Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Can’t blame you.

Can’t blame you at all.

So what are you going to do about it?

“I’ll fix them. I’ll let the Republicans win…”

I sympathize. I was an Anderson voter, back when Carter gave me the creeps, and Reagan represented a movement I knew all too well… a movement I personally knew for a fact had become corrupt due to religious fanatics pouring in money.

I did not vote for Ronald Reagan. But if voting for Anderson may have contributed to the start of the madness, I plead guilty.

If only teaching Dem leaders a lesson would work. Has it ever worked? Politicians always say what you want, or at least hint at their eagerness to do what’s right, pre-election. Notice how quickly that changes after? George Bush goes from promising “compassionate Conservatism,” to promising he would do nothing to stop the final days to religious groups a bit too eager for the end times. And what about Gitmo? Or Barack going from promising change regarding war against terrorism excesses to having his lawyers defend excesses in court. And defending “don’t ask/don’t tell?”

Rewrite the script… pre-election:

“Oh, yeah, now all I just told you is crap. Here’s what I’m really going to do.”

Can you imagine either saying that, during the debates, on the stump? Not a chance in hell. And as long as we have a two party system with the kind of exclusivity, the kind of power and benefits that comes with being part of that kind of system, that kind of duplicity will continue.

To quote a poster at…

Conclusion: You have 2 completely tasteless political entities, and an unscrupulous media, leading a bunch of terrified lemmings off a cliff…again… well done.


“Well done” if you’re the candidates and we’re the lemmings.

Seems they have us in a box, don’t they?

And it hardly matters what side of the political spectrum you’re on: this is the nature of any two party system as restrictive as ours: vote for the marginally not quite as bad, or let the horrid win hoping we’ll survive as a species until the next election simply starts the shell game again.

Every time we punish our Democratic leaders, anyone notice how they respond? They get more compliant: less likely to fight back. But pissed off Dems, this election, really need to ask themselves a question…

How’s all that “punish them” stuff been working for you?

If history should teach any lesson it’s not we should punish some marginally less horrid party by allowing power to be handed over to the worse party. It’s like pumping steroids into the most horrific tendencies of both parties: encouraging them to drive faster and farther into Crazyland.

After all, the leadership of the Democratic Party already have this handled. Lose, it’s because we didn’t compromise enough, we weren’t “DLC” enough. Win and those interested in reshaping Dems more and more into Neo Con light will claim it was because they’re successfully herding the party in, literally, the “right” direction.

Recent history teaches something else: no matter how obnoxious or ignorant you may think they may be, teabagger-type organizing has results when it comes to getting a party to select candidates. Winning elections on a large scale? No so much, though the upcoming election could redefine that.

If they lose big, then the meme will be it’s because the party wasn’t teabag enough. Win and they’re headed in the right direction. Where have I read this before? Oh, yeah, I just typed it regarding the Dems.

Unlike reactions to unorganized, fruitless “punish the damn Dem” tactics, Republican leaders are doing all they can to pacify and please the Baggers: despite the fact that their actual record of getting people elected so far is somewhat of a joke.

The diff? Baggers have organized themselves into a force; as silly as they may seem, that demands attention. If only we could get even those kinds of results! If only we had that kind of dedication. …taken that seriously by our own party.

To quote the man that for the past two years has said the opposite far too often…

“Yes, we can.”

Notice the teabaggers main focus is not actually Palin, or O’Donnell, or… Unlike us the focus is not on Dems, or Repubs. No, they have found an issue or two: taxes, deficit spending, as a rallying point. They take that to the streets. Their pols must at least preach that message to get their vote. Live up to it? Well, not as much.

I’m not a fan of the movement, I just think they’re on to something that we don’t seem to get: yet. You cannot change the discussion, the parties, the candidates, by making it about them. Instead, find something a lot of people would like to change. Then organize, organize, organize… get in, and stay in, the face of the party most likely to move your way: even if it’s only marginally so. But with an identity: a name for the movement, a purpose and a clear message.

How about election reform?

