If the next presidential election year results go as expected, 2016 will be the last democratic election held in America. And when I say democratic, I don’t mean the Democratic Party, I mean democratic as in democracy, where the power is supposedly in the hands of the people, represented by elected office holders, locally, statewide and nationally. As for the party, Atlantic magazine references a Pew Research poll covering last year, found that adults leaned toward or identified with the Democratic Party by a solid 48-39 margin, yet Republicans kept sweeping elections. Here are the numbers: The Atlantic article continued with some disturbing trends.
If you are still inhaling and exhaling, you’ve undoubtedly discerned that currently, “the people” actually represent less than 1% of an estimated population of 315 million American citizens.
Another article in the June 8 edition of “The Nation” spells out our future in the reporting medium I prefer; facts and figures. Here are the stats and numbers, the politically impotent 99% face come November 8, 2016. Scroll down to “How the Money Primary is Undermining Voting Rights.” Simply put, Republican SuperPac money and additional billionaire swag will purchase every office of consequence on the national level and every office of consequence on the state level in the red states, as well as every issue of consequence at both strata. Your voice disappears.
The Nation piece reminds us of what most progressives already know: Charles and David Koch, all by themselves, are prepared to sink $920 million into the 2016 contests. Two old men with purchased influence against their corporate background of multiple fines, endless pollution and God knows how many corpses poisoned by their assorted enterprises. Even “lesser” financial campaign inputs can leave the head spinning. Sheldon Adelson, an ancient casino mogul, and his wife, Miriam, dropped $100 million on the 2012 presidential race. That total exceeds the combined contributions of every resident of 12 states.
In my home base of South Carolina, money bought every state office, all but one Congressional office, and overwhelming Republican majorities in the State General Assembly. Credit money, and a shortage of Democratic voters making it to the polls. I’ve already written of being rebuked by some Democrats for telling the truth about what is causing their state to become unwelcome to anyone not willing to renounce the entire Obama health care plan and refuse to extend Medicaid coverage for a percentage of WORKING people, many of whom will become DYING people as a result of this deplorable action. It also helps to be a racist, homophobe, climate-denier, hater of poor people in general and a laughably hypocritical right-wing Christian, (Duggars, anyone?).
Indifference to gun deaths and the consequences of pollution is a must and adoring massive incentives for huge multi-nationals keeps you in right-wing good graces. Don’t forget to favor diluting public education with private schools, tax credits and vouchers as part of an education system run by profiteers. That’s South Carolina Republicanism.
Combining hypocrisy and massive incentives, let’s examine the case of automaker Volvo. Like many other multi-nationals, Volvo plays its shell game in front of economic development rubes, bowing to every whim, no matter how much taxpayer money is involved.
After an extensive search of the USA, the alleged Swedish company selected Berkeley County, just down the road from Charleston. It’s ironic that Volvo should land in a state populated by radical politicians who accuse President Obama of being everything from a socialist and Marxist to a communist. And here they up and welcome Volvo, owned by an Auto Company, Zhejiang Geely, located in communist China. Geely bought Volvo from Ford in 2010. Henry Ford, who respected his workers and paid them well, must be turning over in his grave at the corporate machinations of Volvo.
The state is showering Volvo with roughly $123 million in incentives. An ignorant bonding scheme will cost taxpayers $87 million in interest, $20 million more than should have been paid. Even a powerful Republican was critical of the deal. Ways and Means Chairman Brian White, R-Anderson said, “This is probably one of the worst bonding deals we’ve ever done.” He still voted for it. More on the story here:
As I’ve indicated before, I’m supposed to keep my mouth shut about the destructive policies of the right for fear some of these literal killers, through heartless legislation custom-ordered by billionaires, will be offended. Here’s the type I’m not supposed to offend.
As I’ve written here before, in the mid-terms, a local State Republican Representative, J. Derham Cole, Jr. was elected overwhelmingly, 75-25 percent, in a district ravaged by cancer and other pollution-related health effects. There were deaths as an alleged result of decades of polymer plant pollutants in the district. The Representative’s website reaction was to refer visitors to a newspaper article on a massive lawsuit filed against numerous companies in early 2014. There’s been no question in my mind that family members related to pollution victims, still voted for Cole. People with the expertise and influence to mount a public information campaign over these deadly toxins, sadly kept their lips sealed.
So, here’s where we are on the subject of giving our country away to the super wealthy. If Democrats don’t show up at the polls in HUGE numbers in 2016, those of us who have clucked that the sky really IS falling will have failed to accomplish anything. The billionaires will have won, not only through the elective process, but the political crazy glue of judicial appointments of compliant, self-serving, on-the-take bench-buffers, “constitutionally” protecting the most unconstitutional of dictatorships.
Democrats are in danger of total irrelevance. Qualified Democratic lawyers and other professionals won’t run, and locally, those lawyers who claim the Democratic label, make sure that U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination), two political Neanderthals as ever existed, can count on piles of contributions from local, so-called ‘progressive’ fellow attorneys.
People, who could win, won’t run. No high-profile Democratic “names” will challenge Republican incumbents who have sponsored some of the most harmful legislation in history. Nationally, the Democrats who do manage to win powerful office, including, quite possibly, Hillary Clinton, will do so in the embrace of billionaires and Wall Street. It is imperative that Clinton sever those ties. She can win as the Democratic trump card of vetoes and judicial appointments.
Any hopes for Elizabeth/Bernie reform will have been dashed completely by giant opposition money. A grass roots tsunami for a draft Warren movement would be a game-changing development. I watched an inspiring documentary on “ACT UP” on Link TV Wednesday. This was the heroic and noisy movement reacting to the Reagan administration’s indifference to tens of thousands of aids deaths during the great communicators years in the White House. That kind of passion, courage and commitment doesn’t exist in the current era. Without it, no Warren.
If the status quo remains, nothing good can happen for people who care about their families and other people. I’m not even begging you to vote in 2016. I’m counting on most Democrats to spare two, of the roughly 8,765 plus hours in a year, to vote. If you don’t, I’ll be writing about the consequences, while you work 60 hours a week for peanuts and no benefits.
Is this what you want?