, just as they reversed reforms by FDR - reforms that worked well until Reagan's "get the government out of our way". We need to implement laws that will permit us to establish a permanent means to hold onto the good laws and reform the not so good ones. In other words we need some good constitutional amendments and the guaranteed means to enforce them.

But are we upset enough to actually reform politics?

Many of us talk about the corporate takeover of America since Reagan took office, the mega-mergers and control of our media, and the inability to get the candidates we want into office. With the country continuing to slide deeper into the pit of fascism and the majority of us seeming to not get it and trying to work within politics as usual to recover, when will we finally realize we can shift the power structure only with democracy!

The majority of Americans actually can understand specific problems when presented clearly. But media propaganda has us totally bewildered believing the Democrats and Republicans are incompatible, when we actually are all just people and not that different. For example, most of us would not have voted for war in 2001 or 2003. Millions of us marched for peace and were ignored while our TV media news announced TARGET IRAQ!

I have stated this many times over the past decades, we desperately need democracy! We should all be supporting enactment of the National Initiative by convincing everyone we know to do the same and spread the word.

My friends, time is running out.
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