Real election reform that makes the parties actually work for your vote, and work more honestly for your vote. Election reform that cuts the heart out of the monopoly a marginally “two” party system creates. If the leaders of both parties knew you, Mr. or Ms. Voter, really had some other place else to go, maybe you might spend a little less pissed off?

Proposed: a movement. Working title only for now: Freedom Fighters for True Representation, (FFTR). Here are some of the possible agendas…

  • Legally limiting the political season.
  • No corporate money, no corporate ads, no anonymous anything.
  • Run off voting to give other parties than “2” more of a chance.
  • Publicly financed elections.
  • No electronic voting. No rush to count votes. To do this right if voting day needs to be voting week: then so be it. If we need to wait a month or more to count it right: we wait a month or more. The correct: uncorrupted, tally is the only goal.
  • All candidates issue position papers, have websites: printed at our expense and public access free; advertised by all media sources at no cost. This would be part of their pay back for the right to use our airwaves, the servers the government started the internet with, tax breaks they get.
  • No party conventions that select candidates. We vote in a primary. Top four go to the top of the ballot: campaigns fully funded. Locations on ballots are randomly selected.
  • I’m sure I missed other changes and some certainly can be modified, added, subtracted from; or even deleted.

    Meanwhile, vote tomorrow. Not voting achieves nothing. Voting at least allows you to guess who might be the most interested in changing. Don’t worry if you guess wrong.

    Post tomorrow’s election is when the real work begins. When we can start the movement that pulls the rug out from underneath the game. Prepare to get in the face of both parties with such demands, take to the streets, agitate within the party for such changes, organize with the intent of changing the system: get their attention.

    To get the kind of attention, and the kind of candidates selected that might support our cause, follow the lead of groups like the teabaggers, if we must. If dressing up in weird costumes gets attention: do it. If making weird statements works: do it. Start your own local organization, grass root group: hell, use the very corrupt system in place right now against those who helped corrupt it, and so eagerly abuse it.

    It will be a long, hard, fight. But punishing parties will never achieve a damn thing. After all, post 2006 and 2008 how much did the Republicans learn? Word: squat. After 2000 and 2004, how much did the Democratic leadership learn? Word: squat. No one learns because the real power no longer rests with the voter.

    Again: vote tomorrow, if you haven’t voted yet.. vote for the marginally less vile, if you must. Those more likely to at least listen. Go ahead. Hold your nose and vote. Because if you simply don’t vote, or vote for those with no chance of winning, you are doing the bidding of the little party hacks who protect the Wizards in their corporate built Oz-like facades.

    “Go away.”

    Don’t go away.

    Organize. Stay in their face. Keep demanding they pay attention to the cause. Guerrilla style politics does work. And every time it does work, maybe then, and only then, will you begin to be a little less pissed off.

    Isn’t “less” better?


    Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

    ©Copyright 2010
    Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
    All Rights Reserved

    By Ken Carman

    Retired entertainer, provider of educational services, columnist, homebrewer, collie lover, writer of songs, poetry and prose... humorist, mediocre motorcyclist, very bad carpenter, horrid handyman and quirky eccentric deluxe.

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    Joyce Lovelace
    Joyce Lovelace
    13 years ago

    I know the prominent thought is that voting 3rd party candidate is just a give away to the candidate you REALLY don’t want to win, but hey aren’t there folks on the other side who are unhappy with their candidates too?
    My Dad always thought there should be a “none of the above” choice. He often wrote in a candidates name. Or at least he said he did. What if all the disgruntled voters voted for 3rd party candidates? Wouldn’t that at least send the message that we are unhappy w/the candidates? I know that the more votes they get the more they have a say in local politics.
    And what about those ads we HATE but the candidates keep running? I fortunately do not have TV so I don’t see them, but 15 minutes in a laundromat had me ready to throw a brick at the TV. I would bet that the incessant AWFUL ads keep some people away from the polls. By the time the election arrives they just are too frazzled to care enough to vote.
    I know that is not the way to go but it sure feels like it.

