political issues election campaigns divisiveness demagogues

Often Winners Make Things Worse
lesser-of-two-evils convention jeffersonian

Can Voting Perpetuate the Political Problem?

What Americans care about and what politicians deliver rarely overlap. We trim, blend, and append five articles from: (1) The Washington Post on the “Midterms 2010: What you need to know”; (2, 3, 4) from Joel S. Hirschhorn, Sept 3 on delusion, Oct 9 on demagogues, Oct 19 on lesser evil; and (5) the DFC list serve on strategy by Mike O’Mara.

by Washington Post , by J. Hirschhorn, and by M. O’Mara

The economy doesn't just top the list of issues shaping the political environment this fall. It dominates that list. The economy's impact can be seen in races across the country. Nevada, hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, now has the nation's highest unemployment rate. In California, the downturn has contributed to the state's enormous economic and budgetary problems and affected statewide races there. In Ohio, anti-free-trade sentiment and the decline of manufacturing jobs color key statewide contests and a series of competitive House races.

Reader Frank Walker adds this quote: "It is especially true today that all large political questions are at bottom economic questions." -- Henry George, The Science of Political Economy (1897)

American voters fall for endless political lies, fooled by advertising and political campaigns. They can be sold terrible presidents as easily as unneeded, low quality, and unhealthy products. Delusional voters have produced our delusional democracy.

Elected officials favor corporate, wealthy, and elitist interests over ordinary Americans. Of course. They depend on huge amounts of corporate money to get elected.

The biggest nonsense is that the US is the greatest democracy on Earth. There are many democracies where multiple political parties give citizens far more choices than Americans have. They can even more easily get rid of rotten leaders.

Right-wing hypocritical hucksters pitching messages of values, morals, freedom, and patriotism crafted to sucker the least informed, emotionally stressed, and unintelligent Americans, live like royalty (Limbaugh makes $60 million a year and Beck $35 million).

They sell themselves as the defenders of the downtrodden and abused, but this is just a con game designed to keep millions of dollars coming to them and their fellow fat cats.

What a culture, where so few can take advantage of so many and make fortunes doing it. The real goal of the demon idols is to further divide the nation, not fix it and make it better. Why? Because divisiveness is what sells and makes them big money.

I too feel disenfranchised, full of dissent and disgust with broken government, broken educational and health care systems, crumbling inadequate infrastructure, widespread corruption and dishonesty, and an economy dispensing inequality and injustice. Yet, try as I have, I cannot see any merit in what these powerful right-wing demagogues dish out.

When their supporters vote for Republicans they vote against their own economic interests. Those who worship them need more worthy heroes if they really love their country and want to make it better for all its citizens.

Most Americans are fed up with both major parties, not just incumbents. Nearly all voters will employ the lesser-of-two-evil justification. When will Americans wake up and realize that lesser evil still means evil?

The thirst for true reforms of government persists, as evidenced by the Tea Party movement and the election of Obama. It is the force that moves the pendulum from one party to the other.

Only voters in Nevada can choose the “none of the above” option. The rest of us can stay home or vote for third party candidates that stand no real chance of winning. What to do?

Pressure Congress. It has refused to honor the hundreds of state applications for an Article V Constitutional Convention of state delegates that could propose constitutional amendments, a way to reform our government and political system. Friends of the Article V Convention, a national nonpartisan group, makes those applications available on its website. click here

Democrats in Congress are in trouble this election -- it looks like a lot of them won't win their races this year, especially in the House. The reason is because they've been promoting policies that don't work.

The Obama-Pelosi-Reid wing of the Democratic Party has been moving the Party in the wrong direction. Of course, that doesn't mean the Party should then try to become like the Republican Party.

What the Democratic Party needs is to rediscover its Jeffersonian heritage, so that it addresses the root causes of current economic problems, by moving in the direction of cutting corporate subsidies and other favoritism to special interests, and having a less bureaucratic approach.

For example, as a step in the direction of less bureaucracy, Democrats could promote the kind of approach advocated by Democratic consultants Osborne & Gaebler, authors of Reinventing Government, who have promoted such policies as introducing "customer choice" to many public services, which has been shown to improve the cost-efficiency and quality of public services.

The Democratic Party really needs to move in the direction of addressing root causes, rather than its current approach of treating the symptoms through the impractical, bureaucratic approach it's been promoting lately.

JJS: While we’re not about to tell you how to vote, we are always trying to raise public awareness of good ideas like physiocracy, the Georgism of the day, the philosophy that Jefferson promoted, along with others such as Tom Paine and Ben Franklin. If you’re an American who’s voting, ask your candidates how much in alignment with these Founding Fathers they are. And may the best physiocrat win!

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Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.

Also see:

The US President Going Green?
http://www.progress.org/2010/obama.htm

Better Governance: A Case for Parliamentary Systems
http://www.progress.org/2010/ukgreens.htm

Poll: 4 out of 5 Americans mistrust Washington
http://www.progress.org/2010/trust.htm

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