    RS Janes
    13 years ago

    Ken, you have some good election reform ideas I agree with, but one problem is how do you qualify candidates for the primary? Too low a threshold and you could have hundreds of primary candidates; too high and you’re back to what we have now, with only those with political organization, i.e. parties, able to get the necessary signatures to qualify, especially in large states like Illinois and California.

    As to the Tea Party ‘movement,’ if we had some moneybags like the Koch brothers funding progressive groups, and more liberal ownership of the Big Media, then you’d have the same coverage of progressive causes. Look at the Stewart/Colbert Rally on Saturday — it drew over 150,000 to 200,000 people compared to Glenn Beck’s 87,000, yet most of the major news networks either didn’t cover it, or covered it entirely as a joke. Jon Stewart’s final serious speech, and his point, was all but lost. Until it becomes unprofitable for corporations to back Republicans, we are going to have this imbalance in the coverage, and a consequent imbalance in public perception. As we’ve seen recently in many states, but especially Alaska and Delaware where Teabag candidates are dropping like rocks, Teabaggers are a fringe-right phenomenon numbering no more than 15 percent of the population; they were elevated to a ‘major force’ by dint of corporate money and media coverage to keep the weak and bumbling GOP in play this election. There is no counter-balance on the left as well-funded and well-organized. But I do think the Teabaggers will be gone after this election — their goofiness cost the GOP one sure seat in Delaware, and caused the wealthy elite to spend more in what would have been safe GOP states like Nevada and Alaska. The minute corporate astroturf money is removed from the Tea Party bloodstream, you won’t hear of them anymore.

    Joyce, in my state they ignore write-ins and third parties, unless they get over 20 percent of the vote, so the major parties learn nothing. The media doesn’t even cover that vote. It’s a futile gesture that’s already been tried. In some states they do have a ‘None of the Above’ box, but when was the last time you heard any coverage of the results of that vote? Progressives either have to keep challenging Blue Dogs Dems with better candidates, as we did with Blanche Lincoln in AR, until the Dems get the message, or start a viable third party which most of the left are incapable of doing because they won’t prioritize or compromise with each other on what’s important.

    RS Janes
    13 years ago

    Having multiple primaries is fine but, realistically, we’re having a hard enough time getting the public to pay attention during the general election — wouldn’t multiple primaries be dominated by the same small and well-financed special interests we have now?

    As I said, I agree with your ideas, Ken, but I can’t see Congress enacting them anytime soon. I’d like to go to a parliamentary system where multiple parties have some say, but that’s not likely to happen, either. Major changes won’t take place until there’s a deeper crisis than the one we’re in now, an economic catastrophe so widespread, such as a new Great Depression, that the majority will clearly see it’s the moneyed interests, FDR’s ‘economic royalists,’ who have been causing the problems in the first place. In my view, this disaster is on its way, since there have been few changes to the basic system that led to the 2008 collapse. The only reason for voting for Dems this year is that I think we’ll have a softer crash landing under them than under the GOP, and a quicker recovery. It would be nice if Washington changed just because it’s the right thing to do but, historically, I can’t think of one instance where that has occured. In fact, they’re usually about a decade behind the times in DeeCee and most have no idea of what the average American goes through daily to survive.

    I may be a glass-half-empty type, as you say, and I hope I’m wrong, but I see the glass completely empty in the not-too-distant future — likely before 2014. At that point, we’ll either become democratic-socialist Sweden or fascist Nazi Germany.

    This evening we’ll find out how many Americans bought the recycled-from-2000 GOP nonsense of cutting taxes for the rich to create jobs for everyone else. Since the Punditry guaranteeing the GOP will win at least the House has a long record of bumbling inaccuracy, we might be pleasantly surprised by tomorrow morning that the Dems still retain a majority in both chambers. Perhaps then a miracle will happen, and they’ll actually pass laws to rectify our economic slide and rein in Wall Street, campaign money and the banks.

    But I won’t hold my breath as I drink that half-empty glass of — what’s this? — Kool-Aid?!?

    Laurine Orszulak
    13 years ago

    Greetings! Keep up the good work. That was a interesting comment. I am interested in find out more about this fascinating topic. Bye. Greetings from Estonia.

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